Flyers Share the Wealth in Win Over Pfeiffer Jayvees
One of the reasons the undefeated Sandhills Community College basketball team is ranked fifth in the nation in this week’s NJCAA Division III poll is that its players enjoy sharing the rock.
Ten different players contributed one or more assists as the Flyers (9-0) breezed to a 93-50 victory over an undersized and short-handed Pfeiffer junior varsity team at the O’Neal School gym Wednesday evening. Daquain Towns led five Flyers in double figures with 15 points. Raheem Jolliffe, Erick Ewing and Markell Lotharp contributed 14 apiece. T.J. Jones chipped in with 10 points and six rebounds.
Point guard Dre Huntley was the assist leader with seven. Operating as a point forward in affect because of his passing ability, Lotharp had five assists to go with 11 rebounds, giving the 6-foot-6 forward his second double-double in a row.
“I’m not really worried about scoring,” the sophomore said afterward. “If I’m getting everyone else involved everything falls in place.”
A Lotharp pass to 6-10 Louis Craft for a dunk provided the first points of the game. Three times in the opening minutes he passed to Towns for baskets as the Flyers jumped out to a 12-2 lead. The third and fourth assists of the half by Huntley led to a pair of transition baskets by Joliffe and a 29-17 advantage.
Moments later, Lotharp whipped a pass inside to Ewing for a dunk before Towns’ 15th point of the half made it 35-17. The unselfish play continued with a Michael Collins dish to Chris Morrison, making it 44-23 at the intermission.
The final points of the night came on another jam by Ewing off a pass from Morrison. With only seven players dressed for the game, the hustling Falcons were led by Jarvis Wardsworth with 18 points.
The all-around game of Lotharp, who, along with Huntley, is a product of Forest Hills High School near Monroe, has attracted the interest of several four-year Division I schools.
“The biggest thing you can say about Markell starts with his attitude,” Flyers coach Mike Apple said. “He’s another ball handler on the court at a position guys aren’t normally handling the ball. He’s rebounding the ball well, he’s taking on defensive challenges and he’s unselfish. He’s doing a fantastic job.”
Idle since defeating Wake Tech eight days ago because of the Thanksgiving recess, the Flyers were anxious to get back in action. The team will be participating in the Southern Pines Christmas Parade on Saturday before meeting the N.C. State Club team at the O’Neal gym, starting at 4 p.m.
“We came in Sunday ready to work,” Lotharp said. “It definitely felt good. We’ve got a long season and we can’t do anything but get better by working hard.”
Pfeiffer: Oliver 3 1-4 7, Moore 0 0-0 0, Lyon 1 0-0 3, Reynolds 0 2-2 2, Whitesides 1 0-0 3, Ranganathan 7 2-3 17, Wardsworth 8 2-2 18 Totals 20 7-11 50.
Sandhills: Jolliffe 4 5-7 14, Towns 7 1-1 15, Huntley 1 0-0 2, Craft 3 0-0 6, Lotharp 5 4-5 14, Collins 2 0-0 5, Gill 2 2-2 6, Morrison 1 1-2 3, Vinson 0 0-0 0, Cole 0 0-0 0, Washington 2 0-0 4, Jones 3 3-4 10, Ewing 7 0-0 14 Totals 37 16-21 93.
Three-point goals: (P) 3 (Lyon, Whitesides, Ranganathan); (S) 3 (Collins, Jolliffe, Jones).
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