If there were concerns about a possible letdown coming off the resounding 101-86 win over Region X rival Davidson the night before, the Sandhills Community College basketball team dispelled them by defeating Mt. Zion 98-75 on Thursday at the Hangar.
About five minutes into the game the Warriors took a 6-5 lead before a put-back by Mason Harrell started a 9-0 run that ended with a three by Damauri Sexton. The prep squad from Durham never got closer than six points the rest of the way and fell behind by as many as 27 points in the second half.
A solid outing by Harrell added up to 15 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots. Chase Morrissette-Barnett also scored 15 points to go with a game-high eight assists. Parrish Stevons added 14 points, and Donnie Haith and Tavarus Peterson chipped in with 10 apiece, as the Flyers improved to 10-1.
"I thought we did a good job coming back after a real good win and getting the job done tonight," Flyers coach Mike Apple said. "I thought our starters especially did a good job of playing the way they are supposed to, keeping their composure, and executing."
On deck is a 7 p.m. home date next Wednesday with Division II Patrick Henry CC of Martinsville, VA providing the opposition.
When Harrell swished a baby hook with six minutes remaining in the first half to give the Flyers a 37-19 lead there were signs the visitors might not be able to put up a serious challenge. But in the final two minutes, the Warriors ran off 11 points in a row to close the gap to six before a desperation buzzer-beating three by Casey Clarkson gave the Flyers a 46-37 advantage at the intermission.
The visitors managed to keep the deficit in single digits until Clarkson was credited with one of his six assists on a basket in transition by Morrissette-Barnett that made it 60-50 with 14 minutes remaining in the game. Stevons scored off a steal and then fed Juwaan Childs for a basket as things began going downhill for a Warrior squad that dressed seven players.
Another baby hook by Harrell, and eight points off the bench in a span of about three minutes by the speedy and aggressive Peterson, helped build the margin to a comfortable 77-58 at the nine minute mark.
"I thought Tavarus gave us a big lift the way he came in and attacked their defense and really got us playing the way we wanted to play," Apple said. "I thought Mason played with a lot of poise tonight. He just kept grinding away and had a good ball game."
The Flyers also have a home game against West Georgia Tech next Friday before resuming conference play at Central Carolina CC on Sunday, December 10.
"Patrick Henry beat us pretty badly last year at their place (91-71) so we want to be ready," the coach said.
Mt. Zion – Dortch 5 4-6 15, Chambers 1 3-4 5, Williams 6 7-8 19, Lee 5 9-11 20,,Savoury 2 0-0 4, Johnson 2 2-4 6, Caldwell 2 2-3 6 Totals 23 27-36 75. Sandhills – Stevons 6 0-0 14, Haith 3 2-2 10, Morrissette-Barnett 6 3-4 15, Garrison 4 0-0 8, Harrell 7 1-2 15, Merriweather 2 0-0 5, Clarkson 3 0-0 7, Sexton 2 1-2 6, McCrimmon 0 0-0 0, McFadden 1 0-0 2, Peterson 3 4-5 10, Moore 1 0-0 2, Copeland 0 0-0 0, Childs 2 0-0 4, Murdock 0 0-0 0,Grissett 0 0-0 0 Totals 40 11-15 98. Three-point goals: Mt. Zion 2 (Lee, Dortch); SCC 7 (Stevons 2, Haith 2, Merriweather, Clarkson, Sexton).
by Charlie Bergman
photo bt Donna Ford