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Banner A Spark From Bench In Season Opener

By Brian Pitts
Davie Enterprise Record

The twins – Cody and Caleb Martin and Austin and Taylor Hatfield – and center Kenyon Tatum will do most of the damage for the Davie varsity boys basketball team this year, but one of the reserves grabbed coach Mike Absher’s attention during Davie’s 68-48 pounding of Alexander Central in last week’s season opener on the road.
Absher is seeking quality play from the bench because that will be critical in how far Davie goes this season. Senior Kurtis Banner looks like he is ready to answer that call.
Banner was a bit player on last year’s record-setting, 23-win squad, making cameo appearances in seven of 30 games. After waiting a year for his chance at meaningful minutes, he wasted no time taking advantage of it.
The first quarter was a 16-13 scrap in Davie’s favor, and Banner had five of the points. He finished with seven on 3-of-3 shooting.
“Those five points (in the first quarter) were huge because the game was going back and forth,” Absher said. “The second time he touched it, he hit a lefthanded floater in the lane. A couple possessions later, he buried a 3-pointer. His third bucket in the fourth quarter was nice. He ball faked, took one dribble and scored.
“He always brings a defensive intensity and pressure on the ball. It was good to see him do those things (offensively).”
After the hard-fought first quarter, the War Eagles were almost flawless over the second and third quarters. They put a stranglehold on the game with a 22-9 run in the second, and the Cougars were toast after Davie outscored them 18-9 in the third.  
In the middle quarters, Davie shot 55 percent overall and a staggering 8-of-13 from 3-point land. Threes were raining down from everywhere. In the first quarter, Austin nailed two, while Caleb and Banner hit one each. Caleb, Cody and Taylor combined for four triples in the second. And in the third, Austin …