Varsity girls lose key game at West

Published 9:26 am Thursday, February 4, 2016

Coach Dave Ruemenapp was hoping his varsity girls basketball team had turned the corner. Instead, it is letting too many 50/50 games get away. The latest was Friday’s agonizing 40-36 loss at West Forsyth.

It was a pivotal game. While West (14-4 overall) improved to 7-1 in the Central Piedmont Conference, Davie (11-8) slipped to 4-3. Now Ruemenapp will see if this team is as resilient as last year’s. Last year Davie was 6-3 in the league before winning the last three CPC games to finish second. He said it’s not inconceivable for this team to rally for a top-two finish.

“We’re in the same place we were last year,” he said. “We had three losses and we ran the table. And I think we’re capable of doing it again.”

One day earlier, the War Eagles beat the daylights out of lowly Parkland, winning 75-26 at the Davie gym. Despite playing the first game in 13 days, Davie rolled up the most points in 69 games. It defeated North Davidson 75-66 in 2012-13.

Parkland stumbled to 2-12, 0-6.

Madison Zaferatos had 24 points and four 3-pointers, scoring a season high and coming a point from her career high. Freshman Morgan Lewis had 14. Ashlyn Hampton had 11. Sophomore Liz Crenshaw buried three 3s and scored 11.

The big game between Davie and West Forsyth was a grind as both teams played scrappy defense. Davie led 8-5 after one quarter and 20-18 at the half.

But Ruemenapp wasn’t content at the break, saying the lead could have been greater.

“Both teams played good defense,” he said. “Both teams knew the gravity of this game. Shots that often fall didn’t fall tonight. We made nine 3-pointers last night (against Parkland). I think that was the difference. I mean we had some great looks at the beginning of the game that would have gotten us off to a nice lead. They didn’t go in. If you get the first couple of 3s to fall, the next few are a lot easier.”

Emma Slabach nailed a 3-pointer early in the third quarter to give Davie a 23-20 advantage, but West responded with a 12-1 that put Davie in a 32-24 deficit.

“We just got sloppy,” Ruemenapp said. “When we broke (the press) right, we got layups. We didn’t make our cuts hard enough. I think we got a little discouraged. I don’t think their press was so effective. We were just careless with the ball at some bad times.”

Neither team scored in the first three minutes of the fourth as the score got stuck at 34-27. But Davie made a push, starting with Caitlyn Peebles’ inside basket. Then Ashlyn Hampton scored in the paint to pull Davie within 34-31. That was followed by Patterson Jones’ tough two in the lane, cutting West lead to 36-33.

“After we fell behind, we kept fighting and scratching and clawing,” Ruemenapp said.

Trailing by three with 62 seconds remaining, Zaferatos’ in-your-face defense was rewarded with a five-second count. Davie missed a 3-pointer to tie, but West fouled on the rebound. Davie missed the front end of a one-and-one, but Jones came up with the rebound. But then Davie missed another 3-point try.

Now Davie had to foul. West cooperated by missing the front end of a one-and-one, but a Titan and War Eagles got tied up on the rebound and West had the possession arrow. With 11 seconds to go, West hit two free throws to all but seal Davie’s fate at 38-33. Zaferatos did keep a glimmer of hope alive by hitting a 3 with 3.2 seconds left. At that point, Davie needed a miracle that didn’t happen and it left with a bad taste in its mouth.

“We had chances at the end,” Ruemenapp said. “Man, we just couldn’t buy one at the end.”

Davie’s scorers were Hampton (11 points), Zaferatos (eight), Aubriana Peebles (six), Emma Slabach (five), C. Peebles (four) and Jones (two). West outscored Davie 18-6 from beyond the arc and beat Davie in a game that was similar to the first matchup. In that one, Davie lost 58-46 after trailing by one at the end of the third.

Davie scored the fewest points in 47 games. In 2013-14, West beat Davie 57-28.

Davie 75, Parkland 26 – Madison Zaferatos 24, Morgan Lewis 14, Ashlyn Hampton 11, Liz Crenshaw 11, Aubriana Peebles 7, Caitlyn Peebles 4, Ze’mora Cockerham 2, Patterson Jones 2.

W. Forsyth 40, Davie 36 – Ashlyn Hampton 11, Madison Zaferatos 8, Aubriana Peebles 6, Emma Slabach 5, Caitlyn Peebles 4, Patterson Jones 2.