By Brian Pitts
Davie Enterprise Record
After eight games, the Davie boys basketball team had seven blowout wins, the only close shave being a five-point win over Smith.
Olympic - nationally-ranked Olympic, that is - was just the kind of test Davie needed.
Davie visited the Trojans Saturday for a showdown of unbeatens. Davie was 8-0. Olympic, ranked 17th in the nation by maxpreps.com, was 5-0. While Davie reached the final four last year, Olympic lost in the elite eight to West Charlotte, which dispatched Davie en route to state runner-up. Olympic had defeated W. Charlotte twice before losing the third meeting.
The War Eagles didn’t come away victorious, falling just short 74-73, but the setback did not diminish them one bit. In fact, the performance validated their stature. Now everyone believes they’re truly capable of winning a state championship.
“It was great for our kids,” coach Mike Absher said. “You hate to lose, but we grew a lot today. We stood toe to toe with them, and we took their best punch. I scouted them (earlier in the week), and they played really good against us.”
Earlier in the week, the War Eagles didn’t get much of a test from either opponent. They had little to play for, except to get reserves extended playing time and to improve their record.
In an 82-40 win over an Australian team (Diamond Valley Eagles), the stat leaders were Austin Hatfield (19 points, five 3-pointers), Cody Martin (12 points, 14 rebounds, 6 assists), Caleb Martin (10 points, 5 assists), Peyton Sell (9 points, 3-of-3 shooting from long range), Kenyon Tatum (8 points), Branson Parnell (8 points), Taylor Hatfield (7 points, 6 assists).
The Australians were playing their second game on their 2012 USA Tour. Last year Davie handled a different Australian squad 85-39.
A home game against North Iredell was another mismatch. Davie won 78-43 as 11 players cracked the scoring column.
Caleb (18 points, 8-of-11 field goals), Taylor (10 points, 4 steals, 4 assists), Austin (8 points, 4 assists), Tatum (8 points), Sell (8 points), Tommy Boyette (7 points), Cade Carney (4 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists) and Chris Campbell (4 points) gave Davie eight players with at least four points.
The game at vaunted Olympic was an epic showdown in which the gym sold out.
“They closed the doors,” Absher said. “They quit selling tickets. For that many people to be at a high-school game on a Saturday afternoon (at 4 p.m.) in Charlotte ... it was a tremendous atmosphere ...