SCC Enters Key Stretch
The Sandhills Flyers are about to enter a stretch of key games that include road and home dates against undefeated and No. 1 ranked Davidson County Community College (NJCAA Div. III poll).
No one appreciates being a part of the excitement more than Hilary McLaurin.
The 6-foot-5 forward graduated from Pinecrest in 2005. His path to Sandhills included stops at East Carolina and Rockingham Community College. He practiced with the Flyers in their first season (2008-9), but did not use up a year of eligibility. He was second on the team in scoring last year with a 16.4 points per game average and earned All-Region 10 recognition.
Because of a short playing stint at Rockingham CC in 2007, his eligibility for another season at the junior college level was not resolved until two weeks ago. In the three games since his return, the accounting major has averaged 25 points, five rebounds and three assists per game. He has drained 14 of his 21 shots from beyond the arc, including 4-for-8 in Wednesday’s 96-84 win over Carolina Central.
“I thank God every day for this opportunity right here,” McLaurin said after Wednesday’s win. “I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. I love to play basketball.”
The Flyers are a deep team that has seven players averaging 9.6 or more points per game. Several others, like reserve point guard Dre Huntley, one of the stars in Wednesday’s victory, are important role players whose contributions do not stick out on the scoring side of the ledger.
“We know that if we’re in trouble, we have a bench that can step up,” McLaurin said. “When we break down every day, “we say, ‘1-2-3 family’ and I think this team means it.”
After going 11-18 in the maiden 2008-9 season, the Flyers improved to 17-14 last year and take a 16-4 mark (3-0 Region 10) into Saturday’s 2 p.m. non-league game against Catawba Valley. Helping prepare them for the Jan. 26 and Feb. 9 dates with Davidson have been eight games against Div. I and Div. II schools. They are 5-3 against that competition.
“They won the league last year,” Flyer coach Aaron Denton said of Davidson. “If we want to win the league then we have to beat them. They are very good at home and we’re going up there, but that’s exciting too. I really think the character of the guys in our program is that we want a challenge.”
Contact Charlie Bergmann at email@example.com. com.
Sandhills Flyers stat leaders – Scoring average – Hilary McLaurin 25.0 (three games), Phillip Moultrie 15.3, Joe Houpe 11.4, Raheem Jolliffe 10.8, Johnny Elliott 10.3, Daquain Towns 9.6, Clay Thorne 9.7, Markell Lotharp 7.1; Rebound average – Thorne 7.9, Moultrie 7.3, Houpe 6.1; Assists –Huntley 3.7, Elliott 3.4; Steals – Elliott 2.1, Thorne 2.0; Three-point baskets – Jolliffe 18, Elliott, McLaurin 14, Michael Collins 13; Field goal percentage (40 or more attempts) – Moultrie 59.8, Lotharp 56.9, McLaurin 54.2, Erick Ewing 52.5, Elliott 50.0; Free throw percentage (20 or more attempts) – Towns 79.2, Jolliffe 76.5, Elliott 66.7.
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