Corry Addison and Evan Davis began the second half by combining to score 18 points during a 20-2 run, helping the Sandhills Community College basketball team roll to a 101-63 victory over Shooting For Greatness Academy on Wednesday at The Hangar.
Before an enthusiastic crowd, the No. 1 ranked Flyers (NJCAA Division III poll) concluded the 2019 portion of their schedule with a record of 13-0. They resume practices on December 29 for their next game at home against Hines Prep of Charlotte on Thursday, January 2.
Elijah Idlett led Coach Mike Apple's squad with 21 points to go along with six rebounds, four assists, five steals and a blocked shot. Chase Thompson, a 6-foot-7, 240 pound forward from Omaha, NE, scored a game-high 22 points for the squad from Raleigh.
Idlett came off the bench to score 13 of the Flyers' 15 points during an early burst that built a 27-12 lead, but a 13-2 response by the visitors cut the margin to 29-25. Derreco Miller and Nathan Yow then sparked a Flyer rally that expanded the lead to 40-30 at the intermission.
A short jumper from the side by Addison ignited the furious second half blitz. Later, a basket by Davis and a tip-in by Tyrell Allmond made it 60-32.
"We played really well in the first five minutes of the second half," Apple said. "We were worried because we kind of felt we let them stick around. Our guys played lights out on defense and we hit some shots."
Idlett is averaging 15 points per game since he began coming off the bench nine games ago. The red-shirt sophomore, who played at Finger Lakes CC (NY) two years ago, wears a wrist tape that says, "For the Family".
"I just try to play as hard as I can and good things will happen," he said. "I really do it for my family and my team. We're enjoying it now, but when we come back we have some big games and we'll have to work hard to get more wins."
Flyers Extra - The Flyers have never lost to S4G, but there have been a number of close games since Coach Kyle Solomon began bringing his team to Sandhills in the fall of 2012, following the Flyers' National Championship season. They were also ranked No. 1 on November 10 of that year when the leading scorers were Kermeriaz Harrington with 29 points and T.J. Jones with 22 in a 129-103 victory.
Solomon is impressed with the way this Flyer team shares the ball.
"I like to come here to showcase my players and Coach Apple always invites us because we give him a good game," he said afterward. "Today it didn't seem like it because we had three players out."
The approaching holidays helped draw a number of former Flyers to The Hangar. Damauri Sexton, Chase Morrisette-Barnett and Holt Walker were members of last season's squad that finished in fifth place at the national tournament in Rochester, MN.
Another, Parrish Stevons, was a member of the team the previous year and is now a teammate of Sexton's at Bluefield College (VA). Each contributed eight points in the Rams' last game, a 75-61 loss to Columbia International.
"We started kind of slow, but we're starting to come together,", Sexton said. "It definitely helps to have an old teammate with me. They play us together a lot and I like being on the court with him again."
Also renewing acquaintances was Wilson McWilliams, an assistant coach with the Flyers in the 2012-2013 post national championship season. He currently owns a consulting business and coaches a middle school team at The Duke School in Durham. He hopes to bring his players to a future Flyers' game.
"I had a chance to learn under Coach Apple, the national coach of the year," he said. "He and Aaron Denton (then-athletic director) treated me like family. I miss the college game for sure."
S4G – Clark 6 3-4 18, Henderson 2 0-0 5, Green 1 4-6 6, Thompson 7 7-19 22, Doveney 0 0-0 0, Carpio 3 0-0 6, Diallo 0 0-0 0, Torres 0 0-0 0, Lewis 2 0-0 6 Totals 21 14-29 63. Sandhills – Staton 4 2-2 10, Allmond 2 2-2 6, Dent 6 4-4 16, Addison 4 2-4 10, Davis 4 0-0 8, Idlett 10 0-0 21, Ratliffe 0 0-0 0, Yow 1 1-2 4, Bryan 0 0-0 0, Bailey 1 0-0 2, Miller 4 1-2 9, Thomas 4 0-1 8, Richardson 3 0-0 7, Medins 0 0-0 0 Totals 43 12-17 101. Three-point goals: S4G 7 (Clark 3, Lewis 2, Henderson, Thompson); SCC 3 (Idlett, Yow, Richardson).
by Charlie Bergmann
photo by Donna Ford