Top-seeded Chiefs tumble in first round to Crestwood

The top-seeded North Myrtle Beach boys basketball team’s season came to an end earlier than anyone – including the Chiefs – expected by falling to visiting Crestwood 63-58 in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs.

North Myrtle Beach (16-9) was upset in its own gym by the fourth-seeded Knights (14-9), who beat the Chiefs at their own game by going to the foul line early and often. Crestwood hit 20 of 30 free throws, many of them coming down the stretch, while the Chiefs hit just 13 of 24 from the line.

Foul trouble with the theme of the night for the Chiefs, who saw three key players foul out – leading scorer Jaquan Grissett, Jahlen Livingston and Jeff Vereen – while the Knights had none. North Myrtle Beach was whistled for 26 fouls on the night to 20 for Crestwood.

North Myrtle Beach did dominate the game from behind the 3-point arc, with Josh Lindsey connecting on seven of the Chiefs’ 11 treys. He finished with a team-high 23 points and twin brother Matt Lindsey added 13. Grissett hit three treys for 16 points before fouling out.

The Chiefs were in control throughout the first half, leading 31-24 at intermission before foul trouble began to catch up with them. Crestwood cut the deficit to one entering the third period and took the lead for good in the fourth. Crestwood guard Seth Fitzgerald scored a game-high 26 points, including 11 of 16 from the free throw line.

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