Gentry scores 32 for South girls
Published 9:33 am Thursday, February 3, 2022
By Brian Pitts
Bailey Aderhold of the Ellis girls basketball team was doing her thing in the first quarter at South Davie on Jan. 25, and the Jaguars ended the quarter with a 6-5 lead.
But after watching the Ellis star score all six points in the first, the Tigers clamped down and won going away, 32-20. Aderhold had no field goals in the middle quarters and settled for 11 points.
“If you leave her open, she’s going to hit shots,” South coach Brandon Gentry said. “Every time she got the ball, we rotated the zone over and made sure we covered her.”
After leading just 16-12 at halftime, the Tigers pulled away in the third. Raney Phelps led a 12-2 rush that sent South to its seventh straight win in the series.
“We adjusted a few things at halftime,” Gentry said. “Our press got them in the third quarter.”
Makenzie Gentry was the game-high scorer with 15 points, and she was complemented by Phelps’ season-high nine. Harmoni Alston contributed four, while America Stockton and Zariyah Conner had two each.
“Makenzie scored the points, but we couldn’t have done it without hard work and defense from the others,” Gentry said. “Raney really stepped up. Harmoni played great defense. Joyah (Abrams) and Londyn (McDowell) were getting defensive rebounds. They’ve stepped up since (Emmy Johnson’s) been out.”
The other Ellis scorers were Gracyn Coleman (four), Emmie Burris (two), Madison Daugherty (two) and Stella Frye (one).
South 61, North 20
Gentry, Phelps and the Tigers absolutely scorched the nets against visiting North Davie on Jan. 26.
Gentry enjoyed an unforgettable day, scoring 21 of her 32 points in a decisive first half (33-12 lead at halftime). It was seven over her previous career high and marked the most by a female Tiger in nearly 300 games. It was the most since Meisha Fowler’s 33 in a 47-42 loss at Erwin in 2004, and it raised her average to 16.3.
“I wanted to take her out, but she was doing so good,” the father/coach said. “She wanted to break the 30 mark. That was her goal and she went for it and got it.”
Phelps, an eighth grader who had scored 31 through nine games, broke loose in an emphatic way to pour in 21.
“I was amazed,” Gentry said. “I told Raney: ‘It’s all mental. I know you can do it because I saw you play as a sixth grader. I know the game and the potential you have. I just need you to go out there and play your game.’ She hit three 3s in a row. It was amazing to see her play that way.”
Alston (four), McDowell (two) and Scarlett Brock (two) also scored as South beat North for the 20th time in a row. The Tigers put up their most points since a 61-4 win over Forsyth Country Day in January of 2019.
Meanwhile, Avarie Martin was strong in defeat. She scored 18 of North’s 20. Maddie Ratledge had the other two.
SD 34, Canterbury 9
To no one’s surprise, the Tigers overwhelmed the Cougars at home on Jan. 27. Gentry continued to dominate with 22 points as South (10-3) extended its winning streak to five.
Phelps, Abrams and McDowell had four each.
Ellis 33, NCLA 27
At the end of the first quarter on Jan. 26, North Carolina Leadership Academy had a 10-6 lead, which meant the Jaguars had the Falcons right where they wanted them. (In the first meeting in early December, Ellis faced an 11-2 deficit after the first, rallied furiously and won 34-29 behind Aderhold’s 19.)
Right on cue, the Jaguars scored eight of nine points in the second, closed the third with a 23-22 lead and pulled away in the fourth.
Burris led the way with nine points as Ellis bounced back after enduring a 1-4 slump. While Aderhold was held to a season-low seven, Kayden Richardson emerged with a season-high eight. Frye had five and Kate Nicholson two.
Wesleyan 31, Ellis 19
Wesleyan Christian Academy pulled off a 180 turnaround and beat host Ellis on Jan. 27.
Daugherty, Aderhold, Olivia Smith and Coleman staked Ellis (5-5) to a 9-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Ellis’ momentum, though, was short-lived. The Trojans went on a blistering 14-0 run in the second, and they doomed Ellis’ comeback chances in the third.
Aderhold had 10 points. Daugherty had three. Frye and Smith had two each. Coleman and Burris had one.
Notes: North Davie lost at Wesleyan and at Summit. The Wildcats are 0-8. … The conference tournament is being held this week. On the girls’ side, the top four teams are competing. There is a play-in game on the boys’ side, so that bracket has five teams.