College Hoops: Storm holds back pesky Titans
Starting the season with four relatively easy victories, Davidson County Community College met its first challenge of the year. They handled their first shot of adversity well.
Pushed throughout the night by Guilford Technical Community College at the Ragsdale Family YMCA, the Storm broke a tie with three minutes left and pulled away for a 97-84 nonconference win Tuesday. The game was tight to the end with 17 ties and 10 lead changes taking place. It was the first time DCCC has not eclipsed the 100-point plateau.
“You have to commend Guilford Tech,” said Storm coach Matt Ridge. “They were ready to play and played harder than us for the majority of the game. We did a poor job of being mentally ready to play and that falls on me. Down the stretch I was proud how we played hard, without fouling. Offensively, the last three or four minutes of the game we did a great job of getting stops and then getting easy baskets in transition. We pushed the ball and I do not know if they got tired. I thought we got some easy baskets.”
Davidson may not have played to their coach's standards first half, but it was still good enough for a 47-all tie.
The Titans scored first to open the second half via a Bradley McGriff layup on the break. The lead continued to exchange hands with neither team holding an advantage of more than six points.
Up three with a little more than eight minutes left, DCCC made what appeared to be the run that would bury the Titans. Daniel Lawson hit one of two free throws, followed by a Darius Howell steal and dish to Gerry Hairston for the layup. Next trip down the floor Ace Chalmers lofted an alley-oop pass to Hairston for a one-handed jam, making it 80-72.
After a timeout to regroup, GTCC fought back and tied the game at 82 apiece with 3:15 to go. It was all Storm after that.
Reid Goodson sank a free throw to put Davidson ahead to stay. They would conclude the game on a 15-2 run, scoring easy buckets off steals against a tiring Titan club.
Lawson and Robert Story paced the Storm with 19 points each. Chalmers chipped in 16 points and C.J. Woodberry contributed 15 – eight of them coming on vicious dunks.
If Guilford Tech was a test, then DCCC must have a final exam coming up this weekend. They will face a tough USC Salkehatchie team Saturday at Wake Tech in Raleigh.
“We are going to find out how good we really are,” Ridge said. “USC Salkehatchie beat the No. 1 ranked Division I junior college last week from Florida. It will be good to see if we can hang with the big boys.”
Saturday's game is slated for 2 p.m.
Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or firstname.lastname@example.org.