The Sandhills Community College basketball team let an 18-point second half lead completely disappear before riding a late burst to a 90-73 victory over Lenoir CC in Wednesday evening's home opener at The Hangar.
The Flyers take a record of 2-0 into Friday's 7 p.m. home game against Shooting For Greatness Academy of Raleigh, NC in the second game of the 3rd annual Chatlee Classic. Guilford Tech CC takes on Dabney S. Lancaster CC of Clifton Forge, VA in the 5 p.m. opener. They are at home again on Saturday at 3 p.m. with Dabney S. Lancaster CC providing the opposition with Shooting for Greatness and Guilford Tech playing at 1 p.m.
The Flyers got after the Lancers defensively in the first half to the tune of 22 turnovers. Three steals and six points in the last five minutes by sophomore Tyrell Allmond helped expand their lead to 43-30 at the intermission.
A three, and then steal for two more by Addison, helped keep the momentum going at the start of the second half. A basket by Dent, from Elijah Idlett, gave the Flyers their largest lead at 57-39 with 15 minutes remaining in the game.
The visitors responded by scoring the next 15 points. A three-point play by Addison ended an almost six minute drought for the Flyers, but moments later a three by the Lancers' Antonio Carter tied the game at 60-60.
"I was a little worried," Dent said afterward. "but we basically knew if we kept running they would eventually get tired. If we play like we know we can play, we know it is going to be a good outcome."
A steal for two by Idlett, and a pair of free throws by Savion Staton, initiated a 15-2 Flyer response. In the middle of it, freshman Derreco Miller blocked a shot, raced to the other end, and received a pass from Addison for a dunk that made it 69-60.
At the three minute mark, Idlett took a pass from Miller and put the outcome in the safe zone for the Flyers by draining a three that made it 80-67.
Coach Mike Apple's squad added 26 turnovers to the 25 committed in Saturday's victory at Community Christian CC.
"I'm glad we are 2-0, but we really have to work on cutting the turnovers," he said. "If we make 10 to 15 I'm okay with that because we are playing really hard. What we can't do is make in the 20's. There were a whole bunch of unforced turnovers."
Addison is happy to be playing in games again after red-shirting at Fayetteville State last season. He also spoke about the turnovers.
"I think the turnovers tonight were mostly from forcing things, trying to thread the needle too much," he said. "And we also have to communicate better with our teammates.
"I just met these guys I'm playing with, but they've become brothers. We're starting to learn about each other and I think we'll get better day by day."
Eleven of the 12 Flyers to see action got into the scoring column. Dent and Evan Davis led the team in rebounds with six each. Idlett, Staton and Winston Bryan were the leaders in assists with four apiece. Idlett was credited with a team-high four steals.
Lenoir CC – Robinson 10 4-5 26, Scott 4 2-3 10, LaQ Campbell 0 2-2 2, Carter 3 0-0 9, Burnett 1 1-2 3, Wilson 0 2-2 2, Davis 5 0-0 10, LaT Campbell 1 1-2 3, Pierre 1 0-0 2, Makeel 3 0-0 6 Totals 28 12-16 73. Sandhills CC – Idlett 3 0-0 7, Staton 1 7-8 9, Dent 10 4-4 25, Addison 6 3-4 17, Davis 2 1-4 5, Ratliffe 1 0-0 2, Allmond 3 2-2 8, Yow 3 0-0 6, Bryan 1 0-0 3, Miller 3 0-0 6, Richardson 0 0-0 0, Medins 1 0-0 2 Totals 34 17-22 90. Three-point goals: LCC 5 (Carter 3, Robinson 2); SCC 5 (Addison 2, Idlett, Dent, Bryan).
by Charlie Bergmann
photo by Donna Ford