By JOHN SMITHSON
The North Myrtle Beach Chiefs lost 51-49 to South Florence last Wednesday and then ended the week on the short end of a 57-47 score in Friday’s second home game of the week.
South Florence came into North Myrtle Beach with a 9-9 overall record and 2-1 in 6AAAA region play and immediately set the tone for the game with high speed play, a pressing defense and no fear of taking a three point shot. The Bruins high scorer for the game, Jamarie Brown, quickly hit a jumper for a 2-0 lead, but Cash Brown answered with a jumper for a 2-2 tie. Jackson Robinson’s driving hook shot for a Bruins basket made it 4-2. After Jamie Brooks made one of two free throws, the Bruins scored six quick points, the last two baskets a steal and stuff by the Bruins defenders.
With 3:11 left in the first period, the Chiefs called a timeout, and afterwards scored a quick basket on another jumper by Cash Brown. That 10-5 score became 17-5 at the end of the period, as the visitors converted Chiefs mistakes into points.
The Bruins came out firing in the second period, converting Chiefs missed shots to quick baskets and a 21-5 lead. Wells Hill hit a three from the left corner, but the Bruins made it 25-8. Brooks hit a free throw and Ty Hopkins rebounded a missed Chiefs shot in for a 25-11 score. Zach McHugo hit a three pointer, but the Bruins Joseph McMillan sank three of four free throws and the deficit remained 14 points, 28-14, the Chiefs trailing, with over three minutes to play in the half.
The Bruins offense cooled a bit over the remainder of the period as they scored only three more points, while the Chiefs used three pointers by McCain and a long bank-shot three by Connor Henley, as well as a driving basket by Brooks for a 31-22 Bruins lead at halftime.
South Florence outscored the Chiefs 10-4 in the first three and one half minutes of the third period, with McMillan accounting for six of the points for the Bruins. With the score 41-26, it was the Chiefs turn for a scoring run, as they narrowed the Bruins lead to 42-31 by the end of the third period.
Joshua Surigao and Brooks scored four points on layups to start the fourth period as the Chiefs closed the gap to 44-39 with 4:20 left in the game. After the Bruins missed four free throws on two trips to the foul line, Brooks scored to make it 44-41. Jamarie Brown upped the lead to 46-41 and the Chiefs took a timeout. The teams then traded turnovers until a Chiefs foul gave the Bruins a chance at the foul line. Terrance Moore made both shots for a 48-41 score with 1:09 on the clock.
McCain Moses hit a three for the Chiefs with 59 seconds left for a 48-44 score. The teams traded free throws made and it was 49-45. McMillan made two free throws for a 51-45 lead for the Bruins with less than 20 seconds left in the game. Cash Brown came down court and made a three point play to cut the lead to 51-49. After another intentional NMB foul and missed Bruin free throws, the Chiefs had the ball out of bounds with 7.5 seconds left. They got the ball in, but McCain was unable to get a clean shot off as the buzzer sounded and South Florence escaped with a 51-49 victory.
Cash Brown led the Chiefs scorers with 12 points. Jamie Brooks had 11 points and McCain Moses 8 points. All but one Chief scored points, as coach Ryan Walker had to use his bench throughout to try and keep players from fouling out.
Last Friday the Chiefs closed out their “home” week with their first region matchup of the season with Myrtle Beach. The Seahawks came in winless for the season and in the region.
The game started with the Chiefs missing their first four shots on trips down the court, while Myrtle Beach scored first before Cash Brown rebounded a shot in for a 2-2 tie with 5:26 on the clock. Ty Hopkins got a chance for points as he stepped to the line after being fouled with 4:28 left. He converted both free throws for a 4-2 Chiefs lead. The teams traded points until it was 8-8 with under two minutes left in the first period. Myrtle Beach then hit a three pointer and another basket while holding the Chiefs to a Jamie Brooks jumper for a 13-10 first quarter lead.
The Seahawks offense took early control in the second period, scoring six unanswered points for a 19-10 lead. The Chiefs battled back to trail 21-16, before the Seahawks embarked on another offensive push, out scoring the Chiefs 9-0 for a 30-16 lead. A couple of late Moses baskets narrowed the halftime Myrtle Beach advantage to 34-23.
The Chiefs got things going in the third period. McHugo hit a three and Brown a rebound basket to cut the Seahawks lead to 36-28. Two Brooks baskets made it 36-32 and another Brooks rebound basket 36-34. The teams stayed even for the last two minutes, with Myrtle Beach leading 41-38 after three periods.
The Chiefs couldn’t improve on the margin separating them in the last period. The Chiefs were forced to foul the Seahawks for much of the last four minutes of the game, and the Seahawks obliged by making nine of twelve free throws over the last four minutes to take a 57-47 win in their first of two rivalry games with Myrtle Beach. The closest the Chiefs got in the final minutes was 53-47 before the Seahawks pulled away.
Jamie Brooks led the Chiefs scoring with 13 points, while J Simmons led the Seahawks, scoring 10 of his game-high 18 points in the second quarter.
The Chiefs were home Tuesday against Wilson. They travel to West Florence tomorrow.