Undefeated Flyers Tough Down the Stretch in Victory Over Dolphins

No doubt about this one! Sayaun Dent slams home two.
No doubt about this one! Sayaun Dent slams home two.

The No. 2 ranked Sandhills Community College basketball team shook off an early barrage of threes and second chance points by taller Brunswick CC and improved to 8-0 with a 91-85 victory at The Hangar on Saturday.

Next for Coach Mike Apple's squad is a home game against the Francis Marion Junior varsity at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

The Flyers trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half, and led for less than a minute in the game until taking its first lead of the second half at 71-70 on a short jumper from the side by Sayaun Dent. The game was tied for the last time at 79-79 before Derreco Miller scored off his own miss to put his team in front for good.

Dent scored a game-high 27 points. Tyrell Allmond sparked the first half rally and his all-around performance included 14 points, five rebounds, five assists and five steals. Corry Addison and Miller added 10 points.

Silas Love, a 6-foot-8 Hoke County product, and honorable mention All-American last season, and guard Jeremiah Pope each scored 20 points for the visitors, now 4-2.

Eight minutes into the game, a basket in transition by Daymaun Osbourne-Harvey gave the Dolphins a 21-9 advantage. The Flyers rallied to brieflly take the lead at 39-37 on a three by Dent that gave the 6-foot-3 forward 16-first-half points, but the visitors went on to take a 49-43 lead into the intermission.

"We got out-rebounded unmercifully in the first half," Apple said of the Dolphins 28-14 advantage on the boards. "I really felt after the first seven or eight minutes we gained a footing and started competing with them."

Allmond helped offset the visitor's advantage inside with an inspired first half effort that included 10 points, five assists and five steals.

"We were kind of concerned because we were a little smaller than them, but we know we have a defensive advantage," the 6-foot-1 Pinecrest High School grad said. "We just live on that advantage and kept playing our game."

As the second half began, the Flyers were now doubling up on Love, but about six minutes in he scored to give the Dolphins a 60-53 lead.

"I was very concerned when we started the second half and they were able to maintain that six to eight point lead," Apple said, "and I just didn't know if we could dig into it. I give a lot of credit to our perimeter players because they really stopped them from moving much in the last seven or eight minutes, getting in their passing lanes and really playing tough on the ball defense."

With 13 minutes remaining, Winston Bryan fed Nathan Yow for a three that cut the Dolphin edge to 62-61. Later Dent's basket put the Flyers in front 71-70. Love's final points came on a dunk with 5:20 remaining that tied the game at 79-79.

Addison, a freshman by way of Fairmont High School and Fayetteville State, where he red-shirted last season, scored all 10 of his points in the second half and directed the attack that was so efficient down the stretch.

The Flyers did not commit a turnover in the final 5:59 while outscoring the Dolphins 12-6.

"My job is to control the tempo of the game and be the leader of the team," he said. "Anytime we get a chance to beat a Division I team, and we're Division III, that's a big statement."

Apple told his players at the shoot-around before the game that he knew their effort would not be a problem.

"And it certainly wasn't," he said. "What I was really concerned about was the execution. We had 11 turnovers in the first half, but it was really good in the last seven minutes.

"I didn't think Corry was in a very good rhythm to begin the game, but he came up so big in the second half."

A big part of the second half turnaround was reflected in an almost complete reversal of the rebounding statistics with the Flyers prevailing 29-18 in that department. They did it by committee with Elijah Idlett leading the team overall with seven boards. The visitors finished with 28 turnovers to 21 for the home team.

In Texas this week, No. 1 ranked Richland CC (8-1) was defeated 93-65 by Division I Hill College before bouncing back to defeat another Division I foe, Collin County CC 69-68 on Saturday.

Flyer Extra – One of the spectators enjoying Allmon's performance was his high school coach Ben Snyder. "I thought he kind of turned the tide," the coach said. "It's the same Tyrell, as competitive as all get-out." He was also there in support of freshman guard and Pinecrest alum Zion Bailey who did not see action. "I'm really proud of both of those kids and Coach Apple."

Brunswick – McDonald 2 0-0 5, Pope 7 5-5 20, Campbell 5 1-2 15, S. Love 7 6-10 20, Thomas 1 1-2 3, Rutherford 1 0-0 2, Osbourne-Harvey 1 0-0 2, Sidbury 0 0-2 0, Furlough 1 0-0 3, Spencer 0 0-0 0, Scarborough 4 4-6 12, Wiley 1 0-0 3, J. Love 0 0-2 0 Totals 30 17-29 85. Sandhills – Staton 1 2-5 4, Allmond 6 2-5 14, Dent 10 5-6 27 Addison 4 2-2 10, Davis 2 0-0 5, Idlett 4 0-0 9, Yow 2 0-0 5, Bryan 0 0-0 0, Miller 4 2-4 10, Thomas 0 2-4 2, Richardson 2 0-0 5, Medins 0 0-0 0 Totals 35 15-26 91. Three-point goals: BCC 8 (Campbell 4, McDonald, Pope, Furlough, Wiley); SCC 6 (Dent 2, Davis, Idlett, Yow, Richardson).


by Charlie Bergmann


photo by Donna Ford