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Myrtle Beach boys basketball coach learning on the fly

In just his sixth game as head coach of Myrtle Beach, Craig Martin showed the kind of brashness he brings to the Seahawks.

One minute into the Dec. 15 home game against Carolina Forest, play had to be stopped because someone in the crowd was blowing a whistle.

After the public address announcer cautioned the crowd against the ejectionable action, Martin strolled to the scorers table, picked up the mike and delivered the following announcement: "Please stop blowing the whistle. These South Carolina officials don't need any help."

Funny? Yes. Effective? No. From that point on, Myrtle Beach was called for 27 fouls over the final 31 minutes en route to a 67-53 defeat. Some, of course, were justified, while others may have been the referees' way of telling the Michigan native, "You ain't from around here, are you?"

"I wish I could take that one back," joked Martin, who came to Myrtle Beach after serving as an assistant under former Seahawks coach Chad Dixon at North Central. "I'm the new guy on block and this has been a very unique learning experience for me and for the team, but we're getting there."

Just one of the many challenges facing Martin and the Seahawks, who took another learning lump in the first round of the Beach Ball Classic on Saturday night with an 89-54 loss to Concord (N.C.) to fall to 1-6 on the season.

But the biggest obstacle has been taking a team that saw the majority of its members play football through the first week of December and making the transition to basketball. Not the kind of ball they played under predecessor DeAndre Scott, but the brand Martin is trying to bring the Seahawks.

"It's been a difficult situation because there was a time this season when we had played more games than we had practiced [with a full team]," Martin said. "The guys should have time to recover from football before they start basketball, but now we're throwing them into a situation that's just as intense. It's a totally different mindset, and they still don't understand how intense and how physical we want to play."

Martin developed his up-and-down, black-and-blue style of play not from the "Bad Boy" Pistons he grew up watching, but from Michigan Sports Hall of Fame coach Ed Mehlberg, whom Martin served as an assistant under in the Detroit area.

"It was great getting the opportunity to learn from him," Martin said, "but when you become a head coach you sort of pick and choose the things you like and mold them to your style. For me, it's fast and physical. We may foul out of every game but we're going to play at the pace we want to play."

With four of his five starters coming straight from the gridiron to the hardcourt, that style has been hard to come by. But much of it will depend on how quickly star quarterback/point guard Everett Golson makes the transition and then gets those around him to fit into the system.

"Our system is team-oriented, everybody is going to have an opportunity to score, but a lot of that will depend on Everett," Martin said. "He finds ways to get things done. But like the Kobes, LeBrons and Jordans, it takes time to learn to trust the players around him."

The Seahawks are just two years removed from winning the state championship, but many of the players who hoisted the trophy in Columbia are gone. Now it's up to a new group of players, and a new head coach, to make it happen this season.

"Last week was really the first time we have had a chance to work on what we're trying to do," Martin said. "Any time you try to do something new the kids have to have time to get used to it, but they're learning pretty quick and we're going to get there."

CONCORD (6-3): Gridine, C.J. 9-11 0-0 18; Templeton, Griffin 4-6 4-4 16; Stywall, Xavier 7-9 0-0 14; Black, Darren 4-8 0-0 12; Cannady, Jalen 4-5 0-0 8; Moore, Jacquise 3-9 1-2 7; Knorr, Kendall 2-3 0-0 5; Vanderburg, Will 2-5 0-0 5; Jenkins, Patrick 2-7 0-0 4; Davis, Brian 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 37-66 5-6 89.

MYRTLE BEACH (1-6): Cobb, Steven 7-14 0-0 15; Golson, Everett 3-14 1-2 10; Goodman, Dallas 4-11 0-1 8; Jones, Timothy 3-4 0-0 6; Page, Raheem 2-5 0-0 5; Wilson, Tramond 2-3 1-2 5; Campbell, Mitchell 1-7 1-2 3; Goings, Eric 1-1 0-0 2; Sutton, Tyrone 0-0 0-0 0; Wilson, Desmond 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 23-61 3-7 54.

Halftime: Concord 44-19. 3-Point Goals: Concord 10-23 (Templeton, Griffin 4-6; Black, Darren 4-6; Knorr, Kendall 1-1; Vanderburg, Will 1-4; Jenkins, Patrick 0-2; Davis, Brian 0-3; Moore, Jacquise 0-1), Myrtle Beach 5-21 (Golson, Everett 3-8; Page, Raheem 1-3; Cobb, Steven 1-4; Wilson, Tramond 0-1; Campbell, Mitchell 0-2; Wilson, Desmond 0-1; Goodman, Dallas 0-2). Fouled Out: Concord: None, Myrtle Beach: None. Rebounds: Concord 37 (Stywall, Xavier 9), Myrtle Beach 32 (Golson, Everett 6; Goodman, Dallas 6). Assists: Concord 20 (Knorr, Kendall 5; Moore, Jacquise 5), Myrtle Beach 11 (Golson, Everett 8). Total Fouls: Concord 9, Myrtle Beach 9. Technical Fouls: Concord None, Myrtle Beach None.

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