Varsity boys basketball undefeated

Published 8:14 am Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Davie varsity boys basketball team’s home win over North Iredell on Dec. 12 lacked artistry until the fourth quarter. But man, did Davie make up for it in the fourth.

The unbeaten War Eagles hit another gear and raced past the Raiders 73-45.

Davie, though, was less than stellar for most of the game. After the first quarter, Davie’s lead was 13-12. The War Eagles shot 32 percent in the first half and only led 28-21 against subpar competition.

“We didn’t have a real good flow on offense,” coach Mike Absher said. “We’ve talked about there would be nights where we didn’t make 3s. We weren’t making them at the clip that we had been making them. We talked about driving the ball, attacking and making sure we get a piece of the paint every time.”

Davie couldn’t shake North in the third, the Raiders hitting a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to cut the margin to 49-40. The game finally turned into a knockout in the fourth.

Cooper Wall found Brooks Johnson for a 3-pointer, and that ignited a crushing 19-4 run. Jacob Hendrix controlled a defensive rebound and passed to Wall, who set up another Johnson 3-ball. The rout was finally on.

“It’s amazing to listen to Cooper talk during the course of the game, saying things to players,” Absher said. “He was telling Brooks to be ready. Brooks has been making those shots (the last three games), so that was neat to see.”

Johnson got a steal. Then Michael Walton passed to Hendrix, who made a long two. Walton got a steal and looked downcourt for Wall, who threw down a one-handed jam. Owen McCormack scored inside on a feed from Walton. Wall and Hendrix canned four free throws before Latham Chamberlain assisted a Justice Redmon triple that capped the 19-4 run.

After hitting only 9 of 28 shots in the first half, Davie went 14 of 30 in the second half. North’s fourth straight loss dropped it to 2-5.

“I feel like our conditioning is paying off because runs in the second half have been big for us,” Absher said. “Some guys are really good shooters in the first half and then it tapers off. If you’re making 3s or jump shots in the fourth quarter, that’s a sign of a well-conditioned team. With all the close (losses) last year, I said we’ve got to be better in the fourth quarter.”

Wall made 7 of 13 field goals to score a season-high 19 points. He added five rebounds and four assists. Walton scored 18 by living at the line. He also contributed five assists and four steals. Hendrix had 10 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots. Johnson hit 3 of 6 3-pointers to score nine, and he battled for six boards and rejected two shots. McCormack had seven points and six boards. Redmon and Chamberlain had three points each. Troy Griggs and Elijah Wood had two each.

Davie shot an eye-popping 18 for 18 from the charity stripe, with Walton going 11 for 11, Wall 4 for 4 and Hendrix 3 for 3.

“We have more attention to detail this year,” Absher said. “We probably don’t shoot them any more than we have the last 15 years, but we have tried to do some things to get their focus better.”


If there’s ever been a team that brought a knife to a gun fight, it would be the Australian travel team that visited Davie on Dec. 14. The War Eagles cruised 76-38 to mark their best start (6-0) in five years.

Hendrix (22), Walton (14 with four 3s), Wall (11) and McCormack (10) scored in double figures. Mason Wilson, Wood and Broc Barnette had four each. Griggs had three. Johnson and Redmon had two each.

The 2012-13 team opened 8-0. That potent lineup included Caleb Martin (18.1 points per game), Cody Martin (14.8), Austin Hatfield (13.9), Taylor Hatfield (9.3) and Kenyon Tatum (8).


It’s a coach’s dream to have four guys averaging at least 12 points, to have unselfish personalties throughout the roster and to have so many guys capable of going for 20-25 points on any night.

Wall was an absolute monster at North Iredell on Dec. 15. One night Wall will bring a distributor’s mindset. Another night he might display a shooter’s killer instinct.

Wall produced a holy-crap moment in the first half of Davie’s 78-52 victory, the sixth comfortable margin out of seven. In the first quarter, Wall staked Davie to a 23-10 lead with 14 points, hitting three 3s, four field goals total and three foul shots. He added eight points and two 3s in the second quarter. He converted seven of 11 field goals during a 22-point half as Davie entered the break ahead 39-21.

Assistant coach Shane Nixon called it “quite a show.”

With Wall quiet in the third, Hendrix took over with nine points to keep Davie in control at 56-42.

Again, the Raiders wouldn’t fold easily. They got within nine before Davie blew it open again. Wall put in five points down the stretch to complete a 27-point effort. He sank six 3s. He notched his ninth career 20-point game. He missed his career high by one. As a freshman, he had 28 in an 81-74 loss at Parkland. As a junior, he had 28 in an 89-77 loss at Reagan.

“Coop was outstanding,” Absher said. “He made a ton of shots early that got us off to a great start. He made 3s, got to the rim and distributed the ball as well. A complete performance.”

Hendrix was next with 21 points, giving him 43 in two games. Walton (10) recorded double-figure points for the eighth consecutive game dating to last year. McCormack had nine and Chamberlain three. Wood, Johnson, Griggs and Barnette had two each.

The well-rounded attack has seen Walton average 16.2 points, Wall and Hendrix 14.1 each and McCormack 12.1.

“I believe one of the main reasons we are playing so well is because we have a bunch of guys who can score, and if someone is not exactly on a particular night, we have multiple options to go to,” Absher said.