By JOHN SMITHSON
The North Myrtle Beach Lady Chiefs had a tough week of 6AAAA region basketball as they lost to Wilson at home and then at West Florence Friday to fall to 3-4 in the region.
The Chiefs and Wilson came into the game last Tuesday going in different directions. Wilson (11-6) had won three region games in a row and a 3-2 record in region play. The Lady Chiefs (13-7) had dropped two of their last three games, but were also 3-2 in region play.
The smaller Lady Tigers gave the tip-off to Ty’Wreanna Woodard but then tied the Lady Chiefs up to get the ball back. Another tie-up pointed to the Chiefs, and Woodard scored the game’s first points on an inbounds pass and quick shot for a 2-0 lead. The teams traded possessions the next three times. The Chiefs missed all their shots while Wilson’s Zoey Miller scored her team’s next 9 points, with two threes, a free throw and a basket.
After Kristin Livingston made one of two free throws, the Lady Tigers Janiyah Swinton made a three-pointer for a 12-3 lead and 3:48 on the first period clock. Woodard scored for the Chiefs, but Miller drove for another Wilson basket and it was 14-5 and 3:05 on the clock. Swinton added a layup about a minute later for a 16-5 score. Faith Farmer added two free throws after she was fouled with 4 seconds on the clock, and the period ended with a 16-7 Wilson lead, all their points scored by two players.
The first three minutes of the second period was sloppy on both offensive ends, with missed shots, travel calls and turnovers for most of that time. Each team went to the foul line and made one free throw for a 17-8 score with 4:30 on the clock. Maddie Vereen drove for a basket to make it 17-10, but that score stayed until the very last minute of the period.
Swinton added two free throws and a three at the buzzer to boost the Wilson lead to 24-12, with the only Chiefs points on an Olson layup with 45 seconds left in the first half.
The Chiefs came out in the third period trying to get something started. After a couple of offensive turnovers, Lasia Livingston drove for a layup and Vereen hit one free throw for a 24-15 score. With 4:28 on the clock, Farmer scored a breakaway layup for a 28-17 score. The two teams finished the period in their travel/turnover mode, with numerous trips up and down the court, but scoring confined to a basket by each team in the last minute of play. Wilson led 30-19 after three periods.
It was more of the same in the last period. Woodard made a free throw for the Chiefs and Wilson made two free throws out of six tries at the line for a 32-20 score, when Wilson called a timeout with 5:40 left in the game. Following the timeout, Lasia Livingston scored on a put back basket and Woodard added a free throw as the Chiefs cut the Wilson lead to 32-23 with 4:15 left in the game.
Neither team scored over the next two minutes and the Chiefs wasted three trips to the foul line and added no baskets from the floor the rest of the way. Wilson added five points in the last two minutes on two baskets and a free throw by Janiyah Swinton for the Lady Tigers 37-23 region win.
Woodard led the Chiefs scoring with nine points. Janiyah Swinton scored 16 and Zoey Miller 13, for 29 of the Lady Tigers 37 points.
Last Friday the Lady Chiefs traveled to West Florence, a team they had beaten 42-22 on Jan. 10. It’s usually hard to beat many of your region foes on their home court. It ended up that way Friday. The Lady Chiefs scored 7 points in each of the first three periods and led 21-19 after that. West Florence outscored the Chiefs 16-9 in the fourth period to take a 35-30 win.
This week the Lady Chiefs met Hartsville on Tuesday at home. Hartsville came into that game with an 8-12 record and are 1-5 in the region. Tomorrow night the Chiefs play South Florence, 11-11 and 4-3 in the region. Both games are almost must-win situations for North Myrtle Beach.