Girls Hoops: Socastee, CF eliminated; MB dominates

Socastee predicates everything it does on defense.

But the Braves still needed some offense to go along with it.

The Region VI-5A champs were upset at home in the second round of the state playoffs on Friday, losing 34-26 to James Island in a game coach Kelly Lewis wishes she had back.

“We’re a defensive team. Holding a team to 34 points, that should be good enough to win,” Lewis said.

Instead, it was only another reminder of just how poorly the offense performed. It was, frankly, an implosion that was self-inflicted.

The same thing happened against rival St. James in the opening round on Tuesday. However, Socastee was able to skate by and keep their playoffs moving forward with a 29-27 win against the Sharks. That wasn’t the case against James Island.

The Braves had approximately 34 turnovers. And while a true shot chart isn’t kept live, the team assuredly shot under 10 percent from the floor for the game. During a 16-minute window that started at the end of the first quarter and stretched into the fourth, Socastee was able to manage only two field goals.

From the beginning of that span until the end, the Braves went from leading but three points to trailing by 11.

It was a slow bleed, and a seven-point run in the fourth quarter was little more than a band-aid.

“On any given night, some team could be hot or not,” James Island coach Emity Beyoglides said. “We were struggling to score early as well. That’s crazy that they weren’t able to do that. They weren’t attacking the basket like I thought they would. They had some quick girls, quicker than our girls, at least.”

Beyoglides said she was not able to get film of Socastee’s first-round game, so her impression of the Braves coming in was of a much better offensive team that what she saw live.

Still, that may have played into James Island’s favor. They put heavy pressure on senior forward Mercer Roberts — who was named to the Class 5A All-State team on Thursday — and forced other players to do more damage.

Mae Mae Arnold (who had a team-high nine points) scored six in the first quarter, but four of those came off steals and fast breaks, not designed plays. When it came to that, Socastee had little to offer. Roberts finished with eight, as did guard Aubrey Bowen.

As a team, Socastee had just eight field goals, well shy of the normal showing that helped them average a much more respectable 43 points per game throughout the rest of the year.

The shooting and ball-handling woes ended the season for a Braves team that won that region crown for the first time since 2003 — the year prior to St. James opening and the districting lines for Socastee being cut in half. The 15-8 record also matched the team’s high in wins since that 2003 season.

How it ended, though, wasn’t indicative of the the rest of the year.

“They played really good defense and mixed it up some,” Lewis said of James Island. “When they went [man-to-man defense], we couldn’t get into a rhythm. We just didn’t knock down shots. Turnovers killed us. You can’t turn the ball over. You have to get quality possessions. If you have 30, you’re not going to win many games. You turn the ball over 30 times, it’s not going to matter who you’re playing.”

* Myrtle Beach 62, Hilton Head 12: The Lady Seahawks turned in a defensive performance for the ages, holding host Hilton Head to 12 points in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs.

The 50-point victory is the largest of the season for the Lady Seahawks, who host AC Flora in the third round at 6 p.m. Monday.

* Fort Dorchester 68, Carolina Forest 35: The Lady Panthers saw their season come to a close on the road against the top-seeded Lady Patriots.

Photo by Janet Morgan/myhorrynews

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