Ellis boys reach highest win total in six years

Published 12:46 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2023

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

The Ellis boys basketball team reached its highest win total (11) in six years when it steamrolled visiting Summit, 54-21, on Jan. 24.

The Eagles were down 24-0 at the end of the first quarter, getting victimized the most by Braxton Bowling (17 points). It was hardly a surprise after Ellis won the first meeting by 50.

Brandon Forrest (eight), Ben Reid (seven), Zaheim Reese (seven), Aiden Horton (five), Max Cornatzer (three), J’sierre Arnold (two), Dashes DesNoyers (two), Colin Harrison (two) and Graham Weaver (one) rounded out the scoring as the Jaguars picked up their seventh win by 30-plus points. Since an overtime loss to South Davie, they’ve won by 32, 67, 33 and 33 points.

Phoenix 54, Ellis 32

Phoenix Academy edged Ellis 46-42 on Dec. 8, and Phoenix proved that was no fluke when it blitzed visiting Ellis on Jan. 26.

No one had more than five points for the Jaguars (11-3), who trailed by scores of 17-9, 25-15 and 38-23 and watched their four-game winning streak disappear.

“We beat ourselves,” coach Daniel York said. “It was an off night for us. It was just one of those nights where nothing was clicking.”

But York also gave credit to a formidable opponent. Phoenix’s defensive quickness consistently disrupted Ellis’ offense.

“They’re good,” York said. “They are well coached and they’re full of athletes. They don’t have many weak spots. They’re a defensive team. They look for transition. They’re a run-and-gun team.”

Ellis’ points came from Reese (five), Forrest (five), Reid (five), Horton (five), Brady Hall (three), Mason Driver (two), Bowling (two), Weston Barefoot (two), Harrison (two) and Arnold (one).

Wesleyan 53, ND 49

Although Edarius Oliver hit the 20-point mark for the third time and Ty Greene enjoyed a season high, North Davie’s comeback ran out of time in a home loss to Wesleyan Christian Academy on Jan. 23.

“Our kids played hard,” coach Trevor Gooch said.

The Wildcats faced deficits of 20-12, 32-22 and 45-35 before clawing back. Unfortunately, they came up a few plays short and suffered their third loss in a row.

Oliver (20) and Greene (14) did the bulk of the scoring. Blake French had five, while Wyatt Harwood and Carter Cornett had four each. Will Carter had two.

“Edarius had a good game driving to the basket and scoring some layups in transition,” Gooch said. “Ty knocked down some jump shots, including two 3-pointers.”

ND 59, Millennium 22

The Wildcats bolted to a 15-2 lead and had an easy time at Millennium Charter on Jan. 26.

Oliver (15 points), Harwood (11 points) and French (eight points, 11 rebounds) had the most success as North closed the regular season with a 7-6 record.

“Edarius played well in transition with some easy layups,” Gooch said. “Wyatt had a nice game coming back from a broken hand. Blake played well in the post.”

The other scorers were Reynolds Tomlinson (six), Tannyr Carrier (five), Carter (four), Cornett (four), Greene (two), Nolan Allen (two) and Chad Hardin (two).

“It was nice to get some scoring from our bench, especially Reynolds and Tannyr,” Gooch said.