College Hoops: DCCC hopes to avoid 0-3 start in Region X
When Davidson County Community College and Sandhills have collided on the hardwood the last two seasons, the stakes have been high. The stakes will be at an all-time high tonight in Southern Pines, but for a different reason.
While the Storm sit at a solid 13-4 overall, the Region X record reads 0-2 for the first time under head coach Matt Ridge. Not since the 2010 national tournament has Davidson lost three straight games, but that is a real possibility against the Flyers who are the defending NCJAA Division III champions and a favorite to win the Tarheel Conference.
“Wednesday is certainly going to be a tough game for us on the road,” said Ridge. “We have got to sprint back on defense and close out on shooters, as well as block out and rebound. If we do those things we give ourselves a chance to be competitive. We cannot turn the clock back but we sure can wind it up again. We are looking forward and hoping to learn from our mistakes.”
DCCC dropped its league opener last Wednesday against Caldwell Community College in Brinkley Gym. Over the weekend, the Storm fell to Wytheville Community 98-94 in a shootout. It was the first time Wytheville has won over the Storm, showing just how competitive Region X has become.
“We did not finish the game and Wytheville played extremely well,” Ridge said. “Our guys have got to understand there has got to be a sense of urgency when we play conference opponents. Everybody is getting up for us based on our history and everybody in our league is capable of beating us if we do not play at a high level. After our first two games our guys should certainly understand that now.”
Davidson holds a 6-2 advantage in the series with Sandhills (14-3), beating them twice in the regular season a year ago. The Flyers did take the one that mattered most in the Region X championship, that sent them to the district tournament where they advanced to claim a national title. SCC has four players that returned compared to only two for the Storm. Though many of the top players for the Flyers are now gone, they have reloaded and already have a big road win at Caldwell under their belts.
“They have a lot of guys that can score the ball in a variety of ways,” said Ridge. “Everybody in the starting five can shoot the ball and all of the guards are extremely quick. We have to contain penetration while getting out to contest 3s. Most importantly, we cannot give them layups in transition. They are going to try and push it and push it some more. They play a lot like us and hopefully we can get back and get stops.”
After today’s showdown, the Storm will travel to the Dean E. Smith Center Saturday to take on the University of North Carolina junior varsity in a 9 a.m. matchup.
Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or firstname.lastname@example.org.