0117 CF Conway boys_JM05.JPG

Conway's Xavier Kinlaw drives past Carolina Forest's Jaylyn Bridges in the game on Friday. Conway won 77-59. Photo by Janet Morgan/janet.morgan@myhorrynews.com

When Mike Hopkins says that he likes where his team’s focus is right now, he’s citing the attention to detail, but also its ability to not look ahead.

Take Friday, for instance, when the Conway boys basketball team put together a strong second half that withstood a couple of Carolina Forest runs and actually allowed the Tigers to eventually double up on their nine-point halftime advantage. It’s a big reason Conway is now in the driver’s seat for the Region VI-5A title at 3-0, regardless of how early it is.

“We can’t think that way. We’re going to try to focus on one at a time,” Hopkins said after his team’s victory over the Panthers. “We haven’t even seen everybody yet. After next week, we’ll talk to ‘em.”

In the coming days, Conway is going to either be able to start feeling like it really is a region front-runner or end up losing that pole position into a cluster of opposition. The variance is because of who’s next on the docket.

On Tuesday, the Tigers will face a Socastee program that has struggled mightily with just about everyone. The Braves have some budding pieces that could help change the culture from the one-win team of 2019-2020 (so far) in the coming years. For now, Socastee is already probably just hoping to play the role of spoiler here and there.

And then on Friday, Conway will take on West Florence, one of the three teams currently tied for second place at 2-1 inside region play.

Should the Tigers win both games, and regardless of any of the other results, Hopkins’ team will have a two-game buffer over four of the five other teams and a one-game lead (and the immediate head-to-head tiebreaker) over the next-best squad.

It’s easy to see why the perception of Conway basketball is maybe only a couple more victories from taking the next leap forward.

MYRTLE BEACH’S KNOX REACHES NEXT SCORING MILESTONE

Senior guard and Charleston Southern signee Emorie Knox has been putting up points since he first appeared on the varsity roster as an eighth grader.

And last week, he surpassed 1,500 for his career.

Knox, who sits at 1,516 points in four-and-a-half seasons, is already closing in on 400 for this year with at least six regular-season games and likely at least one playoff contest remaining in a Myrtle Beach uniform. Knox’s scoring has consistently improved each year — with 135 as an eighth grader, 264 as a freshman, 297 as a sophomore, 462 last year and already 358 so far this winter.

CAROLINA FOREST’S WATKINS DAY-TO-DAY

Kyle Watkins isn’t his team’s leading scorer, but one of the area’s best point guards is certainly among the most important cogs in first-year coach Emmanuel Dewalt’s budding program.

The team, then, is hoping for his swift return.

Watkins injured his right shoulder in the team’s win over South Florence last Tuesday before sitting out Friday’s rivalry game against Conway, a double-digit loss. Dewalt said Watkins practiced in a limited capacity Monday and could return as early as this week.

REGION GAMES TO WATCH

Carolina Forest at West Florence (girls), Tuesday: No doubt that this one is huge, as either the Panthers or Knights will almost certainly win the Region VI-5A title.

Myrtle Beach at Marlboro County (boys), Tuesday: Craig Martin’s team could afford an early lump in this ultra-competitive division. Two in the first four region games may be detrimental.

West Florence at Conway (boys), Friday: These two teams technically shared the region crown last year, but the winner here gets an early leg up on this winter’s title.

Marlboro County at North Myrtle Beach (girls), Friday: North Myrtle Beach won’t have much wiggle room to land a home playoff game if it can’t win home games like this one.

REGION STANDINGS:

Boys

Region VI-5A

1. CON 3-0

2. CF 2-1

2. STJ 2-1

2. WF 2-1

6. SOC 0-3

6. SF 0-3

Region VI-4A

1. MC 3-0

2. MB 2-1

2. NMB 2-1

4. DAR 1-2

4. WIL 1-2

6. HART 0-3

Region VI-3A

1. LC 1-0

1. MAR 1-0

3. DIL 1-1

3. LOR 1-1

5. CHE 1-1

6. AYN 0-2

Region VI-1A

1. GSF 0-0

1. HEM 0-0

1. LV 0-0

Region games start later this month

Girls

Region VI-5A

1. WF 3-0

1. CF 3-0

3. SF 1-2

3. CON 1-2

3. SOC 1-2

6. STJ 0-3

Region VI-4A

1. WIL 3-0

2. NMB 2-1

3. MC 1-2

3. HART 1-2

3. MB 1-2

3. DAR 1-2

Region VI-3A

1. DIL 2-0

2. MAR 1-0

3. LOR 1-1

3. AYN 1-1

5. LC 0-1

6. CHE 0-2

Region VI-1A

1. GSF 0-0

1. HEM 0-0

1. LV 0-0

Region games start later this month

AREA STATS LEADERS 

NAME

SCHOOL

PPG

TOTAL PTS

Emorie Knox

MB

21.1

358

Tonka Hemingway

CON

19.2

250

Ayden Hickman

MB

17.3

277

Mike Herrin

SOC

16.0

256

Cameron Spain

SOC

15.3

199

Tim Steele

CON

15.2

274

Dalton Stroud

GSF

15.0

90

Will Hemingway

LOR

14.6

131

Jeremiah Nesbitt

STJ

13.8

235

Javi Marlowe

NMB

12.3

185

NAME

SCHOOL

RPG

TOTAL REB

Tonka Hemingway

CON

11.6

151

Cameron Spain

SOC

11.4

148

Will Hemingway

LOR

11.0

99

Jajuan Arocho

GSF

8.0

48

Kymani Knox

NMB

7.6

114

Darius Hough

MB

7.0

84

Candido Ortiz-Robles

STJ

6.3

114

Mikah Nelson

CF

5.6

100

Kyle Watkins

CF

5.1

77

Tim Steele

CON

5.0

90

NAME

SCHOOL

APG

TOTAL ASSISTS

Emorie Knox

MB

4.6

78

Kyle Watkins

CF

4.5

67

Tonka Hemingway

CON

4.5

58

Jaylyn Bridges

CF

3.2

45

Candido Ortiz-Robles

STJ

3.2

58

  

NAME

SCHOOL

PPG

TOTAL PTS

Jordan Berger

NMB

15.6

219

Jenna Berger

NMB

12.9

181

Ari’Yonna Hayes

LOR

11.6

163

Ally Niles

CF

10.9

152

Carlie Skolsky

CF

10.1

172

Reilly Ward

CF

8.7

156

Shkyra Moultrie

AYN

8.7

78

Riley Vincent

NMB

8.6

120

Daveona Hatchell

NMB

8.2

115

Gabby Ciracello

CF

8.1

145

Corteria Chestnut

LOR

7.2

93

Keyonna Ridges

GSF

6.4

58

  

NAME

SCHOOL

RPG

TOTAL REB

Ari’Yonna Hayes

LOR

11.1

156

Jordan Berger

NMB

9.1

127

Daveona Hatchell

NMB

8.2

115

Jyshae Pope

GSF

6.6

86

Corinn Smith

STJ

6.1

104

Brieonna Gore

GSF

5.8

75

Jenna Berger

NMB

5.0

70

Keyonna Ridges

GSF

5.0

45

Alicia Parada

AYN

4.9

44

Carly Sarvis

AYN

4.7

42

  

NAME

SCHOOL

APG

TOTAL ASSISTS

Gabby Giracello

CF

5.1

92

Daveona Hatchell

NMB

3.6

50

Jordan Berger

NMB

3.1

43

Reilly Ward

CF

2.6

46

Riley Vincent

NMB

2.4

34

Ari’Yonna Hayes

LOR

2.4

34

Contact Charles D. Perry at 843-488-7236

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