North, South JV boys having early success

Published 1:15 pm Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Through three games, the competition has been inferior to the South Davie JV boys basketball team. The Tigers improved to 3-0 last week, but coach Germain Mayfield wasn’t about to let his boys take a victory lap.

“We have four tough games in a row, so we will get to see where we are for sure in the next two weeks,” he said.

SD 51, NR 38

Dreighton Lunnerman joined the lineup after missing the opener and South cruised past visiting North Rowan on Jan. 17. Jared Vaughters (14 points) and Lunnerman (12) fueled the attack.

“Dreighton doesn’t understand the game yet, but when he does, he might be special,” Mayfield said.

Colson Dulin and James Martin had eight points apiece. Kayden Young had four, Crosby Parker three and Kyllan Dulin two. James is the younger brother of William Martin, who averaged 10.5 points for South’s 16-1 varsity team in 2023.

“James is the same player but a little more athletic,” Mayfield said. “But he doesn’t have the same skill level yet.”

SD 60, CG 30

Lunnerman and Vaughters stayed hot, Parker found a rhythm from behind the arc and the result was a 30-point destruction of host China Grove on Jan. 18.

The first quarter was a 22-17 shootout, but South dominated from there to run its record to 3-0.

Lunnerman had 18. Vaughters (14) had at least 14 for the third time. And Parker buried three 3s on the way to 12. C. Dulin, Young and Brody Lagle chipped in five each. Martin had one.

“We’ve got a long ways to go, but we are taking baby steps,” Mayfield said. “The ball is starting to move a little ore, which means we are taking better shots.”

Erwin 43, ND 41

North Davie got punched in the face in the first half as it faced a 25-13 halftime deficit. The Wildcats came all the way back in the third, tying the score at 27, but they came up just short against the visiting Eagles on Jan. 16.

“It was a heartbreaking loss,” coach Trevor Gooch said.

North’s offense came from Nathan Smith (13 points), Tannyr Carrier (12), Wade Ridenhour (eight), Peyton Jordan (five) and Levi Morales (three). The score was 41-41 with under a minute to play. Erwin held on by hitting two free throws.

“I’m really proud of our guys for coming back,” Gooch said. “We stepped up the defensive pressure and took the lead, 39-37, but we could not close the deal.

“Tannyr had a huge game playing point guard, and Nathan had a nice game in the post.”

ND 57, NR 31

Two days later, North Davie rolled to 3-1 by dispatching North Rowan on the road.

Morales (18) put up the most points by a Wildcat in four games. Carrier (11) hit double figures for the third game in a row. Ridenhour, who has recorded at least seven in every game, had 11. Smith had nine points and 12 rebounds. Jordan (8 points, 8 boards) also flirted with a double-double.

“Levi had a breakout game with nice drives to the basket and some mid-range jump shots,” Gooch said. “We switched his position from the post to a guard.  The other two guards, Tannyr and Wade, both had a solid game.”

Ellis 44, CG 9

With Jordan Crowley and Chance McLean combining for 23 points, Ellis obliterated visiting China Grove in the Jaguars’ opener on Jan. 16.

“The kids played extremely well,” coach Mike Dinkins said. “It could’ve been a little bit worse. I played 12 out of 14 kids in the first quarter. I did not start my best five.”

Crowley and McLean led with 13 and 10, respectively. Peyton Fishel (8), Graham Wood (5), Ryan Richardson (2), Josiah Warren (2), Cam James (2) and Joseph Burchette (2) also scored.

“Cam played extremely well inside,” Dinkins said. “He controlled the boards.”

And then: “We switched defenses every other time down the floor. You don’t expect sixth and seventh graders to be able to do that. We ran 52 different defenses, some of them more than once. If you mess up on defense, I’ll take you right out, and that happened about four times.”

The Ellis roster includes Kingston Hamilton, Will Hileman, Mason Walker, Hunter Hough, Mason Barnes and Bentley Carter.

Erwin 38, Ellis 34

James, a 6-1, 205-pound sixth grader, went off for 16 points, but the Jaguars’ poor free-throwing shooting came back to bite them at Erwin on Jan. 18.

Ellis went 5 of 17 from the charity stripe.

“It was a good game,” Dinkins said. “It could have gone either way. I’m still trying to find the right five to put together on the floor.”

James was almost half the offense for the Jags, who rallied to tie in the second half after trailing by eight. But they never could manage to take a second-half lead.

“Cam played well,” Dinkins said. “He basically carried us in the second half. We just could not get anybody else to score.”

The other 18 points came from Crowley (5), Carter (3), Burchette (3), Wood (2), Hileman (2), Hough (2) and McLean (1).

Ellis had no answer for one Erwin player. That kid had 26.

“Every loose ball he got, and he was not a big kid,” Dinkins said. “He’s very athletic and can dribble extremely well. He attacked the basket very well.”