A pair of early threes by Savion Staton, coupled with a hyper-aggressive team effort on defense, helped the Sandhills Community College basketball team build an early double-digit lead on the way to a 113-68 home victory over Hines Prep on Thursday.
In their first game in more than two weeks, Sayaun Dent scored 20 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season against the squad from Charlotte. Other double-figure scorers for the winners included Elijah Idlett with 18 points, Cameron Williams with 13, Staton with 11 and Charles Thomas with 10.
The No. 1 ranked in Division III, and 14-0 Flyers, return to action at 3 p.m. on Saturday at The Hangar against a USC-Salkehatchie team that is 11-3 and ranked No. 24 in the NJCAA Division I poll.
The Indians defeated the Flyers 96-86 on the road a year ago. They have two starters that are 6-foot-8 and an All-American guard in 6-foot-6 Vince Cole who is signed to play for St. Johns next season.
It will be Moore County Parks and Recreation Day and any child wearing a Moore County Parks and Recreation t-shirt will receive a free admission.
"It's time," Coach Mike Apple said of the stiff challenge anticipated from the team from Walterboro, SC that follows a series of one-sided victories in the month of December. "They've got a tough team with a lot of size. We're going to have to play really well to win the ball game. I think to a man our players are looking forward to it."
The second of three first-half treys by Staton a red-shirt freshman, gave his team a 10-6 advantage. Leading 18-10, Idlett came off the bench and had a hand in all 12 Flyer points (four baskets, including a pair of threes, and an assist), as the lead grew to 30-16. Later, a three followed by a put-back by Williams, made it 59-28 at the intermission.
The visitors showed some life, scoring the first eight points of the second half. But, Staton drove for two points, initiating a 14-2 burst that included some nifty assists as the Flyers got rolling again.
"I thought the first couple minutes of the second half were terrible and I made some changes," Apple said. "I thought one of the pluses tonight was how unselfishly we played. When you are doing that it becomes contagious."
Corry Addison with seven and Winston Bryan with four were the leading sharers of the ball as 11 different Flyers contributed to the team total of 29 assists. A season-high 72 rebounds included nine by Idlett and eight-each by Derreco Miller and Collin Medins.
The 6-2 Staton has shown glimpses of the offensive prowess that produced 21 points per game as a senior at Southwest Edgecombe High School. He has started all 14 games for the Flyers averaging 8.5 points per contest.
One of the leaders on the team in assists and steals, Apple likes the all-around game that makes him an asset even when he's not scoring.
"It got me going," Staton said of the early threes against Hines. "That's what I try to do, pass the ball, rebound, defense, anything to keep the team going."
Hines Prep – Mcwain 3 5-5 12, Sellers 2 1-3 5, Loving 2 1-1 5, Crump 4 3-7 15, Jamison 4 0-0 11, Horten 7 1-2 16, Dula 1 0-0 2, Ellerbee 1 0-2 2, Green 0 0-0 0 Totals 24 11-20 68. Sandhills – Staton 4 0-3 11, Allmond 3 0-0 6, Dent 9 2-2 20, Addison 3 1-3 7, Davis 4 0-0 8, Idlett 8 0-0 18, Ratliffe 1 0-0 2, Yow 0 0-0 0, Bryan 0 2-2 2, Bailey 2 2-2 7, Miller 2 0-2 4, Thomas 5 0-3 10, Williams 6 1-2 13, Medins 2 1-2 5 Totals 49 9-21 113. Three-point goals: HP 9 (Crump 4, Jamison 3, McWain, Horten); SCC 6 (Staton 3, Idlett 2, Bailey).
by Charlie Bergmann
photo by Donna Ford