Flyers not in a Celebrating Mood Following First Road Victory

Flyers not in a Celebrating Mood Following First Road Victory

A victory in their first road game of the season normally would have provided the Sandhills Community College basketball team with something to celebrate.

There were no signs of merriment on Wednesday after the Flyers nearly lost a nine-point lead in the final 58 seconds against Guilford Tech. They escaped with an 85-82 win after a last-second three-point attempt by one of the Titans was off the mark.

"We're trying to figure things out," Coach Mike Apple said. "Any win on the road is a good win. We know we have to play better and the guys have all bought in to doing that.

"I didn't think our effort was where it should be, but I can also say that defensively we did a good job of getting in the passing lanes and guarding without fouling."

Freshman Holt Walker led four Flyers in double-figures with 19 points to go with nine rebounds. Donnie Haith was 4-for-6 from beyond the arc and finished with 17.

Damauri Sexton put together a double-double that included 14 points and 11 rebounds. Sayaun Dent added 11 points and eight boards.

The Flyers take a 4-3 record, and three-game winning streak, into Saturday's game against West Georgia Tech in Carrolton, GA. 

With neither team lighting it up offensively, the Flyers trailed 22-18 midway through the first half when a basket by Winston Bryan started a 20-6 Flyer run. Walker scored nine points and Haith added five during the burst.

In the closing seconds of the half, a coast-to-coast dash for a basket by Tavarus Peterson increased the Flyer lead to 12 points before a buzzer-beater three by the Titan's Jeremiah Phifer made it 42-33 at the intermission.

The margin ranged from four to 10 points throughout most of the second half. A pair of free throws by Walker with 58 ticks left on the clock made it 80-71, but the Titan's capitalized on four misses at the charity stripe to close to within two points at 84-82.

Haith split a pair at the line with seven seconds remaining, leading up to the launch of the potential game-tying three.

"Knocking down shots and making free throws down the stretch is what basketball comes down to," said Walker who posted season highs in points and rebounds. "Luckily we pulled this one out."

The weekend road trip is an opportunity for the team to iron some things out and draw closer together.

"The nice thing is that it is still November and we have a long time to play," Apple said.

Sandhills – Clarkson 0 0-0 0, Walker 8 2-2 19, Ahoume 4 0-1 8, Dent 2 7-8 11, Morrisette-Barnett 3 2-2 8, Sexton 5 4-4 14, Haith 6 1-2 17, Bryan 1 0-0 2, Peterson 1 4-9 6, Grissett 0 0-0 0, Smith 0 0-0 0, Williams 0 0-0 0, E, Davis 0 0-0 0 Totals 30 20-28 85, Guilford Tech – Dunbar 2 0-0 4, Tejeda 3 2-3 8, Phifer 8 3-3 22, Prandy 8 3-3 19, Benfield 3 2-3 8, James 3 0-0 6, Stewart 0 1-2 1, Stewart 0 3-4 3, Anderson 4 1-1 11, Cook 0 1-2 1 Totals 31 16-21 82. Three-point goals: SCC 5 (Haith 4, Walker); GT 6 (Phifer 4, Anderson 2).



by Charlie Begmann


photo by Donna Ford