MURRELLS INLET — The St. James girls basketball team swept the season series on Friday against the Waccamaw Warriors with a 52-20 win.
“They played hard, we just got to them with our pressure,” Sharks coach Stan Patterson said of Waccamaw. “Our run at the beginning helped us coast to the win.”
“We have an inexperienced group but we’re getting a little better,” Patterson added. “The girls are working harder and we’re trying to improve every day. We did OK tonight.”
St. James went on a 14-0 run right out of the gate, and finished the first quarter with a 17-2 advantage. Hannah Price had seven points in that run for the Sharks
“We were trying to do that,” Patterson said. “We were trying to start out strong, put pressure on them, and our pressure worked for the most part.”
Said Waccamaw coach Robert Burdette: “That’s a lesson learned on our part not to come out in zone anymore. Especially on these teams that can shoot. It’s early in the year and we’re trying to get the handle on what we’re doing. We won’t be playing zone anymore. We’ll get a press group, a man group and half-court trap group and rotate a lot of kids.”
The Sharks entered the fourth quarter with a 44-13 lead, and didn’t let up at all.
“I didn’t think we’d have that much trouble with the press,” Burdette said. “We have to do better against the pressure. I wouldn’t say it surprised me, but that’s what we came here to see if we could break the pressure better. We have to get back to work.”
Despite a loss, Burdette saw the contest as a learning experience.
“They have a real good team,” Burdette said of St. James. “They play well together and they’re pretty far ahead of us. But, it does us good to play them. The pressure they put on us is going to help us in [Region VIII-AA games]. Even though we lost big, it’s good for us to come up here and play.
“They play a lot of basketball.” Burdette added. “They play a lot in the offseason, we don’t play much. They’re ahead of us as a program and probably have more kids to draw from. They have a good team, and they’re just better than we are.”
Price finished with a game-high 12 points for the Sharks.
“I thought Hannah Price did a good job running the point, and taking control of this team,” Patterson said. “She’s a junior so there’s a lot of responsibility on her to perform well.”
Bethany Goodrich nearly had a double-double for St. James as she grabbed 10 rebounds and scored eight points.
“Bethany is working hard and getting better,” Patterson said. “She understands she has to rebound the ball and I think the more we play better, the more confidence she has.”
• WACCAMAW (20) – Kayla Boyd 2, Jess Preedom 6, Aariona Wright 1, Rachel Thornton 2, Mary Tyler 3, LeAnne Thompson 6.
• ST. JAMES (52) – Kimmy Hotzelt 5, Nicole Myers 4, Anna Cavin 6, Kelsi Bachmann 7, Alexis Holmes 2, Hannah Price 12, Eldreona Hannah 8, Bethany Goodrich 8.
• 3-point goals: Waccamaw 1 (Tyler); St. James 4 (Price 2, Bachmann, Hotzelt). Team fouls: Waccamaw 14, St. James 18. Fouled out: Myers.
• Records: Waccamaw 0-5, St. James 4-2.
Contact MAX McKINNON at 444-1767.