The Flyers and the Storm Tangle at the Hangar on Wednesday

The Flyers and the Storm Tangle at the Hangar on Wednesday

Wednesday's 7 p.m. meeting at The Hangar between the Sandhills Community College and Davidson County CC men's basketball teams will mark the 10th game of the season for both squads. But neither has yet experienced the kind of pressure and excitement they will face in the Region X conference rivalry contest.

"It's a great early season match between two nationally ranked teams," Sandhills coach Mike Apple said on Monday of the No. 9 Flyers (8-1) and No. 5 Storm (7-2) per the NJCAA Division III pre-season poll. "I can't think of a better regular-season game to come to watch because the intensity will be of the type you see in games played in February and March."

Both teams are 1-0 in the conference. The Flyers juggled their starting lineup on Saturday before defeating Johnston CC 101-75 in their conference opener on the road. In another solid all-around performance Parrish Stevons scored a game-high 19 points to go with nine rebounds and four assists. Mason Harrell added 15 points, eight boards and blocked three shots.

"Any time you play on another team's court in a conference situation it's tough," Apple said. "I was pleased with the fact that we kept building our lead during the course of the second half.

"The biggest thing that came out of the Johnston game was guys having the opportunity to show us what they can do and some of them took advantage of it. Parrish kind of reinforced that he is a force to be reckoned with and wants to be one of our main guys this year. Mason showed signs of becoming more consistent in that game. We had a good size advantage and used that to our advantage in the second half.

All 16 Flyers made it into the scoring column. Other statistical leaders in the game for the winners were Damauri Sexton with 11 rebounds and Casey Clarkson with six assists.

Davidson, last season's conference and district champion, is coming off a 104-94 loss at Fayetteville Tech on Saturday. The Storm is led by Bradley Pierce (17.5 ppg.), three-point specialist Brandon Rothrock (16.8 ppg.) and Codee Jones who has five double-doubles in the six games he has played in (16.3 ppg. and 12.5 rbpg.).

Apple describes Davidson as a very physical defensive team.

"It's a conference game and a rivalry game," the coach said. "I'm challenging my guys to see how they'll handle a situation like this. I think both teams are still searching for who they want to be. They have a lot of new players as do we that are contributing to their teams."

The Flyers are fifth in the nation in scoring at 100.4 ppg. and the Storm is third at 104.4. Parrish, 14.7, Donnie Haith 11.3, Chase Morrissette-Barnett, 10.1 and Harrell, 10.0 are all double-figure scorers on the season for the Flyers.

Sandhills – McCrimmon 1 4-4 7, McFadden 2 1-2 6, Haith 3 2-2 8, Moore 1 0-0 2, Murdock 1 0-0 2, Stevons 8 0-0 19, Harrell 7 1-3 15, Merriweather 3 2-5 8, Clarkson 4 0-0 11, Sexton 2 0-0 4, Peterson 0 2-2 2, Morrissette-Barnett 1 0-2 3, Copeland 1 0-0 2, Childs 1 0-1 2, Garrison 4 1-2 9, Grissett 0 1-2 1 Totals 39 14-25 101. Johnston – Miller 3 4-5 10, Dixon 2 5-5 9, Tucker 3 1-5 7, Bryant 3 2-2 11, Fagans 1 0-0 3, Santiago 5 0-2 12, Williams 4 7-10 16, Thorb 0 0-0 0, Lawrence 0 0-0 0, Hall 1 5-6 7 Totals 22 24-35 75. Three-point goals: SCC 9 (Stevons 3, Clarkson 3, McCrimmon, McFadden, Morrissette-Barnett); JCC 3 (Bryant 3, Santiago 2, Fagans, Williams).


by Charlie Bergman


photo by Donna Ford