Socastee got an early indication Friday night what to expect in the Crescent Bank Holiday Invitational girls high school basketball tournament.
The event features powerhouse programs up and down the East Coast, but it didn't require a team traveling a long distance for the Braves to encounter dominating competition.
In the tournament opener at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, Spring Valley from Columbia raced out to an 18-2 lead 7 minutes into the game and coasted to a 67-21 victory.
"Typically we're going to see the best competition in this tournament that we're going to see all year, so it's good for us," said Socastee coach Marty Jacobs, whose team fell to 3-4.
The Vikings, who returned all five starters from last season's Class AAAA state championship team, hit the Braves with speed and size. A full-court press sparked the early lead, and the Vikings dominated the paint and boards.
With five players 6-feet or taller against a Braves squad without a 6-footer, Spring Valley outscored Socastee 32-4 in the paint and held a 64-33 rebounding advantage that included 30 offensive caroms.
"Their pressure and man-to-man defense was just a bit much for us," Jacobs said. ". . . Their size was a big factor I thought to keep the game where it was. I think they kind of just beat us down inside."
Spring Valley (9-1) began the season ranked No. 1 in Class AAAA and lost to Goose Creek without star 5-11 sophomore guard Asia Dozier. "We are very excited to be here and our expectations are to try to win it, get a good run, some good competition and see how we measure up," Vikings coach Anne Long said.
The Vikings managed the blowout win despite a subpar performance from Dozier, who hit just 1 of 8 shots while playing just seven minutes in the first half and finished the game 4 of 12 from the floor.
They received early balance as six players accounted for the team's first 21 points, and none had more than four points. Five players finished with at least nine points, led by Briana Robinson with 13. Highly-regarded 6-1 sophomore Xylina McDaniel and 6-foot junior Savonia Bryan each finished with nine points and 11 rebounds, and McDaniel showed off her skills early in the second half by converting a defensive rebound into an end-to-end left-handed layin.
Molly Waxenfelter had seven points and five rebounds for Socastee, which committed 25 turnovers and hit just seven of 52 shots from the field.
SPRING VALLEY (67) - Robinson, Briana 13; Walker, Shaquita 9; McDaniel, Zylina 9; Bryan, Savonia 9; Dozier, Asia 9; Lawrence,Jocelyn 8; Dozier, Kelcee 4; Love, Juliette 3; Ruff,Jasmine 2; Snelgrove, Shannon 1
SOCASTEE (21) - Waxenfelter, Molly 7; Greene, Jasmine 5; Reaves, Ariel 3; Smith, Lisa 2; Mose, Katherine 2; Derrick, Jenny 2.
Halftime: Spring Valley 35-14. 3-point goals: Spring Valley 5 (Robinson 3; Dozier 1; Walker 1), Socastee 2 (Waxenfelter 1; Reaves 1). Fouled Out: Spring Valley None; Socastee None. Technical Fouls: Spring Valley None; SocasteeNone.
Records : Spring Valley 9-1, Socastee 3-4.