Balanced Bears whip Wildcats for fifth straight win

Posted 12/20/19

BEAR CREEK — It was obviously a tale of two halves.

After being held to a mere five points in the first half, South Davidson exploded for 47 points over the final two quarters but it wasn’t …

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Balanced Bears whip Wildcats for fifth straight win

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Posted

BEAR CREEK — It was obviously a tale of two halves.

After being held to a mere five points in the first half, South Davidson exploded for 47 points over the final two quarters but it wasn’t enough to overcome a 33-point Chatham Central advantage at intermission as the Wildcats dropped a 63-52 Yadkin Valley 1A Conference decision to the Bears Friday night in Gerald L. Binkley Gymnasium.

Chatham Central’s fifth victory in a row lifted the Bears to 3-0 in the league standings and 6-2 for the year, while South Davidson slumped to 1-2 in the conference and 1-6 overall.

Michael Moore pumped in 22 points for the winners while Micah Gurley came off the bench to notch a career-high 13 and Lucas Skertich added 10 as Chatham Central connected on 49% (26-of-53) of its field goal attempts.

Thomas Ellington and Hayden Smith registered 18 and 11 points, respectively – all in the second half – to lead the Wildcats, who after a two-of-23 shooting performance in the initial half concluded the evening making 34% (18-of-53) of their shots from the floor. South Davidson held a 30-27 edge in rebounds while both teams turned the ball over nine times.

“It’s hard to describe the embarrassment we suffered the first half,” said Wildcats’ coach Chad Ellington. “We came out timid at the outset, didn’t take care of the ball, and when we did have good looks at the basket we couldn’t throw the ball in the ocean off a pier. I told our team at halftime don’t worry about the score, but instead make it our goal to go out and win the third quarter, then win the fourth. We managed to turn the lights on in the second half, and I’ll take that effort any day.

“But give Chatham Central credit,” continued Ellington. “They are fundamentally sound, unselfish, pass the ball well and have so many weapons.”

Bears’ coach Robert Burke admitted he wasn’t surprised at South Davidson’s second-half comeback, stating “They’re a scrappy team that never gives up.”

“We started off aggressive on offense, moved the ball well and scored a lot of backdoor cuts. After we stretched our lead early in the second half we backed off our press and stayed in a zone, and that’s when South Davidson got on a roll, found their rhythm and began penetrating inside while hitting their outside shots. But despite their rally, it was a good outcome for us.”

With Moore and Skertich combining for Chatham Central’s first 17 points, the Bears opened up a 17-2 advantage in the opening six minutes and increased their lead to 21-2 by the end of the initial quarter on Gurley’s layup with 1:09 to go in the frame.

Moore and Gurley combined for seven points during a 9-0 Chatham Central run to begin the second stanza before the Wildcats would score again on Damon Hill’s turnaround jumper off the left baseline with 4:26 remaining in the period. Gurley’s put-back in the lane at the horn then pushed the victors’ advantage to 38-5 at intermission.

Two treys apiece by Smith and Jackson Ellington, coupled with three Thomas Ellington hoops and a pair by Dylan Delattre highlighted a 24-point third quarter South Davidson surge that pulled the Wildcats within 51-29 at the close of the stanza.

But the Bears would maintain at least a 20-point lead over the first four minutes of the fourth period prior to Thomas Ellington accounting for nine points in the time remaining as South Davidson would cap off the contest with a late 14-2 burst to make the final score more respectable.

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