South boys dream season stays alive

Published 2:32 pm Tuesday, December 12, 2023

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

The Tigers were a little wobbly in the final minutes at Selma Burke, but the South Davie boys basketball team did enough to continue its season for the ages.

A game at West Rowan Nov. 29 was a 70-40 snooze for the Tigers. Draeton Nance (28 points) posted his sixth game of 28 or more and Noah Dulin (23) put up at least 20 for the fifth time. William Martin was next with 13, followed by Anderson Branham with 5 and Cam Holland with 1.

One day later, South handled visiting Mooresville 56-35. Nance (17), Martin (15) and Dulin (12) outscored the Red Imps by themselves. Holland (7), Owen Parker (3) and Ty Cozart (2) also contributed to the offense.

SD 39, Burke 38

A marquee matchup was held at Selma Burke Dec. 4. The first half was tight, but South survived to close the regular season at 14-0.

It’s the most wins in four years and the longest winning streak in 10 years. (The 2013-14 team went 17-0.)

The Tigers came in averaging 64 points, but they had to grind this one out. Nance and Dulin combined for 12 points and Branham banged a 3-pointer as South assumed control in the third quarter at 31-25. That’s after it was down 17-15 at halftime.

The Bears were the only team to challenge South in the regular season. In the first meeting, South won 65-57 after leading by 15 at halftime. All the other opponents have been evicted by at least 21 points.

Nance (12) had his fewest scoring total in 11 games, but Dulin came through with 16. Martin (3), Branham (3), Malachi Miller (3) and Aiden Houser (2) helped the cause.

“It was exciting, but we both played sloppy,” coach Germain Mayfield said. “I think they went up about five or six at one time, and we went up about seven or eight at one time. So it was back and forth all game.”

Ellis Boys

It was an agony/ecstasy final week of the regular season for Ellis. After beating Mooresville by seven on Nov. 13, the Jaguars lost 64-44 at home to the Red Imps on Dec. 4. Ouch.

It was Ellis’ fourth straight loss (not counting a forfeit from West Rowan). Cannon Smith did his part with a season-high 15, but he was the only Jaguar in double figures. The other scorers: Zaheim Reese 7, Mason Driver 7, Brandon Forrest 6, Seager Brooks 4, Brady Hall 3, Westen Barefoot 2.

But get this: Two days later, the Jaguars crushed visiting North Davie 54-24 – after losing by 13 to North on Nov. 16. Driver went crazy, scoring 16 after coming in with a 3.9 average. Forrest added 11 as Ellis improved to 8-6. We note that North did have Carter Cornett in the first meeting, and he went off for 23 points. But in that game, he was lost for the season by injury.

The other Ellis scorers: Brooks 6, Smith 6, Tay Settecasi 4, Reese 3, Bowman Blakley 3, Barefoot 2, Ayden Chilton 2, Hall 1.

North’s points came from Edarius Oliver (9), Nolan Allen (5), Blaze Sanders (4), Wyatt Harwood (2), Kellan Wiles (2) and Rafael Lozano (2).

Two days earlier, the Wildcats took an 18-10 lead over visiting West Rowan in the first quarter. Unfortunately, they flamed out and lost 67-49.

“We came out of the gates and played hard,” coach Trevor Gooch said. “But we got worn down by getting beat on the boards and not getting back on defense. Once we get behind, we start pressing on offense by making turnovers and missing layups.”

Harwood (18) posted 18 or more for the third time. Oliver was right behind him with 16. Isaiah Hernandez had 8, Allen 3, Reynolds Tomlinson 3 and Sanders 1.

“Both Wyatt and Edarius played well,” Gooch said. “Isaiah keeps improving, but we must have other players step up to compete.”

Notes: North (3-10) lost its last five regular-season games. … The West Division standings, from top to bottom: South Davie, Mooresville, Selma Burke, Ellis, West Rowan, North Davie.