DCCC men visit Sandhills CC for key clash
The Sandhills Community College Flyers and Davidson County Community College will both be seeking their fifth win in a row when the basketball teams meet at The O’Neal School’s Hannah Bradshaw Center for a 7 p.m. tipoff on Wednesday.
But there is much more to what has become a fierce rivalry between two teams that have each won two of the last four Region X conference tournaments. The Storm made it to the national championships in 2010 and 2011 and the Flyers won the national title in 2012.
The two teams have split the six games between each other the past two seasons.
“I think where we are at is that Sandhills and Davidson is as big a rivalry as there has been in this state in junior college basketball,” Flyers’ coach Mike Apple says. “Davidson is a premier program in the state and I think Sandhills is a very good one in the state.”
The Flyers (12-5, 1-0 Region X) tuned up by breezing to an 88-45 non-conference victory at Virginia Western on Saturday. James Kingsberry with 24 points and Tevin Stark with 15 led the way. Jalyn Riley, Isaac Lyerly and Ishmael Baldwin chipped in with 11 apiece.
The Storm (12-3, 2-1) have been out-rebounded by an average margin of over 20 in their three conference games, but have helped make up for a lack of height with a high-scoring (106.1 per game) perimeter-oriented attack. They launched 31 and 41 treys in their last two games. Robert Story, a 5-10 guard, is among the leaders nationally in threes made.
Story and backcourt teammates Gerry Hairston and former Southern Lee star A.C. Chalmers have combined to sink 98 threes.
“Davidson has been hit hard with some academic situations, however they have a great scheme,” Apple says. “Our mentality has to be that we really have to control the backboards and make sure we do a good job guarding their perimeter players.
“They’re going to shoot that three. You live by that and you die by it and they’ve lived with it all year.”
The Flyers have some accurate long-range shooters too in Isaac Lyerly, Sidney Knox and Matthew Maness, but the latter is sidelined indefinitely with a knee problem. They boast more of a balance in frontcourt and backcourt scoring than the Storm has so far.
Sophomore guard Montre’l Cooke will be facing the Storm for the fourth time. He recalls them bringing a lot of their fans to last year’s home game.
“When Davidson is in the building it is the type of atmosphere where we want to execute our stuff and we want to win,” he said before practice on Monday. “We know they want to beat us just as much as we want to beat them. We understand that.
“If we do our stuff the way we do in practice, we should come out on top.”
Apple sees it about the same way.
“A lot of times it’s a situation of who wants it bad enough. Who will execute good enough for the longest period of time?”
Through 17 games the double-figure scorers for the Flyers are: Lyerly (12.8), Sidney Knox (11.4), Baldwin (11.2), Kingsberry (10.2), Angelo Mays (10.1) and Cooke (10.0).
CLAWSON COMPLETES WAKE FOOTBALL COACHING STAFF
WINSTON-SALEM — Wake Forest University head football coach Dave Clawson has completed his coaching staff with the addition of offensive line coach Nick Tabacca.
Tabacca, 32, has spent the last two years as the offensive line coach at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. During the 2013 season, the Cardinals ranked among the nation’s top 20 teams in total offense, passing offense, passing efficiency and scoring offense while finishing ninth in red zone offense.
Tabacca is a 2004 graduate of Ball State and a four-year letterman for the Cardinals on the offensive line. He started 33 games in his final three seasons and was a two-time Academic All-Mid-American Conference selection while also serving as team captain as a senior.
He started his coaching career as a graduate assistant coach at Ball State in 2005 and 2006 before moving to Defiance College as the line coach, run game coordinator and strength and cnditioning coach in 2007. He added offensive coordinator responsibilities fo the 2008 and 2009 season.
Tabacca moved to Butler in 2010 as the offensive line coach and became the co-offensive coordinator in 2011 before returning to Ball State in 2012.
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Tabacca is a graduate of Hilliard Davidson High School.
PANTHERS’ GETTLEMAN EXPRESSES FAITH IN NEWTON, RIVERA
CHARLOTTE — Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman has expressed confidence in quarterback Cam Newton and coach Ron Rivera following the team’s first playoff season in five years.
When asked Tuesday if he viewed Newton as the team’s franchise quarterback moving forward, Gettleman responded definitively, “Yes.” He quickly smiled and added, “No seven-second pause, was there?”
Gettleman raised questions about the QB in August when he paused briefly before discussing Newton’s future as the team’s long-term quarterback.
The GM says Newton proved to him this year that he is a franchise QB, saying, “He flat proved it.”
As for Rivera, Gettleman says, “I have the ultimate faith in Ron.”
But Gettleman wouldn’t discuss contract situations of Newton or Rivera on Tuesday after a 12-4 season. Their contracts expire after the 2014 season.
FLAMES TORCH CANES
RALEIGH — Having lost three straight, the Calgary Flames were looking for something positive when they visited the Carolina Hurricanes.
Karri Ramo delivered just what they needed.
Ramo made 22 saves in his first NHL shutout, and Mikael Backlund and Sean Monahan provided the offense in the Flames’ 2-0 win over the Hurricanes on Monday night.
The Flames snapped their skid and handed the Hurricanes their second straight shutout defeat.