Basketball

North Myrtle Beach’s size has been its biggest strength all season.

The Chiefs made sure to use it again.

Behind 39 combined points from forwards Jenna Berger, Jordan Berger and Daveona Hatchell, North Myrtle Beach rolled to a 59-45 win at Myrtle Beach on Friday. 

“It’s a coach’s dream to be in that situation where you can finally see your trifecta doing their role and doing what they need to do,” Chiefs head coach Brooke Smith said.

Against the Seahawks, what they did was dominate.

Jenna Berger scored a team-high 18 points in 25 minutes. Jordan Berger had 12 points, and Hatchell had nine. That was only part of it.

After 12 rebounds from Hatchell, nine from Jordan Berger and eight from Adaiah Vereen, the Chiefs more than doubled up Myrtle Beach on the glass (47-21). They also held a 40-24 advantage in points in the paint.

It hardly even mattered that Myrtle Beach's Starashia Alston had a monster game. The Seahawks guard finished with 22 points on nine-of-12 shooting and added five rebounds, two steals and an assist.

The combined effort of those in the Chiefs jersey took care of business.

“It makes us really confident because we work so well together,” Jenna Berger said. “We’ve played together since we were in middle school. To come out and play like this makes me really excited for the next few weeks and when the playoffs start.”

That’s not all that far off.

Following Tuesday’s regular season finales for both teams, they’ll each head to the postseason, albeit on slightly different footing. 

For the second year in a row, Myrtle Beach failed to secure a top-two region finish — something that was almost unheard of prior to last winter. Dennison’s team still made a run to the Class 4A lower state championship game in 2019, but this year’s prospects of a similar run seem less likely.

In order to continue an impressive streak, the Seahawks will need to do something they’ve so rarely had to do — start out on the road. Myrtle Beach has won at least two playoff games each season for six straight years — dating back to Jennifer Dennison’s second year as head coach — the longest such streak of any team in the area.

As for the Chiefs, North Myrtle Beach is already out of the running for the region title — Wilson locked up that honor earlier in the week. But Smith’s team is already guaranteed the second-place spot out the region and will open the playoffs at home in a little over a week.

At that time, the Chiefs will already have their game plan ready to go around their big three.

“There’s no tricks,” Smith said. “We push the ball as hard as we can.”

Contact Charles D. Perry at 843-488-7236

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