Facing their first live game action in 25 days, the Sandhills Community College basketball team breezed to a 119-51 victory over Hines Prep of Charlotte on Wednesday evening at the Hangar.
Eight Flyers scored in double figures led by Donnie Haith with 17 points. The home team was credited with a season-high 32 assists led by Chase Morrisette-Barnett with eight and Haith and Tavarus Peterson with six each.
Damauri Sexton fashioned an all-around game that produced 12 points, nine rebounds, four blocked shots, three assists and a steal.
Coach Mike Apple's squad (11-4) begins a stretch of four road games in a row against USC-Salkehatchie (8-6) in Walterboro, SC at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
The Flyers' coach was pleased with the way his team came out of the gate sharing the basketball.
"We had four practices prior to this game and three of them were very intense," he said. "I thought our mentality at the beginning of the game was right where it needed to be."
Morrisette-Barnett and Haith each had a pair of assists as the Flyers bolted out to a 16-2 lead. Nine minutes into the game a three by Holt Walker, from Winston Bryan, made it 30-8. A three by Tyrell Allmond to close out the half expanded the margin to 57-24.
The lead reached 50 points at 89-39 midway through the second half when Walker fed Devian Smith for a basket in transition. Walker scored off a pass from Evan Davis to make it 100-43 with seven minutes remaining.
In addition to scoring 13 points, Smith was credited with a team-high five steals.
"It felt really good to get back out here to help my team win," the freshman guard said. "If we just take one step at a time, play as a team and finish each game, we'll be all right."
The Flyers were successful on 58 per cent of their shot attempts while Hines made good on only 25.9 per cent. They are now third in NJCAA Division III with a scoring average of 96.1 points per game.
Injury update – Sophomore guard Casey Clarkson, who started the first eight games of the season before suffering a hand injury, has been cleared to play on Saturday. Calvin Ahoume, who injured his left hand during the final game before the holiday break that required surgery, is recovering well, but may not be able to return until late in the season. Sophomore Zion Copeland has been cleared to return after injuring a knee during the pre-season, but may decide to red-shirt.
Flyers extra – In a game played last Friday, former Flyer Zezva Liluashvili came off the bench to lead Aquinas College (Mich.) to a 63-61 victory over St. Francis University. The senior guard led his team in both points (19) and rebounds (6). He was 5-for-6 from beyond the arc and his two free throws with six seconds remaining sealed the win for the Saints.
Hines Prep – Horten 0 0-0 0, Watson 2 0-0 5, Kirkpatrick 2 2-2 7, Johnson 8 1-2 18, McKoy 6 1-1 14, Parker 0 0-0 0, Pipen 1 0-0 3, Braswell 1 0-0 2, Borough 1 0-0 2 Totals 21 4-5 51. Sandhills – Morrisette-Barnett 4 2-2 10, Sexton 5 2-2 12, Haith 7 2-2 17, D. Davis 6 0-2 12, E. Davis 5 0-0 10, Grissett 3 0-0 6, Peterson 5 1-2 12, Bryan 2 2-2 8, Smith 6 0-0 13, Allmond 4 1-4 10, Williams 0 0-0 0, Walker 4 0-0 9 Totals 51 10-16 119. Three-point goals: HP 5 (Watson, Kirkpatrick, Pipen, Johnson, McKoy); SCC 7 (Bryan 2, Peterson, Haith, Allmond, Walker).
by Charlie Bergmann
photo by Donna Ford