4-0 Ellis girls a feel-good story

Published 9:10 am Thursday, December 8, 2022

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

The Ellis girls basketball team is a feel-good story. We’re just four games into the season and the unbeaten Jaguars already have more wins than they did in the 2012-13, 2015-16, 2017-18 and 2020-21 seasons.

Olivia Smith took over as the Jags ripped through visiting Millennium Charter 36-18 on Nov. 29. After scoring 10 in each of the first two games, Smith went off for 17.

“Special mention to Olivia for having her all-time high and this season’s individual high,” coach Susan Jones said. “We have been waiting for her to have a game where she really breaks out. Funny thing is there is still so much more potential in her to score.”

Emmie Burris had nine, Madison Daugherty four, Kayden Richardson four and Cayleigh Love two. Richardson added seven rebounds.

Ellis 46, Canterbury 14

Two days later at home, Burris and Smith delivered haymakers in the second quarter. Five different Jaguars scored in the third. Those two things epitomized Ellis’ cakewalk over the Cougars.

About that feel-good story: Ellis is 4-0 for the first time since 2016-17, and it holds a four-game winning streak for the first time since 2018-19.

Canterbury did a respectable job in the first quarter, trailing 12-6, but Burris and Smith powered a 17-2 blitz in the second with 15 points between the two. Then five different girls contributed to an 11-0 run in the third, when the spread reached 40-8.

Burris gets better every game, going from three points in the opener to four to nine and to 14 in this one, which included three 3-pointers.

“Emmie had a really well-rounded game, playing a bit of everything: low post, high post, wing and point,” Jones said. “Mostly we use her as a small forward where she was able to score inside and out and also helped our ball movement by finding the gaps either to receive a pass or give one.”

Smith (11) recorded her fourth double-figure game.

“Olivia continued to be consistent, playing a solid game on both ends of the court,” Jones said.

Daugherty had seven points, Richardson four, Sydney Ward four, Olivia Rareshide two, Emily Hernandez two and Gracyn Coleman two.

Richardson disarmed Canterbury’s big girl and Quinn Cornatzer brought her usual in-your-face defense.

“Kayden played an extremely physical game, fronting their 6-foot center the entire game, successfully battling her for position and keeping her from scoring and rebounding,” she said. “Quinn brought her usual contagious defensive energy. She tied up the ball, stole it, rebounded and smothered anyone in her space.”

Notes: South Davie lost 38-24 at Wesleyan Christian Academy on Nov. 29. … North Davie pulled out a 38-36 barnburner against visiting South on Dec. 1. Londyn McDowell scored 13, but it wasn’t quite enough as South fell to 0-4. Aryanna Warren had eight, Harmoni Alston six, Alleson Cothren four, Vivian Vaughters two, Layla Perez two and Maliyah Allen one. … North improved to 2-1. Its scorers were Avarie Martin (13), Maddie Ratledge (13), Hayden Gavura (four), Landry Parsons (four) and Britt Carrier (four).