Davidson CCC Holds Off Sandhills Flyers
The Davidson County Community College basketball team got a jump on the Sandhills Flyers with a super-charged defensive effort at the O’Neal School gym Thursday evening.
Six turnovers in the first five minutes of the game put the Flyers in a free fall that led to a 20-point deficit going into the final three minutes of the first half. The home team clawed back to within four points with 10 minutes remaining in the game before falling back and taking an 81-65 loss.
Ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation in Division III after getting off to a 12-0 start, the Flyers dropped to 0-2 in the Region X conference and 15-5 overall after their fourth loss in the last five games. The No. 5 Storm improved to 3-0 and 17-1.
Coach Mike Apple’s Flyers will try to get back on track this afternoon in a 1 p.m. league contest at home against Wytheville (Va.).
Moments before the tip-off, an assistant coach whipped the Storm players into a frenzy with a loud and fast-moving defensive drill. They carried the energy right into the game, deflecting and picking off Flyer passes as they jumped out to a 16-7 lead.
“Every time they play us, they play real hard,” Storm guard Maurice Nash said after his fourth game against the Flyers. “We had to come out harder and that’s what we did. We played great defense.”
When the Flyers managed to get shots off they were often of the forced variety. A three by Torian Showers, and then a dunk by Tevin Richardson, one of the chief harassers of the Flyer guards, made it 41-21 with just under three minutes left in the half.
“We should have taken better care of the ball,” Flyers’ guard Daquain Towns said of the pressure. “We should have been prepared for it.”
Then a funny thing happened. The visitors went eight minutes without scoring a field goal. The Flyers finished the half on a 6-0 run, with Towns scoring the last two points off a steal by Dre Huntley. A jumper five minutes into the second half by Towns made it 42-33.
The scoring drought for the Storm continued. With just under 10 minutes remaining in the game, the second of two long threes by the Flyers’ Markell Lotharp cut the margin to 51-47. The home team had several chances to get closer before the visitors pulled away with a 10-2 run and maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way.
“Every game a team has its slumps,” Nash said. “We had our little slump, but we fought through it.”
Lotharp finished with 14 points and Towns had 12 to go with 10 rebounds for a Flyer team that made only 29 percent of its shots from the field and committed 21 turnovers. The Storm turned the ball over 22 times while making 42.2 percent of its field goal attempts. Nash led five Storm players in double figures with 15 points. Deon Boyce added 14 to go with 13 rebounds.
The Flyers’ players and coaches remained in the locker room for more than 20 minutes after the game. Apple was asked what they talked about.
“Just about the fact that we’re playing very hard, trying very hard, but we’re just not getting a lot accomplished at the offensive end,” he said. “We’re very out of it as far as having a good chemistry on the court right now. Until we fix it, we’re going to struggle. When we fix it, we’ll go back to scoring 80 or 90 points a game.”
For the second year in a row the game was played before a sellout crowd. It was also streamed live on the SCC website for the first time via the Storm’s feed.
The intensity of the rivalry continues as the Storm seeks to unseat the defending Region X regular-season champion Flyers.
“I’m really proud of our guys, going on the road against an extremely talented team and finding a way to gut out a win,” Storm coach Matt Ridge said. “I’m sure the next time we play them it will be another war just like tonight.”
Davidson 41 40 — 81
Sandhills 27 38 — 65
Davidson: Richardson 5 4-6 14, Finney 0 3-5 3, Watie 1 0-0 2, Braboy2 6-8 11, Mayo 2 0-0 4, Showers 2 3-4 8, Nash 5 3-7 15, Boyce 6 2-4 14, Bellamy 1 1-2 3, Boston 1 0-1 2, Demery 0 0-0 0, Hill 2 1-4 5. Totals 27 23-41 81.
Sandhills: Towns 4 4-7 12, Huntley 2 2-4 6, Pride 2 0-2 4, Craft 0 2-4 2, Lotharp 5 1-2 14, Collins 2 0-0 5, Gill 0 2-2 2, Jolliffe 2 5-6 9, Cole 2 3-4 8, Washington 0 1-2 1, Jones 0 0-0 0, Ewing 1 0-1 2. Totals 20 20-34 65.
Three-point goals: D 4 (Nash 2, Braboy, Showers); S 5 (Lotharp 3, Collins, Cole).
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