Sells sparks win over East Rowan

Published 9:00 am Thursday, January 5, 2017

Maybe the Davie boys basketball team was experiencing a hangover from a two-point loss to Mooresville in the first round.

In the consolation round of the Sam Moir Christmas Classic at Catawba on Dec. 29, Davie was facing a one-win East Rowan team and it got punched in the mouth in the first quarter.  The War Eagles avoided a larger deficit than 17-8 because Cooper Wall had all eight points, four of them coming on a double-pump floater and a 360-spin move on a fast break.

“His start kept us in the game early, or it could have been worse,” coach Mike Absher said.

You know that feeling when you find your car keys? That’s how Davie felt when reserve guard Coleman Sell banged back-to-back 3s to pull Davie within 17-14 at the end of the first.

Sell’s shot in the arm sent the superior War Eagles to a 66-47 win over the 1-11 Mustangs. Third-seeded Davie (6-4) stopped a four-game slide.

“I feel like we have guys who can do that,” Absher said. “You can pick a number. Coleman was the wild card that made some shots that gave us a boost.”

Davie limited East to one field goal in the second quarter, when it accelerated toward its first win since Dec. 8 at Kannapolis. Cory Heiner’s two free throws tied the game at 21. When Wall went to the rim and converted, Davie had a 23-21 lead it would never relinquish.

Then a 12-2 run included a short jumper by Wall, a Heath Slabach 3-pointer and seven points from Michael Walton. Davie had surged to a 35-27 halftime lead.

The third quarter ended with the score at 50-40. It grew to 57-40 in a hurry as Walton drove for two, Wall cleaned up a loose ball inside and Walton buried a 3.

Walton finished with 21 points, hitting three 3s and going 4 of 5 at the foul line. It was a career high for the second-year varsity sophomore.

“The frustrating thing was Michael’s been attacking the basket hard and had some tough luck on finishes,” Absher said. “So it was good to see it all come together for him today.”

Wall had 18 points. Sell had eight points. Heiner had eight points, nine rebounds and four assists. (“And he did other things that don’t show up in the stats,” Absher said.)

Davie 66, E. Rowan 47 – Michael Walton 21, Cooper Wall 18, Coleman Sell 8, Cory Heiner 8, Heath Slabach 7, Owen McCormack 4.