Girls Hoops: CF advances; Braves survive Shark scare

Carolina Forest wasn’t supposed to be here, hosting another playoff game.

The Panthers were too small, didn’t have a deep enough bench and were still learning how to play without last year’s impressive senior class. And during an ugly first half against White Knoll Tuesday night, it looked like the ride would end in the opening round.

Then Ally Niles started throwing up at halftime and everything changed.

The sophomore guard spurred a second-half charge en route to a 52-41 victory that pushed the Panthers to the second round of the state playoffs for the second year in a row.

As for Niles’ delayed anxiety relief? Well, better late than never.

“I normally do it before every game. I get real nervous and psych myself out,” she said. “Five seconds before a game I can get mentally focused and play the game. Everyone says when I throw up, I play better. Something must click and I get my head in the game.”

The normal pregame ritual turned halftime purge showed in her performance against the Timberwolves. She finished with a game-high 17 points and seven rebounds, and 13 and six of those figures came after the break. She had eight points in the first three minutes of the second half, a span in which the Panthers went from trailing by three to leading by as much as seven.

White Knoll kept it from becoming a blowout, but a little defensive change at halftime gave coach Stacy Hughes’ team a comfortable cushion in the closing moments. They switched approaches to put more pressure on White Knoll guard Jalisa Squirewell after she dropped 13 in the first half.

She was able to manage just two more points in the second.

The victory equated to Carolina Forest’s fourth playoff win since moving to the state’s largest classification in 2008-2009, and its third in the last two seasons. Getting to this new norm proved that maybe this is more of a program and not simply the product of three standout seniors from last season.

The Panthers, after all, lost a trio of 1,000-point career scorers in Alexis Tomlin, Cheyenne Pyles-Moultrie and Ellen Nardella. Those three last year accounted for 77 percent of the team’s scoring, 60 percent of the rebounding, 72 percent of the assists and 65 percent of the steals. They led the team to 20 wins last season and a trip to the third round of the playoffs.

“You don’t always get a home playoff game,” Hughes said. “When you do, you really need to lock it in.

“We’ve kind of overachieved expectations for all of us. In our preseason tournament, we had some good combinations and we were jelling. But we were young, so we’ve had some peaks and valleys, what you have with young teams. We’ve had some areas of really good, team basketball.”

The spurts during the second half showed that while Niles may have been the impetus, there were plenty of other contributors, too. Gabby Giracello scored 10 of her 14 after halftime (and she also had five assists and eight steals). Carly Skolsky finished with 15, 10 of which came in the third and fourth quarters.

They’ll certainly need that sort of production throughout in the second round when they travel to Fort Dorchester, a team that already eclipsed 20 victories and was ranked No. 5 in the South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association state poll entering the postseason. The Patriots blew out Berkeley in the opening round.

A tall task, to be sure, but one that Carolina Forest earned with yet another postseason victory.

“When [Tomlin, Pyles-Moultrie and Nardella] left, everyone thought we’d just do our best and have a semi-decent season,” Niles said. “But we came out and did big things and proved to people that we could keep winning.”

* Socastee 29, St. James 27: The top-seeded Lady Braves knew when they saw the Class 5A playoff brackets that it wasn’t going to be an easy run through the first round. Rival St. James backed up that fear.

In a scheduling quirk that saw the two schools separated by only a six-mile stretch of Highway 707 meet in the opening round, the Lady Braves battled to a 29-27 victory over the visiting Lady Sharks.

While Socastee won Region 6-5A and a home playoff berth, St. James earned a wild-card spot and found itself facing its archrival for the third time this season.

Socastee advances to host the winner of James Island and West Ashley on Friday.

* Myrtle Beach 48, South Aiken 15: The third-seeded Lady Seahawks breezed through their first round matchup on the road, blowiong out the Lady Thoroughbreds.

Myrtle Beach stays on the road to face top-seeded Hilton Head on Friday.

* AC Flora 53, North Myrtle Beach 51: The second-seeded Lady Chiefs couldn’t hold home court against the Lady Falcons, falling in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs.

Photo by Janet Morgan/myhorrynews

CCU offense posts record numbers on Minutemen

CCU offense posts record numbers on MinutemenCoastal Carolina football scored 42 points in the first half [more]

Week 4: Seahawks top CF; Sharks, Chiefs roll to wins

Week 4: Seahawks top CF; Sharks, Chiefs roll to winsA year ago, Darius Hough decided the only bright lights [more]

Thursday Roundup: NMB, CF volleyball roll in region

Thursday Roundup: NMB, CF volleyball roll in regionThe Carolina Forest and North Myrtle Beach volleyball teams remained [more]

Gilmore makes home run for hall of fame induction

Gilmore makes home run for hall of fame inductionCoastal Carolina baseball head coach Gary Gilmore will be inducted [more]

Monday Roundup: CF, SJ impress at Lady Patriot

Monday Roundup: CF, SJ impress at Lady PatriotThe Carolina Forest and St. James girls golf team made [more]

Strand sends record-tying four stars to Shrine Bowl

Strand sends record-tying four stars to Shrine Bowl Horry County has had an on-again, mostly off-again relationship with [more]

Chants do it with defense for second straight week

Chants do it with defense for second straight weekNot even a 44-minute lightning delay midway through the third [more]

Week 3: MB, CF roll to set up battle of undefeateds

Week 3: MB, CF roll to set up battle of undefeatedsJon "JJ" Jones returned to his old stomping grounds at [more]

Wednesday's Roundup: SJ girls go low to beat Braves

Wednesday's Roundup: SJ girls go low to beat BravesSt. James traveled to Prestwick Country Club on Wednesday to [more]

Tuesday Roundup: Wins for CF golf, NMB volleyball

Tuesday Roundup: Wins for CF golf, NMB volleyballThe reigning Class 4A state champion North Myrtle Beach High [more]

MB transfer cleared just in time to face former school

MB transfer cleared just in time to face former schoolMyrtle Beach football player J.J. Jones has been cleared to [more]

Games go on after Dorian throws schedules for loop

Games go on after Dorian throws schedules for loopDespite Hurricane Dorian costing Horry County Schools a week of [more]

Chants capture historic victory over Jayhawks

Chants capture historic victory over JayhawksCoastal Carolina football recorded its first-ever win over a Power [more]

Who's No. 1? Two teams atop latest football polls

Who's No. 1? Two teams atop latest football polls Like it did after last year’s state championship games, Horry [more]

Hurricane Dorian calls halt to Strand sports schedule

Hurricane Dorian calls halt to Strand sports scheduleHurricane Dorian is not expected to make landfall on the [more]

Coast U-19 girls pass early test, take Atlanta Cup title

Coast U-19 girls pass early test, take Atlanta Cup titleCoach R.J. Bass wanted a strong early test for his [more]

Eastern Michigan spoils Coastal's season opener

Eastern Michigan spoils Coastal's season opener The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers opened their season the same way [more]

Week 1: Historic win for SJ; MB, CF roll in openers

Week 1: Historic win for SJ; MB, CF roll in openersTommy Norwood tried to nix the Gatorade bath. He raised [more]

Welch wins World Am in East/West Coast shootout

Welch wins World Am in East/West Coast shootoutWilliam Welch (West Islip, N.Y.) shot a net 69 (gross [more]

Golf: CF packs 1-2 punch; St. James claims tri-match

Golf: CF packs 1-2 punch; St. James claims tri-matchThe Carolina Forest girls golf team made a strong showing [more]

Chiefs reach Border Battle finale, swept by Warriors

Chiefs reach Border Battle finale, swept by WarriorsThe Palmetto State made a strong showing in the Border [more]

Perfect conditions greet thousands for World Am

Perfect conditions greet thousands for World AmBeautiful weather greeted the 3,215 golfers participating in the 36th [more]

Two Coast FA boys teams crowned Triangle champs

Two Coast FA boys teams crowned Triangle champsTwo Coast FA boys teams returned home as champions from [more]

Week 0: Chiefs top Tigers; Sharks beat Lions at horn

Week 0: Chiefs top Tigers; Sharks beat Lions at hornMatt Reel sighed more than once when talking about his [more]

Six former Pelicans make big-league leap to Cubs

Six former Pelicans make big-league leap to Cubs The distance from Myrtle Beach’s TicketReturn.com Stadium to Chicago’s Wrigley [more]

CCU offense posts record numbers on Minutemen

CCU offense posts record numbers on MinutemenCoastal Carolina football scored 42 points in the first half [more]

Week 4: Seahawks top CF; Sharks, Chiefs roll to wins

Week 4: Seahawks top CF; Sharks, Chiefs roll to winsA year ago, Darius Hough decided the only bright lights [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2019 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach