St. James, ranked No. 9 in South Carolina Class AAA, led by as many as 15 points in the fourth quarter before having to hold off the North Myrtle Beach Lady Chiefs for a 60-53 in the Region VIII-AAA opener for both teams.
St. James improves to 12-3 overall, while North Myrtle Beach falls to 10-5.
The Lady Sharks held a 50-35 advantage with 7:47 remaining in the final quarter. North Myrtle Beach used an 18-5 run to close the gap to just two points at 55-53 on a layup by Ja’Quella Livingston with 27 seconds remaining.
But Briahna Dickerson hit 3-of-4 from the free throw line and Monica Smalls scored on a layup on Dickerson’s lone free throw miss in the final 23 seconds to seal the victory for St. James.
NMB’s Taylor Allman, hampered by three fouls in the first quarter, led all scorers with 15 points. Livingston added 10 points for the Lady Chiefs, while India Farmer posted eight points, 14 rebounds and five blocked shots.
Smalls led three Lady Sharks in double figures with 14 points. Keyana Rutledge had 11 points, 10 rebounds and seven steals and Charisma Rodriguez tallied 10 points.