What a start: Lady Jags win by 52

Published 12:36 pm Tuesday, October 31, 2023

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

The Ellis girls basketball team has swallowed its first two opponents whole and spit them out.

After winning the opener by 45 points, Ellis followed up with a 56-4 destruction of visiting Corriher-Lipe on Oct. 26.

What a start for the Jaguars, who carved out a 44-4 halftime lead. At that point, Gracie Shore, Olivia Smith and Gracyn Coleman had a combined 38 points. They would not play much in the second half as coach Susan Jones put it in cruise control.

“We came out aggressive defensively, pressing and trapping at every opportunity,” Jones said. “This intense pressure defense paid off. An early intentional foul on Gracie’s breakaway layup seemed to fire up the girls the rest of the game.”

Shore piled up 18 points, 10 steals and four assists. Coleman put together 15 points, five steals and three assists. Smith collected 10 points, six assists, five steals and three rebounds.

“Olivia is such a versatile player,” Jones said. “She plays small forward but can play point guard and also center when needed.”

The other Ellis scorers were Zoe Summers (six), Layla Hazlip (four) and Sydney Ward (three).

“They are playing hard on every possession and getting on the floor for loose balls while playing team basketball and looking for their teammates,” Jones said.

NR 29, SD 23

After soaring to a 2-0 start, South Davie laid an egg at North Rowan on Oct. 23. The Mavericks took control in the third quarter and held on.

“We played really scared and played to their level,” coach Julie Snow said. “We are so young and have a lot of potential. But Sarenity Miller was the only one who didn’t play scared. She had at least five blocks.”

The South points came from Allie Cothren (eight), Miller (seven), Akiela Young (four), Zariah Allison (two), Scarlett Brock (one) and Natalye Keeton (one).

SD 26, SE 11

It was heartening to see how South responded from the loss. Three days later at home, it pulled away in the third quarter. Despite being far from a finished product, the Tigers (3-1) have already matched last year’s win total.

“Our girls really showed they are coachable,” Snow said. “They took the lessons from our loss and executed the week’s worth of work.”

Cothren (12) outscored the Patriots by herself. Sakariah Allison was next with seven. Miller had five and Z. Allison two.

“Watching these girls develop is so much fun, and I’m excited to see how far we have come when December rolls around,” Snow said.

Snow spoke glowingly of the Allison twins, who are seventh-grade guards.

“The Allison twins shined,” she said. “Those girls can play defense. Sakariah is vocal. Zariah has never played before, but she is the mother to everyone. She came out of the game talking about how Southeast was trying to hurt her game. She said: ‘I’m not going to let those girls get to me. We are going to bring our game to them. No one is getting the best of me.’”

Erwin 44, ND 31

Although visiting North Davie couldn’t recover from a 13-0 hole in the first quarter on Oct. 23, Jaynie Patton was a bright spot.

Last year as a sixth grader, she totaled 13 points in 14 games. She matched that output in the first game. (North is 1-1, but the win was a forfeit from North Rowan.)

“Jaynie is my No. 1 player this year,” first-year coach Austin King said. “She will run the offense and has my trust to do so. Still a lot of stuff to work on, but she has the potential.”

Calloway Spillman (six), Audrina Bledsoe (six), Zariya Oliver (four), Mabyn Morris (one) and Zoe Shore (one) had the other North points.