Athlete of the Week: Bell toils for young Socastee

socghoops-kirabellThe young Socastee High girls basketball team is starting to come of age. And, not coincidentally, so is freshman Kira Bell.

The 5-foot-8 guard has spearheaded the Lady Braves recent rise to second place in the Region 7-3A standings, and in more ways than just scoring. The versatile, hard-working Bell scored 23 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, made four steals and three assists in Socastee’s 49-40 win over Georgetown on Saturday.

“She’s a freshman guard that can play any position on the floor,” Socastee girls basketball coach Ginger Ford said of Bell, the Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Week. “She’s the strongest ninth-grader I have ever coached. She has endless potential.”

Bell is starting to show that potential at just the right time as Socastee (12-7 overall, 3-2 region) makes a run for a region title or a No. 2 seed. Bell is stepping up her game, as are the Lady Braves, and the results are starting to show.

“we’re learning from our mistakes and starting to work together more as a team,” Bell said of the Lady Braves. “As for me personally, Ive learned I have to have the right mindset to do whatever I can to help us win.”

Bell has been a force for Socastee all season on the boards and defensively, which is the Lady Braves’ calling card. But Bell’s scoring also is on the rise, perhaps a sign of her feeling more comfortable taking a lead role as a freshman. But she’s certainly not playing like one.

“Coach tells us all the time, ‘Defense wins games,’ ” Bell said. “We have a lot of people who can step up for us on offense, but even when we’re having an off night we can still win by playing good D.”

The Lady Braves will need it for the hectic coming days. Last week’s ice storm forced a busy schedule of region rivals Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach on back-to-back nights. Those games will go a long way toward determining Socastee’s playoff positioning, and so will the play of Bell.

Photo by Shannon Keevert

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