The North Myrtle Beach girls and boys basketball teams continued a successful start to their regular season with wins over Carolina Forest and Loris last Tuesday and Friday at home.
The Lady Chiefs beat a pesky Carolina Forest squad 42-34 on Tuesday, then took care of Loris Friday night by a 50-31 score. The boys won their game against Carolina Forest by a 66-59 score, then scored in the last seconds of the fourth quarter to beat Loris 44-43.
Tuesday’s action began with the Lady Chiefs starting slowly against Carolina Forest. North Myrtle Beach had trouble against the Lady Panthers zone defense, as they fought to get first quarter points. The game’s first basket was a rebound basket by Jordan Berger and minutes later a Jenna Berger two-pointer for a 4-1 lead but Loris scored on a free throw and Ally Niles’ three-pointer for a 4-4 tie. The Lady Chiefs finally got another Jordan Berger bucket near the three- minute mark and another Berger basket and a banked jumper from Adaiah Vereen for a 10-6 first quarter lead.
The Lady Chiefs scored only six points in the second quarter, while the Lady Panthers roared back to take a 17-16 halftime lead. North Myrtle Beach could only manage free throws made by Daveona Hatchel and Jenna Berger at the 4:51 mark of the quarter, while a free throw, basket and another three-pointer tied it up for Carolina Forest at 12-12. Jenna Berger scored a basket with a nice Hatchell assist for a 14-12 lead and with 1:04 left another rebound basket, while Carolina Forest scored five points in the last minute to take the lead into the locker room.
The Lady Chiefs began the third quarter by missing their first three shots before Jordan Berger rebounded a shot in and Jenna Berger added three free throws but Carolina Forest hit two threes and made foul shots for a 25-21 lead near the four minute mark of the quarter. Jordan Berger scored on a layup after a steal and Riley Vincent hit a three-pointer from the top of the key for a 26-25 lead. Vincent then added another key three-point shot with under ten seconds remaining in the quarter for a 29-25 NMB lead after three quarters.
Vincent wasn’t finished. She started the Lady Chiefs scoring in the fourth quarter with a rebound in the lane put back for a basket, added another three-pointer and two more late points to key the Lady Chiefs advantage, while the Chiefs were holding Carolina Forest to nine points in the quarter and a 42-34 final score. Other Chiefs scoring in the fourth quarter were Jordan Berger and Jenna Berger. Final scoring leaders were Jordan Berger with 14 points, Riley Vincent with 13 and Jenna Berger with 12 points.
Coach Brooke Smith stated that it was difficult to beat a team three times. “We beat them by eleven points in pre-season, by 25 last week and tonight we trailed at then half. They used a different defense, a triangle and two on Jordan Berger and our shots were not falling. I told them at halftime that if they wanted it, they would have to make it happen. They didn’t roll over and we fought back to win,” Smith said.
The Chiefs game with Carolina Forest started slowly and a bit sloppy, with the score at the 5:40 point of the first quarter tied 2-2. Then Alex Greene hit a three from the left side for a 5-2 lead for the Panthers, before Javi Marlowe hit a jumper and Kymani Knox a lay-in for a 6-5 Chiefs lead. The Panthers took the lead right back 7-6 but the Chiefs scored eleven points in the last three minutes, three-pointers by Javi Marlowe, Elijah Vereen and Riley Vincent and a jumper for two by Vincent.
The Chiefs continued to add to their lead in the second quarter. The teams traded baskets for the first half of the quarter, the Chiefs holding a 24-17 lead. Following a Carolina Forest jumper and a 26-19 score, the Chiefs used a tenacious defense and baskets by Cameron Gore-Gause and Tyree Smith to take a 32-21 halftime lead.
The Chiefs came out firing in the third quarter. Holding the Panthers to five points in the first five minutes, the Chiefs built a 49-26 lead, keyed by three three-pointers from Travis Collins, a Chad Beasley basket, a three-point play from Gause and made free throws from Knox and Elijah Vereen. Just as quickly Carolina Forest shut down the Chiefs offense while scoring twelve points in the last 2:33 of the quarter and a 49-38 Chiefs lead after three periods.
The Chiefs were able to stay even or build slightly on their lead with NMB leading 56-45 and 4:16 left in the game. Tyree Smith’s drive for two points was the last two-point basket the Chiefs would make in the game. Meanwhile, Carolina Forest made it interesting, with a pressing defense, a couple of three-pointers getting them as close as 61-55. However, the Chiefs were able to make enough free throws down the stretch to hold on to a 66-59 victory.
On Friday, Dec. 13, the Chiefs teams met Loris for the second time this season. In the girls game the Lady Chiefs got off to a slow start, leading Loris 4-3 at the 4:31 point of the first period. Then Jordan Berger scored two baskets in a row and Jenna Berger followed with a basket and assist from Daveona Hatchell for a 10-3 lead. Loris got a couple of free throws to make it 10-5 but a Destinee Vereen layup and a soft one-hander by Jenna Berger gave the Lady Chiefs a 14-5 lead after the first period.
North Myrtle Beach came out strong in the second quarter with Jordan Berger scoring underneath and then taking the ball the length of the court for a layup. Jenna Berger made one of two foul shots and Riley Vincent drove the lane for a basket and a quick 21-5 lead. Things got messy for the next few possessions as both teams traded turnovers until Carlin Sharpe hit a one-hander at the 3:27 mark to make it 23-5. The Lady Lions Keyona Hemingway drove for a basket, the only Loris points of the quarter. The Lady Chiefs scored four more points to lead at the half 27-7.
Loris played even with North Myrtle Beach in the third quarter as An’Yana Hayes scored five of the team’s nine points. North Myrtle Beach got a three-point basket by Riley Vincent and baskets by Hatchell and Vereen to highlight their nine third-quarter points.
Loris started the fourth quarter with a three by Corteria Chestnut, but the remainder of the Lady Lions scoring came from Hayes. The Lady Chiefs were led by the Bergers, with Jordan Berger scoring on a drive down the lane, a layup and a basket on an inbounds pass under the basket. Jenna Berger joined her sister with four of her own baskets in the final eight minutes. Jenna Berger led all scorers with 17 points, Jordan Berger had 14 and An’Yana Hayes led Loris scoring with 15 points.
Chiefs coach Brooke Smith called the game a “typical rivalry game. You never know how these games will go. Loris has some strong athletes. They pressed us and challenged our offense but we were able to solve their press and finish on top,” Smith said.
The final game of the night was North Myrtle Bach and Loris in a thriller. Loris started the scoring with a free throw and a basket by Jaleel Chestnut and an early 3-0 lead. The Chiefs answered with a jumper in the lane by Cameron Gore-Gause. Loris added a basket before the Chiefs took an 8-5 lead on baskets by Travis Collins, Chad Beasley and Rogan Vincent. Loris then closed out the quarter with a drive by Jamarious Herring and a three-point basket by Jaquon Dewitt to lead 10-8 after one quarter.
The Chiefs came out strong in the second quarter with baskets by Travis Collins, Javi Marlowe, Chad Beasley and Collins again for a 16-12 lead. Dewitt scored for Loris off a steal to make it 16-14 with 2:38 left in the half. The Chiefs added three points in the last minute on a Gore-Gause basket and Beasley free throw but Loris‘ D.J. Blakemore hit a three-point shot with three seconds left to end the half with NMB leading 19-17.
The Chiefs scored the first points of the third quarter on a rebound put-back by Collins. Dewitt scored for Loris on a steal and layup and Beasley answered with a jumper and a Chiefs 23-19 lead. Dewitt answered for Loris with a three-pointer, followed by two Chiefs baskets. After William Hemingway hit two free throws, the Chiefs took a timeout at the 4:26 mark and a 27-24 advantage. Following the timeout Dewitt hit another three and his teammates added a layup and a free throw for a 30-27 Loris lead after three quarters.
The final quarter began with Loris scoring the first two baskets on a drive down the lane and a put-back basket by Hemmingway for a 34-27 lead. Tyree Smith answered with a driving basket, added a foul shot and Knox drove for a basket as the Chiefs cut the Loris lead to 34-32. Kennan Chestnut made the front end of a one and one for Loris but Marlowe answered with a three-pointer for the Chiefs and a 35-35 tie. The Chiefs got two free throws to go ahead by two before Dewitt nailed another three to put Loris up 38-37 with 3:19 left in the game. Knox scored for the Chiefs to give them a 39-38 lead but Loris answered with a basket by Blakemore. Marlowe got the Chiefs back in front 41-40 converting two free throws.
The Chiefs got a timeout with 1:10 left and the ball but immediately after that Loris had the ball and the lead back when Dewitt hit a big three from the right side and the Loris crowd erupted. Loris led 43-41 with 29.3 seconds left and the Chiefs called timeout. The Chiefs got the ball in, moved it around trying to get a shot and finally found Rogan Vincent open on the left side. He got the ball and as the Loris defender came toward him, he let it go. The swish was followed by the roaring sound of NMB fans as the Loris players tried to go down court for a shot. Their final attempt was rebounded by North Myrtle Beach and the game ended, 44-43. Chiefs win.
After the game the fans hung around to savor the win and coach Ryan Walker delayed his team’s trip to the locker room to let them enjoy the victory as well. “One thing that drew us to come here was the rival game aspect and the awesome high school atmosphere that comes with playing rivals. Not everyone can experience situations where the players know each other and have played each other for years. Loris is a good team. It was ugly at times tonight. We didn’t shoot well and our threes didn’t go down. They made it tough on us. That last shot made the difference,” Walker said.
Rogan Vincent, who made the winning shot, didn’t talk much about that. “I think the team played good tonight. Our hustle and rebounding helped us win the game,” Vincent said. And that shot, I’ll add.
The Chiefs teams traveled to Socastee this Monday to take on the Braves and both squads continued their undefeated season. The Lady Chiefs beat Socastee 51-46 and the Chiefs won big, beating the Braves 71-45. North Myrtle Beach returned home Tuesday night to play non-conference games against Conway.