A Ride Like No Other Ends In Final Four

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 15, 2012

By Brian Pitts
Davie Enterprise Record

GREENSBORO – With tears in their eyes and accomplishments in their hearts, the curtain fell on the Davie boys in the Western Regional final Saturday afternoon at the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center.
 West Charlotte was simply too good, beating Davie 73-59.
The Lions are a powerhouse program that ended the greatest season in the history of Davie boys basketball. The defending state 4-A champion improved to 27-5 with its 17th consecutive victory. They were in the final four for the third straight year, and they qualified for the state championship game for the sixth time in 26 years. They are 5-0 in the other state-title games.
West Charlotte broke Davie’s seven-game winning streak as the War Eagles closed at 23-7.  
“After our shoot-around this morning, I told them to put their practice gear in their locker because we were practicing Monday,” Davie coach Mike Absher said. “Our intentions were to win the game. We really believed we could win today. We competed. I give them a lot of credit. They played really well.”
The War Eagles played from behind virtually all game, although they did trade baskets in the early moments, trailing by scores of 8-6 and 10-8.
The Lions surged to a 19-12 lead at the end of the first, but Nate Jones provided a spark early in the second. Jones’ back-to-back 3-pointers cut the gap to 21-18. Unfortunately, Kenyon Tatum’s layup off a pass from Davis Absher with 4:56 left in the period was Davie’s last field goal of the half. West Charlotte carved out a 37-25 halftime lead by outrebounding Davie 22-12. West’s advantage on the offensive boards was more pronounced (9-2).
“We hit some spurts where we weren’t attacking, and we’re so much better when we’re attacking,” Absher said. “We didn’t turn it over that much (Davie had 13 turnovers to WC’s 11). We handled their (fullcourt man-to-man) from that perspective. But we couldn’t drive at times.”
Davie outscored WC in the third, closing the quarter on a 7-2 run. Jones pulled up for a 3 from NBA distance and swished it. Dillard stepped around his man and dunked. Then Jones turned a steal into a layup as Davie pulled within 53-43 with eight minutes to play …