James, Ellis boys beat South

Published 11:07 am Tuesday, February 20, 2024

The Ellis boys basketball team could smell another victory when it entered halftime ahead by eight and when it extended the lead to 12.

But the lead evaporated and Mooresville stopped the Jaguars’ winning streak at six. Ellis fell 48-37 on the road on Feb. 13.

“We played some of our best basketball in the first half,” coach Mike Dinkins said.

The Jaguars led 29-25 going into the fourth, but they failed to hit a field goal in the last six minutes and got outscored 23-8. Their fourth-quarter points came on 8-of-14 foul shooting.

“The wheels fell off,” Dinkins said. “We’ve won so many close games, one of them had to go the other way, and this one did.”

The Ellis scorers: Jordan Crowley 11, Chance McLean 6, Peyton Fishel 6, Cam James 6, Hunter Hough 3, Bentley Carter 3, Josiah Warren 2.

Ellis 64, South 50

Ellis roared to a 12-0 lead out of the gate, weathered a South Davie storm and then managed to win comfortably at South on Feb. 15.

“Our height hurt them,” Dinkins said.

James was unstoppable in the paint, finishing with 21 points and 12 rebounds. The other Ellis scorers: Fishel 12, Crowley 9, McLean 8, Carter 3, Hough 3, Warren 2, Will Hileman 2, Ryan Richardson 2, Graham Wood 2.

“James had a great game,” Dinkins said after Ellis improved to 8-2.

Although South (4-9) dropped its fifth in a row, it was not all bad. Crosby Parker went off for 18 points, including four 3-pointers, and Jared Vaughters converted 10 of 12 free throws to finish with 15.

“I finally screamed: ‘You can’t foul (Vaughters). He does not miss,’” Dinkins said. “(Parker) kept them close.”

Earlier in the week, South lost to Selma Burke and West Rowan.

West 45, North 39

North Davie’s loss at West Rowan on Feb. 12 overshadowed spectacular first-half shooting by Wade Ridenhour, who sank four 3s and scored 17 of his season-high 20 in the first 12 minutes.

It was a battle. North led 14-11 and 24-22 after the first and second quarters. It was anybody’s game going into the fourth, with West holding a 32-30 advantage.

“We came out with a lot of energy and jumped out to a 10-point lead,” coach Trevor Gooch said. “Wade had a hot hand in the first half. Sadly, West flipped the script and wore us down in the second half.”

Levi Morales had eight, Tannyr Carrier six, Nathan Smith four and Peyton Jordan one.

Moor 41, North 25

The Wildcats were simply helpless in the Jan. 29 meeting at Mooresville, when the Red Imps won 55-17. But they made the Feb. 15 rematch at home respectable.

Ridenhour and Smith led the way with eight points each, followed by Carrier with four, Jodee Rosales with three and Morales with two.

“We really played hard and some great defense in the third quarter,” Gooch said after North fell to 4-8. “We cut the lead in the fourth to under 10. We had a much better effort since the previous loss to them by 38 points.”