THOMASVILLE — Davidson-Davie Community College checked off a series of goals for this season on Monday, as the Storm came away with a 90-67 victory over Fayetteville Tech, avenging a loss earlier this season.
With the win, DDCC became 2020-21 regular season champions for Region 10, clinching the No. 1 seed in the upcoming conference tournament and an automatic berth to the 2021 NJCAA Division II National Tournament in Danville, Illinois. DJ Suggs led the way Monday with 17 points for the Storm, while three other teammates also scored in double figures.
“We had four guys in double figures,” DDCC coach Matt Ridge said. “That tells you we’re sharing the ball. … Last year was one of the most difficult times of my career, to walk in that gym and have to tell them they’re not going to Danville because of COVID. I can’t tell you the number of tears that were shed that day.
“I’ve said since Day 1 in August that we have unfinished business in Danville. Now we’ve earned the right to go back.”
The Storm led for most of the contest Monday, but did not put away the Trojans until the second half. Leading 36-32 at the break, the Storm maintained a four-point lead with 15 minutes to play.
At that juncture, Na’Zae Baltimore was assessed a double technical, prompting his ejection from the game. After Fayetteville Tech’s designated shooter tied the game at 47-all, DDCC closed the game on a 43-20 run to secure the victory.
“I think when the game was tied and Naz got ejected, our kids realized, ‘Hey, we’ve got to play together,’ ” Ridge said. “Stop taking bad shots, actually move our feet on the other end, stop letting them take wide-open threes and take us off the bounce, play together defensively and do what we’ve been taught.”
The Storm’s home win over Fayetteville Tech came a little more than a month after a 17-point drubbing at the hands of the Trojans. Since that time, DDCC is 8-0 and is back up to No. 2 in the NJCAA D-II rankings.
Staff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at email@example.com.