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N. Myrtle Beach High School
Little River

North Myrtle Beach hoping to be healthy for stretch run in region

 

By David Shelton

Senior Writer

Little River – With one of their better players sitting out with a knee injury, the North Myrtle Beach girls basketball team has continued to build on the success of last season.

The Chiefs have won 12 of their first 15 games heading into play on January 15 and second-year coach Brooke Smith could not be more pleased.

“I really like the way we’re playing, we’re playing really solid basketball overall,” said Smith, who led the program to 19 wins last season. “We’re definitely a solid basketball team and I think we’re getting better each day. This is a tight knit group. The chemistry is good. This is a good group of girls.”

The Chiefs have been without one of their top returning players, junior forward Jenna Berger, since the start of the season. Berger, who averaged about nine points per game last season, has been dealing with a knee issue. She could possibly return before the end of the season, according to Smith.

“She’s a good player and she would have certainly helped but the important thing is getting her healthy,” Smith said. “If she is able to return at some point, it will help us. But are prepared to play the season out until she can play.”

Berger’s twin sister, forward Jordan Berger, is having a solid season. Jordan leads the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 18 points and 10 rebounds per game. She averaged 13 points and eight rebounds last season.

Sophomore Daveona Hatchell has upped her play this year as well. Hatchell averaged 9.4 points and 7.2 rebounds last season but is up to 14 points and 10 boards this season. She also rates as the team’s top shooter from beyond the arc.

 Two of the team’s three seniors are in the starting lineup. Janaii Boone is averaging five points per game and Jermaisha Griffin, a first-year player in the program, is adding six points per game and has taken up some of the slack with Berger out.

“Jermaisha has been a tremendous help,” Smith said. “For her not playing at all before, she has really stepped up for us. We’re very happy that she joined the program this season.”

North Myrtle Beach won their first two region games, including a win over rival Myrtle Beach, but dropped a game against state power and region favorite Wilson. The region also includes Darlington, Hartsville and Marlboro County.

“It’s a very tough region but we are certainly capable of being in the hunt,” Smith said. “The goal is to win the region or at least be in the top two at the end. I think it’s going to be a good battle and we expect to be in it until the end.”

 

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