Slabach catches fire

Published 3:04 pm Thursday, January 7, 2016

SALISBURY – One day after Caitlyn Peebles erupted to give Davie’s girls basketball team a much-needed boost, the War Eagles found someone else to help them pull away from an opponent in the Sam Moir Christmas Classic at Catawba College on Dec. 30.

This time it was Emma Slabach.

The freshman went on an unforgettable scoring spree in the third quarter, leading Davie to a 48-33 win over Mooresville in the fifth-place game.

While the seventh-seeded Blue Devils fell to 4-8, No. 5 Davie improved to 8-6 with a 2-1 showing in the Moir.

“Coach (Dave Ruemenapp) keeps asking me if I think I’m a good shooter or not and he wants me to keep shooting,” Slabach told the Salisbury Post after scoring 18 team-high points. “It’s mostly a matter of building up my confidence. Walking in here today, I felt confident and felt really focussed. Everything felt right.”

By the War Eagles’ standards, the first half was utterly awful. They fell behind 8-0 and trailed Continued From Page B1

20-13 late in the first half.

“We played the worst first half that we have played all year,” Ruemenapp said.

A 3-pointer by Madison Zaferatos and an Ashlyn Hampton layup that beat the halftime horn put out a grease fire and cut Mooresville’s lead to 20-18.

“Mooresville gave us all we wanted in the first half,” Ruemenapp said. “It was a hard game to get up for. This game obviously was not the one we wanted to be playing in today, and we were showing our disappointment.”

Ruemenapp ripped into the War Eagles during intermission.

“I challenged them to be what we are capable of being,” he said. “And I think Emma really took that to heart. Emma’s got a really good competitive side to her, and when we were able to tap into that at halftime, she really got things going. She went out to prove some stuff.”

After scoring three first-half points, Slabach delivered a sterling streak in the first three minutes of the third. She buried a 3-pointer to give Davie a 25-22 lead. She scored to make it 27-22. Now Slabach was feeling it. Zaferatos passed to Hampton at the high post. Hampton gave it to Slabach, who nailed a 3-pointer from the right wing to make it 30-22. Then Slabach hit a runner, giving her 12 points in a span of three minutes.

“She was the difference in the game,” Mooresville coach Andy Sparks told the Post. “We were trying to take away their (top) two scorers (Zaferatos and Hampton) with a triangle-and-two, but No. 14 (Slabach) was making shots. Maybe it was bad coaching. We kept losing her and they kept finding her.”

Slabach, who came in with a 6.3 average and had a previous high of 14, finished with 7-of-9 shooting, including 4-of-6 from long range. The rest of the team hit 10 of 34 shots.

“She really needed a game like this, and we needed her to have a game like this,” Ruemenapp said. “Emma can score and it was great to see her get it going today.

“It was not just what she did on offense. She played great defense. She was able to handle an assignment against a girl who hurt us in the first half.”

The second half was a different story for the War Eagles, who outscored Mooresville 30-13 while holding the Blue Devils to three second-half field goals.

Hampton was second for Davie with 10 points, extending her streak of double-figure efforts to 15. Zaferatos had eight. C. Peebles had seven points and seven rebounds. Aubriana Peebles had four points Patterson Jones turned in six rebounds.

“In the second half, we did a much better job of coming to work,” Ruemenapp said.

“What we talked about at halftime was that we were losing to a team we really shouldn’t be losing to, and coach asked us if that was who we really were,” Slabach said. “We did what we were supposed to do in the second half.”

Davie 48, Mooresville 33 – Emma Slabach 18, Ashlyn Hampton 10, Madison Zaferatos 8, Caitlyn Peebles 7, Aubriana Peebles 4, Patterson Jones 1.