This Jags trio may be best in Davie middle school basketball history

Published 1:23 pm Tuesday, December 5, 2023

By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

Ellis continued a familiar theme in a 52-17 rout at South Davie on Nov. 27. Gracyn Coleman, Gracie Shore and Olivia Smith are among the greatest trios in Davie County middle school girls basketball annals.

When the teams met Nov. 6, a game that saw the Jaguars win by 42, the trio had 13-plus points in the same game, a feat that had not happened in Ellis’ 17-year history. They did it again in Ellis’ seventh victory by 30-plus points.

Coleman scored 15 points by hitting three 3-pointers, and added four steals. (One of her triples was a buzzer-beater from beyond halfcourt at the end of the first half.) Shore had 14 points, 11 steals and three assists. Smith had 13 points, six steals and three assists.

“Watching (Shore) tonight, I was reminded of just how quick she can make an opponent regret having the ball in their hands,” Ellis coach Susan Jones said. “(In a span of a minute), she had or caused four turnovers and steals that were converted into points. It happened that fast.

“Olivia played well inside and out, driving the lane as well as stepping back for the 3. Defensively, her long arms and read of the ball and court earned her six steals.”

The unbeaten Jaguars got 6 points and 4 rebounds from Layla Hazlip, 2 points each from Emily Hernandez and Olivia Rareshide and 3 steals from Sydney Ward.

“Layla was solid in the paint, creating space to get the pass,” Jones said. “Sydney played well defensively. Emily and Rareshide played some good minutes.”

South coach Julie Snow could not fault her girls’ effort. Scarlett Brock had 6 points, Zariah Allison 4 and Allie Cothren 3. Sakariah Allison and EG Snow had 2 apiece.

“Our defense wasn’t terrible, they are just that good,” Snow said. “When you have three players that can easily score in double digits, it is hard to match their level.”

Notes: West Rowan scheduled too many games, and the Bulldogs had to forfeit their home game against Ellis on Nov. 30. The forfeit raised Ellis’ record to 12-0, which tied the school record for wins; last year’s club went 12-4.

Selma 30, ND 19

After losing to Selma Burke 38-5 on Nov. 8, the Wildcats (1-11) gave a gutty effort in an 11-point home loss to the Bears Nov. 30. North only trailed by four at halftime and by eight going into the fourth.

Calloway Spillman had 9 points, Jaynie Patton 6, Zariya Oliver 3 and Zoe Shore 1.

WR 54, SD 21

After South Davie’s lopsided loss at West Rowan Nov. 29, Snow heaped praise on Karissa Stockton and Natalye Keeton. “Karissma finally played the game we knew she could,” Snow said. “I guarantee you she had at least 10 rebounds and played with such composure. She is a sixth grader and is going to be fun to watch the next few years.

“Natalye is an eighth grader and I really hope she plays JV at the high school. She has a lot of potential.”

Akiela Young had 9 points, Stockton 4, Cothren 3, Keeton 2, Brock 2 and Snow 1.

Coach Snow said her girls left everything on the floor. “Our girls played so good. It was nice to hear so many sincere compliments from the fans after the game. We might not be winning, but we are getting better.”

Moor 24, SD 17

One day later, the Tigers gave another inspired effort in a home loss to Mooresville. After leading by one at halftime, South watched the Red Imps double their scoring output in the second – from eight points in the first 14 minutes to 16 in the second half.

Cothren had 6, S. Allison 4, Young 3, Clara Parsley 2 and Z. Allison 2.

“We hung with Mooresville and played them a lot better than we did the first time (on Nov. 8),” Snow said. “We moved the ball well, we just couldn’t hit shots. Playing three games in a week also took a lot of gas out of us. We can beat them, I know we can. That is why it is so frustrating.”