Ellis piles in 20 in Indian road win

Published 11:01 am Wednesday, January 18, 2012

EASTVILLE—The bus legs and the fast food were a big hurdle to get over for Southampton High School on their trip to Northampton on Tuesday night, but luckily for the Indians, Travon Ellis was on the bus.

Ellis poured in a career-high 20 points, 14 coming in the first half, as Southampton came away with a 66-44 non-conference win on the Eastern Shore.

The Indians got off to sluggish start, which caused Coach Will Melbye to substitute early, using 10 players in the first quarter.

“We came out flat, and Northampton was at home and they had some spring in their step,” Melbye said. “They were throwing down dunks in pre-game and their first basket was a break away dunk.”

Ellis came off the bench and put up 8 points in the first quarter, which closed with a pair of Northampton baskets to close the score to 19-15.

The second quarter saw the Indians tighten up the defense, holding the Yellowjackets to 10 points, the last of which was a kind of toss-up bucket in the waning seconds. Southampton was led once again by Ellis, who put in six of the Indians’ 21 second-quarter points for a 40-25 halftime lead.

The third quarter was a sluggish struggle for the visitors.

“We went into the locker room and knew what we needed to do to improve on our first half performance, and Northampton just executed better than we did,” Melbye said. “We played all 11 players in the third quarter, but without a jumper from Nick (Doyle) in the last seconds of the quarter there, they held us to nine points, and that is never okay with me.”

“That’s five trips down the floor where you have to execute an offensive set or capitalize on a break,” he continued. “We tried to get too cute with some passes and were mainly passive.”

The Indian lead was not threatened in the third quarter and Southampton held a 51-38 lead with 8 minutes left to play.

“In between quarters, I let them know that our defensive intensity just wasn’t there,” Melbye said. “We were parting like the Red Sea, letting them to the basket with no opposition. The boys responded and Jay’R McCain and Travon Ellis each blocked a pair of the next four Northampton shots. We were pressuring the ball better, got some turnovers and were able to coast down the stretch.”

The Indians kept the Yellowjackets in check, allowing two field goals and a pair of free throws, yielding only six, fourth-quarter points.

The Indians travel to Farmville on Friday, Jan. 20.