Girls Hoops: MB, Conway use rallies for region wins

Myrtle Beach High girls basketball coach Jennifer Dennison had a simple message for her team at halftime of Friday’s Region 7-4A showdown with Wilson. The Lady Seahawks hear it loud and clear.

No. 5-ranked Myrtle Beach rallied from a double-digit deficit to defeat the visiting No. 9 Lady Tigers 42-41. Asia Smith’s game-winning putback with 9 seconds remaining gave the Seahawks their only lead of the contest.

“We weren’t playing with any heart, so at halftime I said, ‘Who loves basketball? Who loves to play basketball? Give me five or six girls that want to play and we will win this game,’ ” Dennison recalled. “They answered the call.”

Trailing 23-11 at halftime, Myrtle Beach had more than a handful of players come through in the clutch. Smith hit back-to-back baskets and Janell Horton hit a basket to 36-29 after three quarters of play.

Ivy Collins hit a 3-pointer and a layup to pull Myrtle Beach within to 2 midway through the period, and Ajia Kelly made a pair of steals and layups to put the Lady Seahawks down 41-40 with 15 seconds left.

With Wilson attempting to milk the clock, eighth-grader Shillae Campbell made a big steal on the inbound pass. Following a miss by Kelly, Smith got the rebound and hit the putback to give Myrtle Beach its first lead with 9 seconds left.

On the other end, Smith made a big block at the buzzer to put the game away and all but seal the Seahawks’ chances at a fifth straight region title.

Kelly led the Seahawks with 12 points and Collins and Janell Horton had nine apiece. Smith and Jaleh Horton scored six apiece.

Myrtle Beach (15-3, 5-0) swept the season series with the defending state finalists and beat No. 3 North Myrtle Beach on Tuesday.

* Conway 54, South Florence 39: The Lady Tigers used a huge fourth quarter to overcome the Lady Bruins, outscoring them 24-7 in the final period to earn a region win.

Conway trailed 32-30 entering the fourth before its senior trio combined for 19 of its 24 points in the final quarter.

Meme Williams led the Lady Tigers with 19 points and dished out eight assists. Lenaejah Evans tallied 17 points, and Neci Hemingway had 10 points and nine rebounds.

* Carolina Forest 54, Socastee 35: The Lady Panthers (15-4, 7-0) kept their undefeated region record alive with a road win over the rival Lady Braves.

Carolina Forest started off strong with an 18-point explosion in the first quarter but ran into foul trouble early in the second quarter, taking an 8-point lead into the half. After the intermission, the Panthers got back on track with a 20-point third quarter, cruising the rest of the way to the victory.

Alexis Tomlin led the Panthers in scoring with 22 points and in blocks with two. Ellen Nardella drained three 3-pointers to finish with 13. Cheyenne Pyles and Carly Skolsky added 6 points apiece.

The Panthers travel to West Florence on Tuesday.

Photo by Prep Stars Media

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