South girls chasing YVC championship

South Davidson’s Madi Beeson rushes to the basket against Ledford during the NewBridge Christmas Classic at Ledford in December. (Photo by Donnie Roberts/The Dispatch)

Last year, it was the South Davidson boys basketball team that made history, winning a school-record 22 games and advancing to the third round of the 1-A state playoffs before falling to eventual state champion Winston-Salem Prep.

Almost that entire team is gone and South is rebuilding from the ground up.

That doesn’t mean there’s nothing to be excited about for basketball down in Denton. It looks like it’s the girls’ turn. South is riding high with a 13-2 overall record and the Wildcats are a perfect 9-0 in the Yadkin Valley Conference.

South’s rotation is senior-dominated and the timing just may be right.

“I love it,” said South coach Fonda Jackson. “We’ve got a mission and that’s to stay that way. We know with six seniors, this is their last year. I tell them no regrets and to keep on building something, make it to the states and see how far we can go.”

Forever a guard-oriented team, South’s core is built around triplets Hunter Sigmon, Larsen Sigmon and Madison Sigmon, who are 5-5. The other seniors in the rotation are 5-7 Holly Wall, 5-5 Madi Beeson and 5-6 Addie Grubb. Larsen Sigmon is averaging 14.3 points to lead the Wildcats, Beeson is averaging 11.7 points while shooting 49 percent and Madison Sigmon is averaging 11.1 points. But the others can score in bunches, too.

And what’s not to like about that?

“That’s why this team is so special,” Jackson said. “Usually, a team can stop one or two. You never know who’s going to step up. I’ve had four score in double figures in one night. That’s just great.”

The Wildcats have shown they adjust as well. They can get out in transition, such as when they scored 88 points against North Moore. Or, they can play the halfcourt game, which they did to fend off West Davidson on Wednesday.

A key new piece to the puzzle is 5-10 sophomore center Daniel Fee, who leads the team in rebounding and is a strong interior defender.

“In my nine years, I’ve never had a player taller than 5-8,” Jackson said. “She’s doing a good job. If I can get her scoring, that would be great.”

Jackson’s longevity as South coach helps, too. Prior to her arrival, South had gone through several coaching changes. That has stopped.

“Our players have seen the stability,” Jackson said. “The young girls see the success at the upper level and I think that makes more kids want to play. It’s good all around, I think.”

South’s two losses were to good teams at bigger schools. The Wildcats fell 57-39 to Central Davidson on Dec. 14 but avenged that with a 53-49 win over the Spartans in the NewBridge Bank Christmas Classic. Central is 9-5 and tied for first in the 2-A Central Carolina Conference. The Wildcats lost the next night in the semifinals, 49-39, to Ledford, which is 13-3 and tied for first in the 3-A Mid-Piedmont Conference. Since then they have won six in a row.

The Wildcats are one game into the second half of their YVC schedule, meaning they have beaten every conference opponent. But there are potential roadblocks between them and the YVC championship. South barely held off second-place West Montgomery 54-52 at home on Dec. 4 and the Wildcats must go to Mount Gilead for the rematch on Wednesday. The Warriors are one game behind South in the loss column.

“It’s going to be a physical battle with them,” Jackson said. “It always is.”

But until somebody in the YVC knocks off the Wildcats, they appear to be the team to beat.

Mike Duprez can be reached at 249-3981, ext. 218 or