SCC Scores Sunday Hoops Win
The Sandhills Flyers took a step toward ending a January slide with a 110-98 victory over Wytheville Community College at The O’Neal School gym Sunday afternoon.
Raheem Jolliffe provided a spark off the bench, finishing with 27 points, six steals, four rebounds and two assists. The Jack Britt product made 10 of his 13 shots from the field in 25 minutes of action. Other double-figure scorers for the Flyers were Daquain Towns with 21 points, Louis Craft with 15 and Markell Lotharp with 14.
The Flyers came into the game with a 1-4 record in 2012. They improved to 1-2 in Region X and 16-5 overall. The Wildcats dropped to 1-2 and 5-12.
A fast-paced high-scoring game was anticipated. In the opening minutes, the visitors were about a half of a step ahead of the Flyers. They led 12-8 when Jolliffe made his first appearance.
“Basically coach (Mike Apple) wanted me to bring some energy into the game,” the 5-foot-10 guard said. “He wanted me to be aggressive at the offensive end and give the team some life.”
Jolliffe converted a three-point play in between two jumpers during a 12-4 run that put his team on top 20-16. Later, he accounted for seven points during an 11-2 burst that made it 39-29.
Two steals each by Jolliffe and Lotharp, and one by Towns during the remainder of the half, helped the Flyers take a 55-45 lead into the intermission.
“Enthusiasm has been lacking,” Apple said, thinking back to his team’s recent struggles. “If you don’t have it, it’s pretty ugly. And if you do have, it’s pretty easy. Raheem helped get us together today and he also got some other guys going.”
A three by Jolliffe, and a layup by Tramaine Pride, from Dre Huntley, made it 73-59 with 12 minutes remaining in the game. But two quick drives to the hoop for two by Treon Claiborne got the Virginians excited again.
A basket by the Wildcats’ Cameron Martin closed the gap to 77-73 at the 9:15 mark. It was still a four-point difference about two minutes later when a jumper by Jolliffe, and a put-back of his own miss by Towns, got the Flyers going again.
A long two by T.J. Gill, and a three by Jolliffe, completed the 9-0 run the put the home team in command for good at 93-79.
“This game will definitely boost our confidence,” Jolliffe said. “We came out playing together more than we did in the past few games.”
A new look for the Flyers was the 6-6 Lotharp operating in the low post much of the time rather than on the wings. His all-around performance included five rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocked shots.
“Markell is a Division I player and I think some people are starting to find that out,” Apple said of the team’s leading scorer on the season. “We made a concerted effort to get the ball inside because of our height advantage. I thought Louis Craft responded as did Markell.”
The Flyers made 52.4 percent of their shots from the field and recorded 16 steals. Twelve Flyers got into the scoring column, and eight were credited with two or more assists led by Michael Collins and Lotharp with four each.
The Wildcats were led by Antione Bryant with 21 points and Remar Brothers with 20. The Flyers only game this week is on the road against the Dreams Club on Wednesday.
Wytheville 45 53 98
Sandhills 55 55 110
Wytheville – Bryant 9 3-5 21, Redd 0 2-2 2, Hash 3 2-2 10, Wilkins 4 7-8 15, Brothers 7 4-5 20, Howard 5 4-4 14, Simmons 0 0-0 0, Baker 1 0-0 2, Claiborne 7 0-0 14, Bolden 0 0-0 0 Totals 36 22-26 98.
Sandhills – Towns 9 3-4 21, Cole 2 0-0 6, Collins 2 0-0 4, Craft 6 3-5 15, Lotharp 5 4-6 14, Gill 2 0-0 5, Jolliffe 10 4-7 27, Huntley 0 2-2 2, Washington 4 0-0 8, Jones 1 0-2 2, Pride 2 0-0 4, Ewing 0 2-2 2, Morrison 0 0-0 0, Vinson 0 0-0 0 Totals 43 18-28 110.
Three-point goals: (W) 4 (Hash 2, Brothers 2); (S) 6 (Jolliffe 3, Cole 2, Gill).
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