Nolin Butler and his Myrtle Beach teammates wanted to make sure last week’s victory over region front-runner North Myrtle Beach wasn’t a fluke.
The Seahawks did that – defeating Georgetown in the return to the court Tuesday. However, they also discovered another lesson in consistency during the 71-68 win over the Bulldogs.
After rushing out to an 18-point halftime lead, Myrtle Beach had needed every bit of its play down the stretch to hold off a hard-charging Georgetown team.
“A win’s a win, but it got ugly the second half,” Butler said after Myrtle Beach improved to 10-9 overall and 3-2 in Region VII-AAA. “We’ve got to prepare for it better next time. We were definitely inconsistent.”
The two halves were a microcosm of what coach Craig Martin has seen much of the season. The team’s guards, including Butler, Soloman Cooper and Mason Lewis, can hit stretches where they dominate opposing players.
They did that Friday against the Chiefs, and they did it in the first half against Georgetown Tuesday.
However, when those three and the rest of the team’s back-court players are off, it’s another story.
They did enough against the Bulldogs to make sure there was no let-down after last week’s big win.
Lewis finished with a team-high 16 points. Butler added 16 of his own, and Cooper scored 12, all of which came in the opening 16 minutes.
It was the strong play of Georgetown’s inside players, though, that nearly negated those efforts.
“It was the rebounding more than anything else,” Martin said. “They were physical underneath. We were getting pushed out of position and they were going to make their second-half shots.
“We just had a hard time matching up with their big guys. Thank God we played well the first half and built that lead up.”
Georgetown’s front-court lineup of Anthony Blair, A.J. Walker and Charlie McGirt certainly had their way around the basket after halftime. Due in part to plenty of second-chance opportunities, Blair ended the game with 27 points and Walker had 10.
Those two were also largely responsible for a full-court defense that led to 14 second-half Myrtle Beach turnovers.
“They played a press that we really haven’t seen before,” Butler said. “We didn’t make the shots in the second half that we made in the first half. We need to make those throughout the game.”
They made enough of them, however, to move into sole possession of third place at the midway point of the region season. North Myrtle Beach and St. James hold the top two spots.
The Seahawks head to Wilson on Friday while Georgetown, now 2-3 in Region VII-AAA, will have a home game against Socastee.
• 3-point goals: GT 1 (Chen); MB – 4 (S. Cooper 2, T. Lewis, Butler). Fouled out: Gray. Technical fouls: None. Team fouls: GT: 17, MB 20.
• Records: Georgetown 11-8, 2-3 Region VII-AAA; Myrtle Beach 9-9, 3-2.
Georgetown girls hold on
Georgetown took advantage of 16 points from Taziya Moody and a strong defensive second quarter to defeat Myrtle Beach 36-32 on the road.
The Bulldogs did not allow Myrtle Beach to score in the second quarter and led 16-8 at halftime. They then held off a Seahawk rally in the fourth quarter to seal the victory. Moody connected on three 3-pointers in the game, and teammate Raven Smith added two more.
The victory was just the third since Dec. 14 for Georgetown, but it was the second in Region VII-AAA play. The Bulldogs improved to 9-6 overall and 2-3 in the region.
Myrtle Beach, which got a team-high 14 points from senior Tanisha Brown, dropped to 11-8 overall and 3-2 in Region VII-AAA. The Seahawks, courtesy of Socastee’s loss to North Myrtle Beach, remained in second place in the region.
The Bulldogs will have Socastee at home Friday, while Myrtle Beach heads to Wilson.
• 3-point goals: GT – 5 (Moody 3, Smith 2); MB – None. Fouled out: Myers. Technical Fouls: None. Team fouls: GT: 12; MB: 13.