The Sandhills Community College basketball team began each half with an intensity visiting Patrick Henry CC could not match and rolled to a 93-73 victory on Saturday afternoon at The Hangar.
The second-ranked Flyers improved to 6-0 led by Sayaun Dent with 22 points. Also in double figures were Elijah Idlett with 15, Tyrell Allmond with 14 and Corry Addison with a dozen to go with a team-high six assists. Collin Medins had six rebounds to lead the team in that department.
Coach Mike Apple's squad is at home again on Tuesday at 7 p.m. against Mount Zion Prep on Faculty and Staff Night. The two teams split a pair of games last season.
The Flyers took a 16-6 lead after six minutes of play on a jumper from the side by Dent. With 6:40 remaining in the half, a steal by Idlett was turned into a basket by Savion Staton that doubled the margin to 33-13.
A late rally by the Patriots closed the gap to 37-25 at the intermission.
"At the beginning of the game we try to set the tempo for the whole team for the whole game," sophomore Evan Davis, a 6-foot-8 product of Garner High School said. "Coach Apple has been telling us we need to work on keeping our foot on the gas when we get the lead.
"It's a main priority for us to make sure we stay focused and keep playing solid basketball."
The pattern repeated itself in the second half. Seven points in a row by Idlett, and a pair of free throws by Nathan Yow, capped a 24-5 run that increased the lead to 61-30. The margin topped out at 32 points before the Patriots outscored the Flyers 19-7 over the last six minutes.
"We completely took them (Patriots) out of it in the first five minutes of the second half.," Apple said. "Unfortunately our guys kind of played like the game was over. That's something that can certainly be worked on. It's a sign that they got a little bored with what was going on."
Davis, who finished with a modest output of six points and four rebounds, provides rim protection and an understanding of the offense that usually adds up to the team playing well when he is on the court.
"I'm not really concerned about scoring because I have scorers all around me," he said.
Davis and his coach are on the same page.
"The thing about Evan is he wants to score, everybody wants to score," Apple said, "but he understands his role is to play really good interior defense and kind of be our centerpiece defensively so we can have a rim protector and play the passing lanes. He does a good job of doing that."
Flyer Extra – Dent missed his first free throw of the game, ending his streak of 35 made in a row. He went on to finish 8-for-10, raising his season total to 48-for-51 (94.1%). "By far that's the most free throws in a row I've ever seen," his coach said. A starter the last two games, Allmond was 6-for-7 from the field against the Patriots, finishing with 14 points. The sophomore product of Pinecrest High School is averaging 9.2 points per game and leads the team with a field goal percentage of 61.1.
Patrick Henry – Diggs 3 0-0 6, Hawkins 3 2-2 8, Barksdale 4 2-4 10, Reid 5 1-2 11, Bailey 3 1-2 7, Hilliard 2 0-0 5, Dudley 0 1-2 1, Manns 4 2-4 10, Jones 2 0-0 4, Watson 2 1-2 7, Womble 2 0-1 4 Totals 30 10-19 73. Sandhills – Staton 3 0-1 8, Allmond 6 1-1 14, Dent 6 10-12 22, Addison 5 2-2 12, Davis 2 2-2 6, Idlett 5 5-6 15, Ratliffe 1 0-0 3, Yow 0 2-2 2, Bryan 0 0-1 0, Bailey 0 0-0 0, Miller 0 0-1 0, Thomas 2 0-0 4, Williams 0 2-2 2, Richardson 2 0-0 5, Medins 0 0-0 0 Totals 32 24-30 93. Three-point goals: PHCC 3 (Watson 2, Hilliard); SCC 5 Staton 2, Allmond, Ratliffe, Richardson).
by Charlie Bergmann
photo by Donna Ford