SD boys beat ND; Hampton goes off for Ellis

Published 11:41 am Thursday, December 3, 2015

What did Nate Hampton of Ellis’ boys basketball team do for an encore? After scoring 22 points in his middle-school debut, he put up 21 to lead the Jaguars to a 38-27 road win over Forbush on Nov. 23.

It was the first time in three years an Ellis player went for 20-plus in back-to-back games. Heath Slabach had 24 and 22 against Central Davidson and South Davie in 2012-13.

The Jaguars – getting four points from Luke Stillson and three each from Jaxon Beaty and Shaemarr Hairston – pulled away slowly, leading 10-8 after one quarter, 17-13 at halftime and 31-20 after three.

“We won on the strength of our post players and defense,” coach Johnny Hill said. “Hairston, Hampton, Justin Lunsford, Sam Hendrix and Jake Hill played solid defense inside and caused a lot of shots to be too long. Our perimeter defense was much better than last week as well. We only gave up three 3-pointers.

“I am also finding out my bench is much deeper than I thought. I have been playing them and allowing them game-time experience.”

At the end of the first quarter against visiting North Wilkes on Nov. 23, it was Alex Ratledge 11, North 6. Ratledge scored all 11 of his points in a decisive first quarter that saw South Davie bolt to a 23-6 lead.

Runs of 17-5 and 8-2 followed in the second and third quarters as the Tigers rolled to a 60-35 decision that avenged last year’s 57-28 home loss.

Brooks Johnson led the way with 14 points, followed by Ratledge with 11 and Matthew James and Scotty Lyons with nine each. Lyons hit three of South’s five 3-pointers. Johnson had the other two.

North Davie came out of nowhere to win its opener at Central Wilkes on Nov. 23. After trailing 19-14 at halftime and 29-22 after three, the Wildcats completely flipped the script and blistered Central 19-6 in the fourth to post a 41-35 victory.

The Wildcats, who are coming off a 10-6 season that represented the most wins in eight years, were led by James Wilkins’ 15 and Aaron Williams’ 13.

“We played OK for the first game,” 16th-year coach Matt McPherson said. “We missed tons of layups and open shots. I really liked how we competed in the second half to win. That’s good. But we can not shoot that poorly every game and hope to win.”

Behind the trio of Ratledge (23 points), Ben Crenshaw (15) and Johnson (14), South Davie handled visiting North Davie 63-51 on Nov. 24.

Ratledge’s eight-point first quarter staked South to a 12-6 advantage. Johnson’s seven-point second keyed a 19-6 spurt that pushed the halftime margin to 31-12.

Though outcome had been decided, North never stopped fighting, outscoring South 28-24 in a never-ending fourth. Ratledge and Crenshaw combined for 20 in the final six minutes. For North, Wilkins erupted for 18 of his team-high 21 in the fourth.

Williams and Adrian Cranfill had 11 and 10, respectively, for North (1-1)

After staggering through a 1-13 season a year ago, the Tigers (3-1) are several hundred miles ahead of that pace. They have three double-figure scorers to thank, with Ratledge averaging 14.5, Johnson 13.3 and Crenshaw 10.5.

S. Davie 60, N. Wilkes 35 – Brooks Johnson 14, Alex Ratledge 11, Matthew James 9, Scotty Lyons 9, Ben Crenshaw 5, Matthew Daniel 5, Evan Little 4, M.J. Holleman 4, Jack Reynolds 2.

Ellis 38, Forbush 27 – Nate Hampton 21, Luke Stillson 4, Jaxon Beaty 3, Shaemarr Hairston 3, Justus Tatum 2, Sam Hendrix 2, Jake Hill 2, Luke Williams 1.

S. Davie 63 – Alex Ratledge 23, Ben Crenshaw 15, Brooks Johnson 14, M.J. Holleman 4, Matthew Daniel 2, Bryceson Cozart 2, Matthew James 2, Scotty Lyons 1.

N. Davie 51 – James Wilkins 21, Aaron Williams 11, Adrian Cranfill 10, Grant Copeland 5, Noah Bohannon 2, J.T. Allen 2.