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NMB Chiefs girls and boys basketball teams have full week of tournament play


While most of us spent last week doing some last minute Christmas shopping or baking cookies, the boys and girls basketball teams from North Myrtle Beach High School were playing in Christmas tournaments.

The girls didn’t have to go too far as they were playing in the United Bank Holiday Invitational Tournament in Myrtle Beach.

The UBHI is a preliminary event to this week’s Beach Ball Classic Tournament, which for over 40 years has been a classic high school basketball tournament featuring future stars such as Kobe Bryant.

The tradition of the Beach Ball Classic games also became associated with the late John Rhodes, the tournament director of the event for 26 years prior to his death.

The Lady Chiefs began play last Monday at the Rhodes Sports Center, with games also played at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. Game one in their bracket saw Bishop O’Connell beat Socastee 61-17.

Westlake (Ga.) defeated Military Magnet (SC) 70-48 in game two. Philip Simmons (SC) beat Brunswick (GA) in the third game, and the Lady Chiefs ended the first day of competition with a win over First Baptist (SC), beating them 42-35.

Last Tuesday the losers of day one games started the day’s play. Military Magnet beat Socastee 64-40. Brunswick beat First Baptist 66-27. In the winners bracket, Bishop O’Connell defeated Westlake 55-46 in the first game of winners from day one. Philip Simmons then beat the Lady Chiefs 33-31.

The Chiefs got out to a 13-11 first period lead, but the teams combined for only nine points in the second period, with NMB leading 18-15 at halftime. Philip Simmons came back to tie the game 24-24 at the end of three periods and held on to win 33-31.

The Lady Chiefs coach Brooke Smith-Vereen is counting on her young talent to help the Chiefs in region 6-AAAA action this year after the loss of senior point guard Riley Vincent and sophomore forward Destinee Vereen to injury. Maddie Vereen, #3, shooting a jump shot, is an eighth grader being counted on for the remainder of the season as the season enters its region games. Photos by John Smithson

The Lady Chiefs shot 23 percent from the floor, but did make 5 of 22 three-point shots. The Chiefs hit only 6 of 12 free throws, and Philip Simmons had 13 steals to aid their cause.

Kristin Livingston had 11 points to lead the Chiefs, with Faith Farmer scoring 10, Ty’Wreann Woodard 9 points and Nevaeh Washington 8 points. Jaden Berger chipped in with 7 points.

The third day of play saw Bishop O’Connell defeat Philip Simmons 48-34 in the championship game. The Lady Chiefs played in consolation games, taking on Westlake and losing 46-38.

This week the Lady Chiefs are home in their two-day NMB Holiday Classic. North Myrtle Beach played yesterday at 4 p.m. and tonight at 5:30. Besides the Chiefs, Lakewood, Marion and Gray Collegiate are scheduled to play in the tournament. Region play starts next Friday at Wilson.

The Chiefs boys squad was home last week hosting the Shootout By The Sea Tournament. The Chiefs began play last Wednesday with a 74-58 win over Chapin. They lost to Woodberry Forest 44-25 on Thursday, but then bounced back to take third place in the tournament with a 61-35 victory over Swansea, S.C., a 5A team in region 4.

The Chiefs finished the week with a season record of 5-5.

The Chiefs are in Greenville this week to take part in the Poinsettia Classic Tuesday through Thursday. They also begin region play at Wilson next Friday.

About Ruben Lowman