North boys win in first round

Published 10:56 am Tuesday, February 27, 2024

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Peyton Fishel and Cam James dominated the boards and Will Hileman caused havoc on defense as the Ellis boys basketball team whipped visiting Selma Burke 37-26 on Feb. 20.

It was a tight game after a quarter, but Ellis asserted itself in the second quarter to lead 24-14 at intermission. James capped the first half with a deep, step-back 3-pointer. Ellis maintained a comfortable lead in the third and cruised home.

Fishel recorded a double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds. James had 8 points and 16 rebounds.

“They were controlling the boards, and (Burke) had some pretty good size,” coach Mike Dinkins said.

Ellis got 8 points from Jason Crowley, 3 from Hunter Hough and 2 from Graham Wood.

The defensive player of the game was Hileman.  “I’d give a game ball to Will,” Dinkins said. “I put him on their point guard man-to-man because he was the one making all the plays. He caused two steals, a turnover and a jump ball in four straight possessions, and we scored on three of the four. That put us up by 14. That broke their back.”

North 49, South 31

After losing six of seven, North Davie got a payback win over visiting South Davie on Feb. 20.

The Wildcats dominated the second quarter, led 24-10 at halftime and got revenge for a 46-42 loss in the first meeting.

“A big win against our oldest rival,” coach Trevor Gooch said. “The most complete game we have played so far. We played great defense and created some easy baskets in transition.”

Wade Ridenhour (15 points), Levi Morales (13 points), Nathan Smith (8 points, 15 rebounds) and Tannyr Carrier (7 points, 5 assists) inflicted the most damage for North. Ridenhour scored in double figures for the sixth time, and Smith controlled 10-plus boards for the fifth time.

“Levi was our defensive sparkplug as a force man at the top of our halfcourt trap and had a nice game offensively,” Gooch said. “Wade knocked down some big jump shots. Peyton (Jordan) also played well with a lot of hustle on defense.”

Jordan and Sawyer Hall scored 5 and 1, respectively.

Ellis 61, North 38

Ellis played overpowering defense and eased to its third straight win at North Davie on Feb. 21.

“Our press really hurt them,” Dinkins said.

Fishel has hit his stride after scoring no more than eight points through the first nine games. At North, he had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and he’s averaged 14.6 points over three games.

James (16 points, 12 rebounds) rolled up a double-double. Hough, who came in with a season high of 6 points, scored 14 while hitting four 3-pointers. Crowley (12 points) cracked double figures for the eighth time. Wood scored 3 as the Jaguars improved to 10-2.

North’s points: Smith 11, Carrier 10, Ridenhour 9, Morales 4, Jordan 2, Jodee Rosales 2.

North 52, WR 38

North Davie and West Rowan split in the regular season – North won 44-38 on Feb. 8 and West won 45-39 on Feb. 12 – but the Wildcats were the superior team in the first round of the Tri-County Conference Tournament.

“It was an awesome win,” Gooch said after the fifth-seeded Wildcats went on the road and eliminated the No. 4 seed. “We won the rubber match vs. a hard-nosed team.”

The Wildcats (6-9) kept West at arm’s length from start to finish – leading by scores of 13-8, 25-21 and 35-29 – and put up their most points in 10 games.

Carrier banged three triples and scored a season-high 19. Smith  (14 points, 17 rebounds) put up his second double-double. Morales had 10 points, Ridenhour five and Jordan four.

“Tannyr had a hot hand,” Gooch said. “Nathan was a beast on the boards. Levi knocked down some big shots in the fourth quarter. Wade and Peyton played hard with sweat-soaked jerseys by the end of the game. Jodee and Sawyer both contributed off the bench.

“I’m extremely proud of these guys for coming together at tournament time and playing their best basketball.”

No. 6 South Davie’s season ended in the first round at No. 3 Selma Burke on Feb. 22. The Bears beat South (4-11) for the third time.