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N. Myrtle Beach High School
Little River

NMB wrestlers qualify for state individuals

 

By David Shelton

Senior Writer

Little River – The wrestling program at North Myrtle Beach High has evolved into one of the top programs in Class AAAA.

The Chiefs had a solid 2019-20 season, culminating with a region 6-AAAA championship for the second straight year. In the AAAA Lower State duals tournament, the Chiefs reached the Lower State finals, also for the second consecutive year. However, unlike last year when North Myrtle Beach won the Lower State title and wrestled in the state championship, the Chiefs were knocked off by region rival Hartsville.

Following the state duals tournament, the focus turned to the Class AAAA individual championships. The state tournament was held in Anderson on Feb, 28-29 but first wrestlers had to qualify in the Lower State meet. The top four finishers in each weight class earned the right to advance to the state meet.

At the Lower State qualifier, North Myrtle Beach had two wrestlers claim Lower State championships. Malachi Black won in the 285-pound weight class and Chase Simmons was the 182-pound champion.

Naszeir Bellamy was the Lower State runner-up at 126 pounds and Andre Giddens was third at 160 pounds. The fifth state qualifier was Jackson Gore at 152 pounds. Gore finished as the runner-up in Lower State.

On to the state tournament finals, with eight wrestlers in each weight class, Bellamy took third-place, as did Simmons. Black, Giddens and Gore all finished fourth in their respective weight classes.

The basketball season also wrapped up with both the boys and girls teams earning their shot in the state playoffs.

The boys team, under first-year coach Ryan Walker, finished the season with a 20-6 record. The Chiefs opened the season with 13 straight wins. North Myrtle Beach posted playoff wins over Hilton Head and North Augusta before bowing out in the Lower State semi-finals to Myrtle Beach. It was the Chiefs’ third loss to their rivals this season.

The girls team posted a 21-6 record this season, finishing second in the region standings. In the state playoffs, North Myrtle Beach posted wins over South Aiken and Bluffton, but were eliminated by two-time defending state champion North Augusta in the Lower State semi-finals.

The program loses valuable senior production, including Jordan Berger, Jenna Berger, Jermisha Moss and Kaydee Runion. However, several underclassmen played big roles this season and will be the foundation of next year’s team.

Junior Daveona Hatchell will be a third-year starter next season after averaging nearly 10 rebounds per game. Freshman guard Riley Vincent and sophomore Adaiah Vereen also were significant contributors this season.

Coach Brooke Smith feels eighth-grader Carlin Sharpe and seventh-grader Destinee Vereen will be solid players next season.

 

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