Nance takes over, South boys now 7-1

Published 1:48 pm Tuesday, November 14, 2023

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By Brian Pitts

Davie Enterprise Record

One half of the South Davie boys basketball team’s fearsome twosome (Noah Dulin) fouled out with four minutes remaining at Mooresville on Nov. 8.

The Red Devils were within striking distance at the end of the third quarter (42-31 in South’s favor), and then a 16.2 scorer was whistled for his fifth personal three minutes into the fourth.

Panic time for South? Not hardly. The other half of the mighty 1-2 punch (Draeton Nance) put the Tigers on his shoulders and exploded for 16 fourth-quarter points as South outscored Mooresville 22-2 in the final seven minutes on the way to a 64-33 decision.

“Defense,” coach Germain Mayfield said when asked what keyed the giant exclamation mark in South’s seventh win in as many tries. “Our D sparked everything. It was fun to watch.”

It was a historic performance by Nance, who finished with 31 points. Since South became a middle school in 1993-94, only three players have cracked 30 points twice in a season. The short list: Drew Absher in 2004-05, Dulin last year and Nance this year.

Dulin had 16 points, William Martin 15 and Camden Holland two as the Tigers climbed to 7-0 for the first time in nine years. The last time was 2013-14, when Brent Wall was head coach of a 17-0 powerhouse that was led by Cooper Wall (20.6 ppg), Curtis Gray (12.7) and Ross Starnes (8).

Even though South is drubbing opponents 66-25 on average, Mayfield is taking nothing for granted.

“I tell people all the time, especially in basketball, it’s really hard to go undefeated,” Mayfield said. “You have to have a lot of things go your way. Like (against mooresville),  we had four kids out with the flu, including a starter (Anderson Branham) and my sixth man (Paxton Lewis).”

SD 64, Ellis 36

Two days before the trip to Mooresville, South destroyed an Ellis team that was without top scorer Brandon Forrest for the second game in a row.

The Tigers have been so dominant that this was actually their closest game of the season. The South scorers: Nance 28, Dulin 19, Martin 7, Owen Parker 6, Branham 2, Tate Sechrest 2.

The Jaguars, who suffered their second loss in a row after starting 3-0, got points from Cannon Smith (nine), Westen Barefoot (eight), Mason Driver (seven), Zaheim Reese (five), Brady Hall (three), Tay Settecasi (two) and Seager Brooks (two).

Selma 55, Ellis 37

Ellis’ first loss came at Selma Burke on Nov. 2. The Bears went on a 22-6 run in the second quarter and coasted from there.

Reese (14), Driver (nine), Bowman Blakley (five), Smith (four), Ayden Chilton (three) and Hall (two) had the Ellis points.

Even though the Jaguars fell hard, first-year coach Alexis Hoppers was not discouraged afterward.

“I feel like my team is coming together,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of adversity so far this season, but I think we are finally starting to see the bigger picture. I have kids who come in and work hard and do what I ask, and that is all a coach can ask for.”

Ellis 50, WR 43

Forrest was back from a trip for a baseball tournament and the Jaguars got back on track against visiting West Rowan on Nov. 8.

Forrest’s 10 first-quarter points lifted Ellis to an 18-10 lead. The Bulldogs, though, were not easy prey. They got within 38-35 at the end of the third quarter. Ellis held on by getting points from Hall, Smith, Reese, Forrest and Driver in the fourth. Another factor down the stretch was Barefoot, who snatched four of his five rebounds in the closing minutes.

Forrest finished with 22 points and three steals. Reese (nine), Smith (seven), Hall (five), Driver (three), Barefoot (two) and Weaver (two) also scored. Barefoot racked up seven steals as Ellis improved to 4-2.

Moor 63, ND 42

North Davie lost at home to Mooresville on Nov. 6 despite 16 points from Wyatt Harwood and 12 from Edarius Oliver.

“We played a decent first half,” coach Trevor Gooch said. “In the second half, we got worn down. We are still searching for an identity and players developing a role on the team. Hopefully we keep working and get better.”

The other North points came from Carter Cornett (five), Reynolds Tomlinson (three), Nolan Allen (two), Isaiah Hernandez (two) and Blaze Sanders (two).

Selma 67, ND 44

Things did not get any better at Selma Burke on Nov. 8 as the Wildcats (2-4) endured their fourth straight loss.

The scorers were Oliver (16), Harwood (12), Cornett (four), Glen Greene (four), Sanders (four), Kellan Wiles (three) and Tomlinson (one).

“We played well at times, but we must get better on defense and rebounding,” Gooch said. “Edarius and Wyatt both had a solid game.”