In the nightcap of Day 1 at the 37th Beach Ball Classic at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center the home town Myrtle Beach Seahawks took on the Crusaders of Long Island Lutheran. The Seahawks got off to a very spirited start in their attempt to keep up with the talented team from New York State.
LUHI, as it says on the front of their red jerseys, had a tremendous amount of team speed and used it to their advantage as they relentlessly pressed the Seahawks ball handlers all over the court. What started as a close contest with a 7-6 Crusaders lead with 12:17 to go quickly turned into a commanding 27-12 lead.
Myrtle Beach had a short burst of good shooting and made free throws to bring the game back to within 9 points at 30-21 with just over 5 minutes to play. But then the Crusaders turned the tide back in their favor and ran the lead back out to 42-23 at the last media timeout of the first half at 3:30.
The only thing that Long Island Lutheran seemed to be struggling with in the first half was fouls. 16 team fouls in the first half led to 15 of the Seahawks 27 points. It also made for 54 minute long half of play. The tourney plays two 16 minute halves. Yikes!
At the half the Crusaders had made as many field goals as the Seahawks had shot. Double Yikes!!
The second half was more of the same, unfortunately for Myrtle Beach. The Crusaders continued to push the ball with speed on offense and pressure the Seahawks relentlessly on the defensive end.
The Seahawks never gave in and never let up on their effort even as the game grew further and further out of reach. Even though they were overmatched they scrapped and hustled all the way to the final whistle.
Lutheran led by as much 50 points a couple of times in the second half and finished with a 49 point win as the game ended with a 90-41 score. The Crusaders were led by Tykei Greene with 17 points. Tyson Etienne and Donatas Kupsas followed with 15 points each. The team shot 53% from the floor and 45% from the free throw line.
The Myrtle Beach Seahawks were led by Sophomore Emorie Knox who had 13 points 9 of which came from the charity stripe. Robert Swanson and Oneil McBride chipped in 6 points each in the losing effort. The Seahawks managed just 24% shooting from the floor but was 63% from the line where they scored 17 of their 41 points.
The Seahawks play Day 2 against Scott County(KY) at 1:45 while the Crusaders advance in the championship bracket to Day 3 to face Moeller(OH) in Game 14 of the Beach Ball Classic.