Ellis boys on magical basketball run

Published 1:04 pm Tuesday, February 6, 2024

By Brian Pitts

Davie Enterprise Record

Mike Dinkins must have found the secret to eternal luck. His Ellis boys basketball team is on a magical run, winning the past three games by one, four and three points.

“I’ve never had a bunch do this,” Dinkins said. “That’s three straight games we’ve been down with less than two minutes to go and came back and won.”

Ellis 45, SD 41

It was a heartbreaker for the visiting Tigers, who held a 41-35 lead late in the fourth quarter. Ellis closed the game with a remarkable 10-0 run on Jan. 29.

“We had one heck of a ballgame,” Dinkins said. “It went back and forth in the third quarter and fourth quarter. We were up seven. Then all of a sudden, we were down six with a little over two minutes to play.”

The comeback began when Jordan Crowley dove on the floor to grab a loose ball. The possession ended with Cam James scoring off an offensive rebound. Josiah Warren scored on a steal/layup. Warren got another steal, missed the shot but stuck it back up and in to tie the game at 41 with 18 seconds left.

Ellis got another steal at halfcourt. James sent a pass to Chance McLean, who scored at :08 to give Ellis a 43-41 lead. South turned it over yet again and Hunter Hough raced in for a layup right before time expired for the exclamation mark.

James finished with 16 points to match his season high. McLean had 9, Warren 8, Hough 6 and Crowley 6.

“If I had to give a game ball out, Josiah would get it,” Dinkins said. “He had 12 rebounds and two major steals at the end of the game.”

South’s scorers: Colson Dulin 12, Crosby Parker 11, Luke Rosenquist 8, Jared Vaughters 8, Kayden Young 8, Dreighton Lunnerman 3, Henry Corriher 1.

It was the fourth straight loss for the Tigers, one of which was 46-45 in overtime against Erwin. So South could have easily been 5-2 through seven games.

“I guess we’ve got to call them the Cardiac Kids,” Dinkins said. “I mean, that is two in a row (decided in the final seconds). It was a nice crowd and people were going crazy.”

Ellis 36, Burke 33

Three days later, this dramatic team did it again, rallying late in the fourth to win at Selma Burke.

Ellis was down by four with 1:40 remaining.

“I said: ‘Boys, they’re going to keep shooting the ball. We’ve just got to rebound it and score,’” Dinkins said.

Ellis rebounded a Burke miss. At the other end, Peyton Fishel  took an offensive rebound and scored.

After the Bears split a pair at the line, Crowley pushed the ball down the floor. He missed but James rebounded and scored as he was fouled. His free throw was good to tie the game.

After the Bears missed, they fouled Hough on a 3-point try. He hit 2 of 3 to give Ellis a two-point lead with under 20 seconds to go.

Burke missed again. Ellis made a long pass downcourt and the official called an intentional foul. Hough hit one free throw to put his team up by three.

“The boy just basically coldcocked Hunter,” Dinkins said.

Burke missed its final shot and Ellis (5-1) celebrated another thrilling victory.

Crowley (13) hit double figures for the fourth time. James had 8, Hough 6, Fishel 6, Wood 2 and Warren 1.

Moor 55, ND 17

North Davie absorbed a 37-point beating at Mooresville on Jan. 29. The Wildcat points came from Tannyr Carrier (7), Wade Ridenhour (2), Jodee Rosales (2), Peyton Jordan (2), Nathan Smith (2) and Jacob Self (2).

SD 46, ND 42

The Wildcats burst to a 14-8 lead in the first quarter, but the Tigers dominated the middle quarters and defeated visiting North on Feb. 1.

South (4-4) snapped the four-game losing streak as C. Dulin erupted for 19 points. Lunnerman and Vaughters had eight each.

“We’re getting better,” South coach Germain Mayfield said. “We just need to learn how to win and play a complete and consistent game.”

It was the third straight loss for the Wildcats (3-4), who got 15 points and three 3s from Carrier, 11 points and two triples from Ridenhour and 10 points and eight boards from Smith. Levi Morales and Jordan had four and two points, respectively.

“We came out with a lot of energy and jumped out to a lead,” North coach Trevor Gooch said. “We failed to play well for long periods of time during the second and third quarters. In the fourth quarter, we were down by 10 points and cut the lead to four.”