Ellis, South dominated basketball wins

Published 9:44 am Friday, December 30, 2016

The Ellis boys basketball team extended the best start in its 10-year history with two lopsided victories.  The Jaguars wiped out host Forsyth Country Day 54-7 on Dec. 9. Twelve guys cracked the scoring column, led by Caleb Bowling (9), Nate Hampton (8), Beavan Arey (7) and Tate Carney (6).

The Jaguars moved to 7-0 when they rolled 61-43 at Wesleyan on Dec. 15.

Za’Haree Maddox was whistled for two fouls in the first two minutes, but Ellis is so deep it barely missed a beat. Arey replaced Maddox at the point, and Carney and Hampton took turns scoring. Luke Williams and Luke Stillson also hit baskets during a dominating first quarter that set the tone.

“Tate and Nate were carrying us (early),” coach Tracey Arnold said. “Tate was driving and he was getting baskets or getting fouled. (Carney, Hampton, Williams and Stillson) got us off to a good start. Beavan did a good job getting us in the offense.”

How dominant has Ellis been? The 18-point margin was the closest of the season.

“We were up 30 and I started emptying the bench,” Arnold said. “And (the Wesleyan coach) kept his starters out there.”

Hampton (16 points), Williams (12), Carney (seven) and Stillson (seven, with two of Ellis’ four 3-pointers) paced the offense. Hampton has the No. 1 scoring average at 15.5, followed by Williams at 9.4, Carney at 7.1 and Maddox at 6.4.

“We’ve got two groups that can score against each other when we go head to head (in practice),” Arnold said. “We get some good runs. Our practices have been more competitive than our games so far.”

Ellis will be even deeper when Jake Hill returns to full strength in January. He has been saddled by a nagging injury, making cameo appearances in three games.

“Jake would have been a starter if he had been there since the beginning of the season,” Arnold said.

South Davie smothered visiting Calvary 55-26 on Dec. 12. The Tigers carved out 11-3 and 24-3 leads in the first half. Just think how wide the margin would have been had South started like normal.

“You could tell we’d been off (a few days) because we didn’t score in the first four minutes,” coach Germain Mayfield said. “After that, we caught fire.”

South was led by Jack Reynolds (12 points), MJ Holleman (10), Jack Nixon (eight) and Caleb Steele (six).

Going into the Summit game on Dec. 13, North Davie’s James Wilkes had been on a monster streak, scoring 35, 39 and 30 points in consecutive games to lift his average to 31. He did all he needed in the first half – 13 points – to lead the Wildcats to a comfortable 41-23 win over Summit.

Wilkins’ nine-point first quarter resulted in a 20-5 North lead. He averaged 17 points for last year’s 12-2 squad, and he’s looking to shatter that mark as an eighth grader. Noble Smith contributed eight, while Davin Whitaker and Nate Brooks had six each.

South Davie hit the accelerator in the third quarter and pulled away from visiting North Davie, 50-32, on Dec. 15.

The Wildcats (3-4) were competitive for a while. Brooks’ 3-pointer and field goals from Xavier Evans, J. Wilkins and Ethan Wilkins allowed North to stay within 10-9 in the first quarter.

Ben Crenshaw did not see action in the first quarter. He exploded for 10 points in the second, including a pair of 3s, as South gained 23-14 separation at halftime.

J. Wilkins’ eight-point third kept North close for most of the third. It was 30-24 before South closed with four straight points. In the fourth, the Tigers extended the run to 20-8 and left North in their dust. Reynolds buried two 3s in the final period as South surged to 9-1.

Reynolds, who is averaging 13.3 points over three games, finished with 14. Crenshaw also had 14, the sixth time he’s hit that mark. Steele and Holleman added seven apiece.

“We let them hang around,” Mayfield said. “The second half might be the best ball we’ve played all year.

“When Jack’s on the floor in a guard spot, we’re a different team. With is competitive spirit … he’s got that fight in him. He’s not the best athlete. He just competes. He just makes things happen. I had been bringing him off the bench, but he started (this game).”

J. Wilkins scored a game-high 15 for North. He extended his double-figures streak to 16 dating to last year. He is averaging 26.1 of North’s 43.5 points. Kristian Lyons was next with six.

Ellis 54, FCD 7 – Caleb Bowling 9, Nate Hampton 8, Beavan Arey 7, Tate Carney 6, Joseph Morton 4, Shaemarr Hairston 4, Za’Haree Maddox 4, Luke Stillson 3, Alex Summers 3, Camden Beck 2, Luke Williams 2, Jake Powers 2.

S. Davie 55, Calvary 26 – Jack Reynolds 12, MJ Holleman 10, Jack Nixon 8, Caleb Steele 6, Gage Recktenwald 4, Owen Byers 4, Ben Crenshaw 4, Hayden Williams 3, Caleb Earnhardt 2, JT Bumgarner 2.

N. Davie 41, Summit 23 – James Wilkins 13, Noble Smith 8, Davin Whitaker 6, Nate Brooks 6, J.T. Allen 3, Will Summers 3, Xavier Evans 2.

N. Davie 32 – James Wilkins 15, Kristian Lyons 6, Ethan Wilkins 4, Nate Brooks 3, Davin Whitaker 2, Xavier Evans 2.

S. Davie 50 – Jack Reynolds 14, Ben Crenshaw 14, Caleb Steele 7, MJ Holleman 7, Gage Recktenwald 3, JT Bumgarner 3, Zymeir Lewis 2.

Ellis 61, Wesleyan 43 – Nate Hampton 16, Luke Williams 12, Tate Carney 7, Luke Stillson 7, Caleb Bowling 6, Za’Haree Maddox 4, Shaemarr Hairston 4, Beavan Arey 3, Alex Summers 2.