Athlete of the Week: NMB’s Stanaland adds triple threat

nmbhoops-14jumperThe early scouting report on the North Myrtle Beach boys basketball team was well known by opponents: Stop the Lindsey twins and you can stop the Chiefs.

But that strategy is out the door now that NMB seniors Matt and Josh Lindsey have been joined to form a triple threat. Matthew Stanaland has stepped forward as a scorer just as the Chiefs have become a state title contender.

Stanaland, a junior guard and emerging star for NMB, was voted the Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Week after leading the Chiefs on a late-season surge. He has averaged 16 points per game for NMB over the past four games.

“Earlier in the season I was just focusing more on defense and rebounding and other things I could do to help the team,” Stanaland said. “I think teams were so focused on shutting down Josh and Matt that someone needed to pick it up.”

After posting a modest 10 point per game average into Region 7-3A play, Stanaland helped the team by playing lock-down defense on tough assignments and by hitting the boards. But he has seen his scoring numbers skyrocket lately.

Stanaland recorded point totals of 19 and 23 in a pair of key region wins last week. Although his recent surge may seem a bit sudden, Stanaland credits his decision to give up other sports to concentrate on hoops.

“Last year I decided to focus on basketball year round, and it’s made a big difference,” Stanaland said. “My shooting has really improved, but so has my defense and rebounding, just my all-around game. It’s really paying off.”

And putting the Chiefs in position to challenge first-place Myrtle Beach for the league title, and perhaps even a state title. “That’s what we’re shooting for,” Stanaland said.

Photo by Shannon Keevert

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