South basketball teams off to strong start

Published 8:50 am Friday, November 24, 2017

Olivia Tatum appears destined for a huge season. Elizabeth Johnson may have transformed herself into a major force.

The duo powered South Davie’s girls basketball team to a 48-17 stomping of visiting Calvary on Nov. 17 in the season opener.

Tatum led the Tigers to an 11-4 record last year – the most wins in 11 years – with a team-high 11.2 scoring average, and the eighth-grade guard poured in 15 points in two and a half quarters against Calvary, which faced 18-6 and 32-6 deficits in the first half.

“It’s going to be hard for middle school girls to stay in front of her because she is so explosive with her first step,” coach Germain Mayfield said.

Elizabeth Johnson, who scored five points all of last season, turned heads with a 12-point first half. The seventh grader finished with 14.

“With all that practice time she got with those eighth graders last year and the summer work she put in, she looks like a totally different player,” Mayfield said. “With the confidence to dominate, too.”

Dyllan Causey was third for South with five points. London Dirks and Emma Mathes added four each. Dirks is the No. 2 returner scorer after averaging 6.5.

Morgan Wyatt and Mayfield are coaching together for the second year.


Last year the ringleaders for a 13-2 South boys team were Ben Crenshaw (13 points per game), MJ Holleman (10.8) and Jack Reynolds (9.1). This year the engine could consist of Owen Byers, Hayden Williams and JT Bumgarner.

The trio paved the way to South’s 47-28 cruise over Calvary. Byers and Williams scored 12 apiece. Bumgarner added eight as South grabbed commanding leads of 12-3 and 25-10 in the first half.

“(Byers, Williams and Bumgarner) looked like they got a lot of minutes last year,” Mayfield said.

Andrew Shuler flourished (four points) on defense. Peyton Helton did not score but he outshined everybody on the boards.

“Andrew got it all started on the defensive end with steals and deflected balls, getting our transition game started,” Mayfield said. “Peyton probably had 12-15 rebounds, if not more. He was really surprising. For him to take 3-4 years off from playing basketball to being that active was a blessing.”

Eighth-grader Caleb Earnhardt also drew praise from the coach. “It was probably the best game I’ve seen him play since he’s been at South.”

Antwoine Hairston and Mayfield are again coaching the boys, who beat everyone except 11-0 Ellis last year.

S. Davie girls 48, Calvary 17 – Olivia Tatum 15, Elizabeth Johnson 14, Dyllan Causey 5, London Dirks 4, Emma Mathes 4, Sydney Dirks 2, Tenia Davis 2, Hazel Marion 2.

S. Davie boys 47, Calvary 28 – Owen Byers 12, Hayden Williams 12, JT Bumgarner 8, Andrew Shuler 4, Burke Rosenbaum 3, Caleb Earnhardt 2, Coleman Lawhon 2, Max Junker 2, Bodie Parker 2.