Gentry hits the nets for 25, but SD loses

Published 9:03 am Thursday, February 10, 2022

By Brian Pitts
Enterprise Record

Makenzie Gentry of the South Davie girls basketball team went bonkers in the final minute, singlehandedly shaving a nine-point deficit to one – and in the blink of an eye.
She did everything she could to save South’s season, but the Tigers ran out of time in a 34-29 conference tournament loss to visiting Wesleyan Christian Academy on Feb. 1.
The semifinal matchup was between the second-seeded Tigers and the No. 3 Trojans. The teams split their two regular-season meetings.
South was behind 30-21 with two minutes remaining. Incredibly, Gentry scored eight points in 30 seconds to draw South within 30-29. After hitting back-to-back 3s, she got a steal/layup.
“Makenzie was clutch,” coach Brandon Gentry said. “The crowd was going wild. I about had a heart attack.”
But South had to foul and Wesleyan hit four free throws to stave off the rally, ending South’s five-game winning streak.
Notes: Gentry finished with 25 points. Londyn McDowell and Joyah Abrams had two each. … South finished 10-4. … Gentry averaged 17.4 points. Emmy Johnson, who missed the last five games, was second at 12.8. Raney Phelps was next at 4.6.
Summit 44, Ellis 26
Even though No. 4 Ellis drew the unbeaten Eagles in the other semifinal on Feb. 1, even though the Jaguars had to face a team that mashed them by 30 in the regular season, Ellis put up an impressive fight in defeat.
“The score does not do this game justice at all,” coach Susan Jones said. “Summit was a team that hasn’t been beaten and really hadn’t been challenged very much.”
The Jaguars stayed close in the first quarter, trailing 7-5, and they charged to a stunning 18-13 halftime lead behind Bailey Aderhold’s nine-point quarter.
They were giving the Eagles fits with “fullcourt pressing the ball after every made shot, forcing turnovers and frustrating them,” Jones said.
But the Eagles regrouped at halftime and knocked Ellis out in the third quarter, a 21-2 run resulting in a 34-20 margin.
“Summit really stepped up the defense, trapping every player who picked up the dribble, forcing bad passes and never allowing us to make enough shots to run our press that hurt them so badly in the first half,” Jones said.
Aderhold finished with 12 points. Emmie Burris had eight, Madison Daugherty four and Gracyn Coleman two.
Jones marveled at Daugherty’s courageous effort against Summit’s trees, the defense from Stella Frye and Coleman and the improvement from Kate Nicholson.
“We were missing our best rebounder and probably our strongest inside player (Kayden Richardson), and Madison, a small guard, actually went in and played the high post on offense and the low post on defense,” she said. “She was great, coming up with steals and rebounds against girls twice her size. She stepped it up and played amazing in a position she had never played all season.
“Stella and Gracyn were the driving forces on defense, especially in the first half. They were wreaking havoc on anyone who had the ball.
“Kate played strong inside. In the last three outings, she has noticeably become more aggressive in rebounding and going onto the floor after the ball.”
Jones said her first basketball season on the sidelines was a most rewarding experience. The Jags went 5-6 after suffering through 0-8 misery last year.
“Even the Summit coach came over after the game to tell the girls how impressed he was by how they played, saying they had nothing to be ashamed of and they had more heart than he’s seen all season,” she said. “I was blessed to have this group as my first Ellis basketball team. It is a rare thing to have a group of 12 ladies who are all so good to one another. They have huge hearts.”
Notes: Summit went 5-0 against Davie County, beating Ellis and South Davie twice each and North Davie once. … Aderhold led with a 14.1 scoring average. Burris was No. 2 at seven.
ND 35, NCLA 28
North Davie unleashed two months’ worth of frustration in a season-ending makeup game against North Carolina Leadership Academy on Jan. 31.
After dropping the first eight games, after losing to the Falcons in December, the Wildcats closed their season on a high note.
“What a great way to end the season,” coach Trish King said. “It’s been a fun but challenging year. Even with our bad record, this was one of the most enjoyable seasons I’ve ever had. These girls worked so hard and never once had a bad attitude or whined about our record. It was a blessing to watch them grow and improve. The difference from the first day of practice to the last was amazing.”
In the second quarter, center Avarie Martin scored all seven of North’s points to lift the Wildcats to a 13-12 halftime lead.
After an even third, point guard Maddie Ratledge and North dominated NCLA in the fourth.
Martin finished with 17 points as North stopped a nine-game losing streak dating to last year. Ratledge had 10, Landry Parsons six and Madison Lewis two.
This was North’s first win since 49-22 at Ellis in February of 2021.
“Maddie and Avarie were the glue that held us together,” King said of the seventh graders. “They will both only get better. They play well together – kind of like Kaylee Lynch and Nadelie Jones last year. Next year will be my last, so I hope we make it a magical one.”