Chamberlain clutch for JV boys

Published 9:41 am Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Davie JV boys basketball team is doing its best to erase the damage from a 3-5 start that included a 65-63 loss at Reynolds.

Coach Bruce Wallace’s War Eagles were outstanding in a 68-60 home win over Reynolds on Jan. 20. The Demons came in with a 10-3 record, but Davie blistered them in the first half and eventually secured its third win in four games.

“It was a great team win,” Wallace said after Davie improved to 6-6 overall and 3-4 in the Central Piedmont Conference. “The way we’re playing, I think we can win out.”

The War Eagles sprinted to an 18-point lead before settling for a 33-20 halftime advantage. Elijah Wood and Brooks Johnson were responsible for 15 of Davie’s 20 points in the second quarter, when Johnson popped two of his three 3s.

The Demons got back in the game with an 18-11 run in the third. But Davie protected the lead by putting up 24 points in the fourth.

There was plenty to talk about in the joyful aftermath. Johnson kept pounding away with 19 points. He has 41 in two games, and Wallace no longer seems amazed by his freshman success.

“I didn’t think Brooks had one of his better games,” he said. “But I look in the book and he’s got 19 points.”

Wood, who entered with a 10.2 average, rose to the occasion with 18, one from his season high. “Elijah had his best game of the year,” he said. “He played really good.”

Troy Griggs had 11, which was no surprise. No one was better down the stretch than Latham Chamberlain, who has come out of nowhere in recent games to become a game-changer. After averaging four points in his first eight games, he had a breakout night against Parkland with 15 points.

When the third quarter ended against Reynolds, Chamberlain had zero points. When the game ended, he had 11, going 8 of 10 from the free-throw line. The rest of the team went 7 for 12 from the line.

“Latham wanted the ball (at the end),” Wallace said. “You want somebody like that late in the game when it’s close. You could tell he was thinking: ‘I’ve got this, guys. I want these free throws.’

“I told him against Tabor: ‘Latham, you’ve got to shoot the ball. If you’re open, you need to shoot the ball or else it’s 4-on-5 out there.’ That adds another element to our offense.”

Before the game, Wallace pulled Samuel Hendrix aside and told him to get ready for increased minutes. The freshman validated the decision to thrust him into the mix in the second quarter. He came up with five points, one of the baskets a 3-pointer. He also did things you can’t find on the stat sheet.

“I know he only had five points, but he was a spark,” Wallace said. “He was getting one or two minutes a game, but he’s been practicing well. I said: ‘Don’t be nervous.’ He went in in the second quarter and that’s when we went on a big run. We were up by 18 with him in the game. He took it to the basket and hit a layup. He played hard. He got rebounds. I was really proud of him.”

Davie 68, Reynolds 60 – Brooks Johnson 19, Elijah Wood 18, Troy Griggs 11, Latham Chamberlain 11, Samuel Hendrix 5, Alex Ratledge 2, James Reid 2.