JV Boys have breathtaking wins

Published 9:50 am Friday, January 19, 2018

Although West Forsyth ended the Davie JV boys basketball team’s winning streak at five, the War Eagles bounced back to take two breathtaking, heart-stopping games.

The visiting Titans stopped – temporarily – Davie’s joyride with a 52-47 decision on Jan. 9.

The start was encouraging, a 13-9 first-quarter lead behind scoring from Ben Crenshaw, Aaron Williams, Matt James and Zach Smith.

“We started off well,” coach Ty Woodring said. “Our defensive intensity was good and we were getting good looks on offense.”

West answered with a 15-8 run in the second, and the visitors led 37-33 entering the fourth. James, Alex Ratledge and Smith combined to go 6 for 6 at the free-throw line in the fourth, but it wasn’t enough. Woodring lamented missed opportunities.

West (6-6, 1-1 Central Piedmont Conference) bounced back from a 49-47 overtime loss to East Forsyth.

“We missed two wide-open 3s,” Woodring said. “We got four offensive rebounds on one possession and never could convert it. We ended up getting fouled and missed both free throws. They hit shots down the stretch when they needed to.”

Crenshaw matched a season high with 13 points, the freshman hitting two of the team’s three 3-pointers. James had 12 and Smith seven. James Reid and Ratledge had four each. Williams had three, while Noah Bohannon and Adrian Cranfill had two apiece.


A 53-51 nonconference win at North Davidson on Jan. 10 soothed the West pain, but Woodring did not feel overly euphoric because Davie was more lucky than good at the end.

Williams put  up seven early points as Davie got off to another good start, 14-6 after the first.

“In the first quarter, I thought we were going to blow them out,” Woodring said. “We were playing really well.”

The Black Knights crept back, pulling within 28-25 by halftime and grabbing a 40-38 lead at the end of three. But the War Eagles produced the last significant run. In the decisive fourth, Ratledge delivered six points, Reid hit 3 of 4 free throws and James, Williams and Smith contributed buckets as Davie mounted a six-point lead. But then …

“We had a lot of silly turnovers, especially late in the game,” Woodring said.

North banged a 3-pointer to cut Davie’s lead to three with under 30 seconds left. After Ratledge hit a free throw, North scored and Davie turned it over. With Davie clinging to the 53-51 lead on North’s final possession, the Knights had two golden opportunities to force overtime.

“We got lost on defense and we got lucky,” he said. “A guy got behind us right on the (low) block. He had a wide-open layup to tie the game and missed it. They got the rebound and put up another shot. He almost banked it in as time expired.”

While Davie was only as good as it needed to be, Ratledge was better than ever from a scoring perspective, putting up a two-year JV high of 15 points. Smith matched a season high with 12. Williams also matched a two-year JV high with nine. Reid had seven, James five, Crenshaw three and Bohannon two.

“Ratledge and Smith stepped up in the points department,” he said.


Two days later, the visiting War Eagles slipped past Glenn by the hair of their chinny-chin-chins, 44-43. Ratledge rescued Davie by making two free throws with 1.5 seconds remaining, lifting Davie to 10-2 overall and 2-1 in the CPC. Its last three wins have come by a combined 10 points.

“They’re maturing as the season goes and doing whatever they have to do to win,” Woodring said.

After Glenn took a 10-9 lead, Ratledge’s six points in the second quarter helped Davie charge to a 22-14 halftime lead. The Bobcats answered with a 19-8 run in the third, putting Davie in a 33-30 deficit.

It got crazy in the final 30 seconds, at which point Davie trailed by one. Smith came through with a layup to put Davie in front 42-41. The Bobcats called timeout with three seconds left. They lobbed the ball inside, drew a foul with two seconds left and converted both foul shots to regain the lead at 43-42.

Facing the length of the court, the War Eagles needed a miracle. Lo and behold, they got one.

“Alex goes to run off a screen and the guy from Glenn grabs his arm (around the free-throw line in Davie’s backcourt) and they call a foul,” Woodring said.

It was a one-and-one situation at :1.5. Ratledge nailed both to save the day. “Did we ever go nuts,” Woodring said. “Everybody went crazy. In practice Alex is one of our better free-throw shooters.”

After going scoreless in the middle quarters, Smith turned in seven clutch points in the fourth. Williams hit two free throws in the fourth.

“Reid hit a big 3 with about two minutes to go,” he said. “I don’t think he had made a 3 all year. Smith had an and-one down the stretch.”

Ratledge led Davie with 11 points, giving him 26 in two games after averaging 5.3 through 10 games. Smith (10) cracked double figures in back-to-back games for the first time all season. James had eight, Reid six and Crenshaw five. Williams and Bohannon had two each.

Davie’s foul shooting (17 of 23) was the difference. By contrast, Glenn went 6 of 8.