By JOHN SMITHSON
The North Myrtle Beach High School Lady Chiefs varsity basketball team stayed home last week as they lost a Wednesday game against South Florence and then beat Myrtle Beach Friday on senior night.
The Lady Bruins came into the game with the Chiefs with a 16-1 record, and second in the 6AAAA region behind Hartsville. The Lady Chiefs were 12-6 and third in the region.
The first period opened with the two teams missing shots or committing turnovers for much of the period. The Lady Bruins scored the first two points of the game on free throws and Ty Woodard tied the game at 2-2 with a basket underneath with 5:06 on the clock. South Florence added free throws from two different trips to the foul line to lead 4-2, then 6-2 after a basket with 2:30 left. Maddie Vereen took the ball the length of the court for a layup and 6-4 score with under two minutes to play, but the Bruins got two baskets in the last minute of the period to lead 10-4 after the first eight minutes of the game.
Jaden Berger scored a quick basket to start the second period, but the Bruins scored the next five points to lead 15-6 with 4:51 on the clock. A Kristin Livingston basket and two quick scores by Lasia Livingston countered a Bruin three pointer and the Chiefs trailed 18-12 with 2:52 left. The Bruins answered with a 9-1 run to end the first half with a 27-13 lead.
The Chiefs scored the first five points of the third period on a Woodard basket and three pointer by Kristin Livingston, but a long three by the Bruins made it 30-20 after Berger had scored for the Chiefs. Vereen drove for a basket and Woodard scored to cut the South Florence lead to 30-24. Vereen rebounded a Faith Farmer miss to make it 30-26 with 3:12 left in the period. The Bruins took offensive control back, holding the Chiefs scoreless while they built their lead back to 36-26, the last three points on a three by Jaida Cameron.
The Lady Chiefs opened the fourth period scoring with a layup by Vereen after a steal. After a Bruins basket, Woodard scored under the Chiefs basket to cut the lead to 38-30. The teams traded baskets for a 40-32 score with three minutes left, but the Chiefs didn’t score again until Berger hit a jumper with one minute left and a 43-34 score. South Florence scored their last four points on trips to the foul line and the Chiefs managed a Livingston basket at the buzzer that made the final score 47-36.
The Bruins Jada Montgomery led all scorers with 18 points, twelve of those in the South Florence 17 point second period. Ty Woodard led the Lady Chiefs with 10 points. Madison Vereen and Jaden Berger each scored eight points.
Despite the final score, the Lady Chiefs were in the game as coach Brooke Smith-Vereen explained. “It was a good fight for us. We had the potential to win that game, and then we turned the ball over three or four times and they were able to take the game back over. They are obviously a very talented team, a tall team with lots of good players. But we did a heck of a job, staying in there and fighting back. I was proud of them for that,” Smith-Vereen said.
The second game of the week was a Friday meeting with rival Myrtle Beach. The Lady Seahawks came into the game with 1-13 record and winless in region play. Ty Woodard scored a Lady Chiefs basket at 6:20 of the first period to start the Chiefs offense, which had some problems, netting only six points in the period. Faith Farmer nailed a three from the right side for a 5-0 lead, and Woodard added a free throw with 3:46 left to make it 6-0. The Lady Seahawks finally managed to score with a minute left and added a basket with two seconds on the clock to trail the Chiefs 6-4 after one period.
Neither team scored in the second period until Farmer drove the baseline for a basket with 5:05 on the clock and Berger scored on a drive about 20 seconds later after a Seahawks turnover. That 10-4 lead remained until Kristin Livingston made two free throws to up the lead to 12-5. The Seahawks managed only two made free throws out of six tries, while the Chiefs scored four points in the last minute of the half on two Berger free throws and a Nevaeh Washington basket for a 16-7 halftime lead.
Ty Woodard opened the third period with two baskets and Ver’Quavouis Hatchell and Charlie McIntyre added baskets for a 24-7 Chiefs lead. The Lady Seahawks hit two three pointers to make it 24-13. The Chiefs scored only five free throws the rest of the period to lead 29-16 going into the fourth period.
The Chiefs went cold to open the fourth period while the Seahawks hit a basket, a three pointer and three foul shots to close to within 29-24 and coach Brooke Smith-Vereen called a timeout. The Chiefs offense then focused on Woodard, who made the low post her home, scoring two baskets, rebounding a missed shot and adding a free throw following a foul on one of her shots from low post.
Woodard’s last basket with three minutes left gave the Chiefs a 36-26 lead and Farmer’s three point basket with 1:07 left made the final score 39-26.
The Lady Chiefs seniors were honored during halftime of the boys varsity game. Kristin Livingston, Ver’Quavouis Hatchell, Riley Vincent, Charlie McIntyre, Ty’Wreanna Woodard and Morgan Soileau (absent), were introduced and honored for their basketball career, and accompanied by family members on court.
The Lady Chiefs, 3-2 in 6AAAA region, were home Tuesday against Wilson and travel to West Florence as region games continue.