Ellis girls making history

Published 1:50 pm Tuesday, November 14, 2023

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

This season has been storybook material for the Ellis girls basketball team. In a 57-15 rout of visiting South Davie on Nov. 6, the Jaguars reached 5-0 for the first time in their 17-year history. What’s more, three Jaguars (Gracie Shore, Olivia Smith and Gracyn Coleman) scored 13-plus points in the same game for the first time ever.

Shore (19 points, five steals, two assists), Smith (13 points, nine steals, four rebounds, three assists) and Coleman (13 points, five steals, three assists) racked up 45 points together and everything else to drive the Ellis machine.

“Our three captains, once again, led us both defensively and offensively,” coach Susan Jones said. “It took us a few possessions to get in gear, but once we got going, we pressured the ball, created turnovers and just kept building from there.”

Zoe Summers (eight points, four rebounds, two steals) and Layla Hazlip (four points, five rebounds, three steals) provided nice contributions as well.

“Layla continued to make herself invaluable by being a strong presence in the paint,” Jones said.

Although the inexperienced Tigers (4-2) obviously didn’t stand a chance in this game, coach Julie Snow was proud of them for giving it all they had.

“We had eight girls and we really missed Scarlett Brock,” Snow said. “We were really proud of how our girls continued to play even though we were losing. We challenged our girls at halftime to go out and play like it was 0-0. They did that. (Beth) Carter and I were proud of how they handled themselves – a 1,000-times better than when we played North Rowan.”

South’s scorers: Akiela Young 5, Clara Parsley 4, Allie Cothren 2, EG Snow 2, Sakariah Allison 1, Zariah Allison 1.

“Allie kept the team going with a positive attitude,” Snow said. “We were so proud when Clara hit her two shots in the fourth quarter. She listens so well.”

Ellis 48, WR 28

In their biggest test of the season on Nov. 8, the Jaguars trailed unbeaten West Rowan at the end of the first quarter, 10-7. But Ellis’ skills eventually overwhelmed the visiting Bulldogs, who watched Ellis score 32 points in the middle quarters and run away to another breezy win.

“The girls were really looking forward to the challenge of playing West Rowan, knowing they were undefeated last year and were also undefeated so far this season,” Jones said. “With West Rowan running a press and being very aggressive both offensively and defensively, we were down at the end of the first.”

The Jaguars (6-0) went on a 13-2 run in the second. They put together a devastating 19-5 run in the third. At 39-17, West was cooked.

“The girls answered the challenge we gave them and picked up the defensive intensity in the second quarter,” Jones said. “We made it clear the girls had to come out as fired up and intense on defense as they had right before the half, and they not only met the challenge, but played one of the better defensive quarters of our season. The size and speed of our opponent did not deter any of the girls.”

Shore was terrific while achieving a double-double (19 points, 12 steals). She got help from Coleman (eight points, six steals, two assists), Smith (seven points, seven rebounds, three steals, two assists), Summers (six points, four rebounds, three steals), Hazlip (six points, nine rebounds, three steals) and Sydney Ward (two points).

“Olivia closed our and defensively discombobulated West Rowan’s best shooter,” Jones said. “Layla had her best game playing against their 6-foot center. She was a beast under the basket.”

Notes: North Davie lost 24-8 to Mooresville and 38-5 to Selma Burke. The Wildcats are 1-5. … South Davie lost 21-12 to Mooresville. The Tigers are 4-3.