Athlete of Week: Defense fuels Seahawks, Adderton

mbghoops-addertonaowIn many ways, Myrtle Beach High junior Kiana Adderton has personified the Lady Seahawks’ impressive run to the Class 3A Lower State title game: They’re both proving that defense wins championships.

Just as the Myrtle Beach offense came into the postseason on a roll, averaging 60 points per game during their nine-game winning streak to close the regular season, the Lady Seahawks have experienced a dip in point production in the playoffs with only 48 points per game.

So has Adderton, who closed the regular season on a tear by averaging 19 points per game over the final three games. The Mammy’s Kitchen Player of the Week managed only six and seven points, respectively in Myrtle Beach’s last two wins – well below her season numbers.

But both the Lady Seahawks and Adderton have turned up heat on their opponents on the defensive end, holding teams to only 33 points per game in their three playoff wins. Adderton credits the defense with putting the Lady Seahawks in position to earn a state championship.

“It was very intense but we couldn’t have done it without defense,” Adderton said following the Lady Seahawks’ 39-36 victory over Crestwood in the Lower State semifinal, which saw the Lady Seahawks limit the Lady Knights to only six points in the fourth quarter to complete the comeback win. “Defense was the key.”

Adderton, who is averaging 11 points and seven rebounds per game, is also one of Myrtle Beach’s biggest weapons on the defensive end. When the chips are down, the Lady Seahawks make up for a lack of offensive production by shutting down their opponents with a suffocating defense.

Case in point is Myrtle Beach’s season series with Wilson, which they will face Friday night for the Class 3A Lower State title. The Lady Tigers won the first meeting 56-53, but the Lady Seahawks turned the tables and turned up the pressure for a 54-33 win the second time around – and 23-point difference in points allowed.

Of course, it will all come down to Friday’s rubber match to decide which team will move on to play for the state title. Adderton knows that defense alone might not be enough to defeat their region rival in front of their hometown fans at the Florence Civic Center, so she hopes the Lady Seahawks bring the best of both games.

“We’re just going to work hard on offense and defense and come ready to play,” she said.

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