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Coach Says Team Is Jelling Together

Pictured is the 2018-19 Lady Chiefs Varsity Girls basketball squad. The team is off to a great start with their 8-1 record including their recent win at Conway Tuesday evening. The final score 56-21. According to Coach Brooke Smith the players to watch are as follows: #23, Jordan Berger – averages 18 points and 10 rebounds per game (junior); #24, Daveona Hatchell – averages 14 points and 11 rebounds per game (sophomore); and #22, Janaii Boone – averages 6 points per game and 4 rebounds per game (great senior leader).

The North Myrtle Beach varsity girls team is off to a good start with a 8-1 record, with their win against Conway Tuesday evening, and a goal to make the playoffs and go at least two rounds in it.

Coach Brooke Smith said she realizes this is a challenging goal in a district so fraught with talented teams, and expects Myrtle Beach and Wilson to provide the toughest opposition. The Chiefs also lost a couple of key players to graduation in cousins Shania and Jevelyn Cox, Smith said.

But the team returns senior Janaii Boone. “She leads the team with assists, averages six points per game, and is a great, vocal leader,” Smith said. Also returning is junior Jordan Berger, the leading scorer averaging 17 points per game and Daveona Hatchell, a sophomore who is the second leading scorer with 15 points per game and leading rebounder with 10 per game.

Sophomore Ashanti White is the new point guard, following in her sister, Shania Cox’s, footsteps. “She does a wonderful job leading the offense and also has tremendous defense, using her quickness,” Smith said.

Lastly, Smith, a science teacher at the school, said she’s also getting a lot of impressive play from Jermaisha Griffin, a senior but new to the squad known for her “incredible speed” and productive shooting, and sophomore guard Adaiah Vereen, who dominated on JV her freshman year and is contributing “in all aspects of the floor,” Smith said.

Smith said the team is jelling together nicely, noting especially a recent game against West Brunswick, in which the Lady Chiefs won 65-47 “by limiting our turnovers and playing very well as a team.” They also eked out a win against Carolina Forest in a thrilling game with a score of 38-36.

All this, from an inexperienced team. “We are very young,” Smith said. “We have several that are new to the group and working to get a feel for the pace of the game as well as how each player plays. Sometimes, this is hard to achieve in a season.”

Smith said it may take some time and at least one off season to get the team where they want to be. Smith’s goal, she said, is “to make it into the playoffs by being one of the top 3 in the region and get farther than we did last year.’” The team made it into the sweet 16 but lost in the first round.