LITTLE RIVER -- The North Myrtle Beach girls basketball team played defense like its season depended on it.
The way the Chiefs shot the ball, it probably did.
North Myrtle Beach advanced to the third round of the Class 3-A state playoffs with a 42-30 victory over Hilton Head Island High School on Thursday. In the process, coach Jude Hunt's team piled up 22 steals, helped force 33 total Seahawk turnovers and allowed just five offensive rebounds.
"No way," senior India Farmer said when asked if the Chiefs win without those types of defensive numbers. "Our defense is what kept us in it. At a certain point of the game, we went cold (offensively). Thanks to defense, that's what kept us in that game."
That being the case, Hilton Head didn't do itself many favors. After leading 3-2 45 seconds into the game, the Seahawks didn't connect on another field goal until the second quarter.
In that time, North Myrtle Beach built a 16-3 advantage while racking up 11 steals.
"We turned the ball over too many times, that was the biggest thing," Hilton Head High coach Dave Greenberg said. "You can't defend if you turn the ball over and they're going in for a layup."
Farmer had 10 points in the first quarter alone en route to a game-high 18. But again, the offense from one of the team's two Class 3-A All-State selections was a secondary storyline.
"We struggled to put the ball in the basket," Greenberg said.
Hilton Head High had just three field goals in the second and fourth quarters, and was limited to four in the third quarter.
Farmer and teammate Taylor Allman (16 points) combined for 11 steals and 10 rebounds. Farmer was also largely responsible for guarding Seahawk sophomore forward Americal Jenkins, who entered the game with 16 double-doubles on the season.
Jenkins finished with four points and nine rebounds.
Savannah Reier led the Seahawks with seven points and four assists. Rachel Friend and Austin Seelbach added six points each. Zion Campbell had eight rebounds and Macy King finished with six boards for Hilton Head High, which finishes its season with a record of 18-8.
"I'm pretty proud of what we did," Greenberg said. "That's playing a lot of young kids, dealing with injuries."
North Myrtle Beach advances to the third round against Crestwood, which defeated Hanahan 47-37 on Thursday for its 16th straight win.
Hilton Head Island High (30) -- Savannah Reier 7, Austin Seelbach 6, Rachel Friend 6, Americal Jenkins 4, Jamaica King 4, Brennan O'Gorman 3.
North Myrtle Beach (42) -- India Farmer 18, Taylor Allman 16, Taylor White 4, Marci Chestnut 3, Sarah McCloskey 1.