SC Warriors win their debut

The South Carolina Warriors made their debut tonight at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center to a somewhat less than capacity crowd. But that didn’t prevent the teams on the floor from giving a full out effort on both ends.

In what is being billed as Myrtle Beach’s professional basketball team, the game felt like a revisited version of the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers when the game opened with a 3 pointer by Jack Leisure, followed by a layup by Mario Edwards and then another 3 by Leisure.

The Warriors are trying every trick in the book to provide entertainment value for the fans, including a pre-game matchup of upward basketball children, celebrity jump ball, dance teams, and even the occasional music over the speakers while the game is played. It all made for a presentation that has a lot of potential, but  is still working out the kinks.

On the floor, the Warriors jumped to an early lead with a fast paced offense and kept the visiting Carolina Jaguars from Durham, North Carolina trying to play catch up through 4 quarters of action. A very physical game, the officials let em play, as they say, calling very few fouls. As one fan put it, “they call more fouls in my rec league games than they do here”.

The Warriors led by as many as 15 in the first half of action, before the Jaguars made a run midway through the 3rd to pull within 9 and keep it relatively close into the 4th quarter. That’s when the Warriors increased the speed of play and pulled away to a 116-94 lead with 3:22 left in the game.  The Cougars made one final push to come within 12 but the Warriors held on for the 118-106 win.

Jack Leisure led all scorers with 27 points, 5 of them coming from 3 point land. Marquise Gainous  had 18 points and 16 rebounds and Joseph Harris put up 10 points. Harris’s 10 points  partially came from thunderous dunks that should be expected at any professional game.

Fan reaction to this first event seemed mixed with Ryan Dunn commenting on the sloppy play, and lack of defense. But, “I’m glad we got it here, the area needs a pro something. I’ll support the team”.

Rick Poston liked the fast pace of play and was “pleasantly surprised with the turnout. In time, I think this team can do some good stuff.”

Celebrity jump ball tosser Wally B from Movin 94.5 FM said “I think it’s a good start, considering the other events going on around town tonight and the minimal marketing”.

Team owner and general manager Tony Bennett thought “the fans had a good time”, and thought the event “showed great community backing to have this many people”. He was “real happy with the way the team moved the ball, and the coaches had the players very well prepared”

The Warriors host the Columbus Riverballers on Monday night at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, tipoff 7:30 pm.

Photo Credit…..Chuck Silvey

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