Caldwell Holds Off Flyers' Upset Bid
The Sandhills Community College Flyers were unable to pull off an upset over the sixth-ranked Division III junior college basketball team in the land Thursday evening. But a strong effort has coach Aaron Denton and his players looking forward to next week's Region 10 tournament in Hickory.
Against a Caldwell Community College squad that routed them 113-66 six weeks ago, the Flyers remained in contention until the final minute and a-half in the game played at The O'Neal School.
Back-to-back threes by Anthony Chapman created some late excitement, cutting what had once been a 17-point Cobra lead to 78-71 with 1:11 left in the game. Those were the last Flyer points, as the visitors then converted six free throws in a row to make the final score 84-71.
"Like I told the guys, did we play our best -- no -- but we gave our best effort," Denton said. "It's frustrating for them not to walk out with a win against a very good team."
Germann Bostic, the Division III leader in three-point baskets, was only one for nine from behind the arc. He still led the Flyers with 24 points, two below his season average. The 6-foot-1 guard also grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds.
Also in double figures for the home team, now 11-18 on the season, were Phillip Moultrie with 14 points, Brian Thomas with 12 and Chapman with 11. The visitors, 21-5, got 27 points from Carlton Smith and 24 from Jacob Lail.
In Sunday night's 139-82 victory over Carolina Prep, the Flyers made 59 percent of their shots from the field, including 18 threes. At the end of the first half against Caldwell C.C. they trailed 39-28 after missing all 10 attempts from three-point range and making only 30 percent of their shots overall.
Bostic, who scored 47 points in Sunday's game, was played straight up by the Cobras and held to three field goals in 14 attempts.
"He had some good looks early and just missed them," Caldwell coach Tim Cline said. "I think that got in his head a little bit and he started to force them a little bit. But, my guards really played good defense on him."
Scoring two at a time, Bostic accounted for 10 points in the first five minutes of the second half to help keep the Flyers in striking distance. But, with 4:37 remaining in the game, a pair of free throws by the Cobras' Joseph Cuello made it 69-52.
A three by Brian Thomas and then a three-point play by Moultrie gave the Flyers' some life. Trailing 75-60 with 2:30 left, a putback by Moultrie, and Bostic's 114th three of the season set the stage for the two high-arching threes by Chapman that made a game of it.
"When he's open, he can put it in the hole," Denton said of Chapman.
Caldwell has averaged 92 points per game this season. The Cobra coach noticed a lot of improvement from the Flyer squad his team faced in January.
"No matter what we did, we couldn't shake them tonight," Cline said. "They hit the boards much better than they did at our place and I thought that was one of the biggest differences."
The Flyers grabbed 52 rebounds to 45 for the visitors. They had a 20-11 edge on the offensive glass. But the Cobras enjoyed a 42 to 36 percent advantage in shots from the field and made 21 more free throws than the Flyers. Guards Cuello and Smith were a combined 18 for 21 from the line.
"I thought we were never out of it," Denton said. "I thought, against certainly one of the top two teams in our conference, we gave a solid defensive effort. It came down to shooting. We got the shots we wanted by the people we wanted taking them."
The first-year Flyers finished with a record of 1-9 in the five-team Region 10. As the fifth seed from the conference, they will play Central Carolina at 7 p.m. in Thursday's first game of the tournament held at Catawba Valley Community College.
The winner of that game will play the No. 1 seed, either Caldwell or Davidson C.C., at 6 p.m. on Friday. The second and third seeds vie at 8 p.m. followed by a 7 p.m. championship game on Saturday.
Caldwell 39 45 84
Sandhills 28 43 71
Caldwell Cuello 2 8-10 13, Smith 7 10-11 27,Eppley 1 1-2 3, Pritchard 3 2-6 8, Swaba 3 0-0 6, Lail 10 4-5 24, Boughman 1 0-0 2, Curry 0 1-2 1. Totals 27 26-36 84. Sandhills Bostic 10 3-4 24,Moultrie 6 2-5 14, Thomas 5 0-0 12, Darr 1 0-2 2, McRae 2 0-0 4, Bailey 1 0-0 2, Hood 0 0-0 0, Chapman 4 0-0 11, Poston 1 0-0 2. Totals 30 5-11. Three-point goals: Caldwell 4 (Smith 3, Cuello); Sandhills 6 (Chapman 3, Thomas 2, Bostic)
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