JVs pull out nailbiter
Published 9:33 am Thursday, February 15, 2018
There may be no way to explain how a team can pull out every nailbiter, how a team can look vulnerable game after game, and then it all flips.
Davie’s JV boys basketball team and visiting East Forsyth duked it out in the first half of an eventual 52-49 comeback win for the War Eagles on Feb. 6. Noah Bohannon’s two 3-pointers and seven points staked the War Eagles to a 15-6 lead in the first quarter. East controlled the second quarter to trim Davie’s halftime lead to 27-24.
East put Davie’s back to the wall in the third quarter, going on a 17-7 run to take a 41-34 lead. No worries. Davie was on course to victory.
“Going into the fourth quarter, me and Terrell (Wilson) told them: ‘We’ve been here before, so we know this dance. We’ve just got to go out here and do our thing,’” coach Ty Woodring said.
As has become routine for the first-place War Eagles (16-2, 8-1 Central Piedmont Conference), they came back alive in crunch time, outscored East 18-8 in the fourth and improved to 6-0 in games decided by three points or less. They trailed at the end of the third for the fourth time in five games. In those five games, they have outscored Reynolds, West Forsyth, Glenn and East (twice) 88-57 in the fourth quarters. During an eight-game winning streak, they have prevailed by two, one, eight, one, six, 13, three and three points.
“I called a timeout with three minutes left and Ben Crenshaw stood up and made a great statement in the middle of the huddle,” Woodring said. “He said: ‘It’s heart from here on out, guys.’ That’s pretty much been our mantra all year. We play with heart and grind everything out. Nothing comes easy, but we leave it all on the court.”
Matt James and Alex Ratledge, each of whom had two points through three quarters, both had five in a fourth quarter that saw Davie hit fifth gear. James Reid also had five in the fourth and Bohannon three.
When Davie was behind in the fourth, Ratledge provided a steal/layup combination. Later, he converted both free throws for a two-point lead. When Davie was behind by two with less than two minutes remaining, Reid sank a go-ahead 3-pointer and Davie never trailed again.
Reid (14 team-high points) turned in his best offense in four games.
“James had another big night,” he said. “He hit a huge 3 late in the game. It didn’t surprise me and coach Wilson because we know James has the ability to shoot outside. He hit a big 3 at Glenn when we were down that put us ahead or tied it up. His strength is getting it around the rim and finishing, but he has a nice stroke for a big guy.”
Bohannon was next with 12 points, giving him 22 in two games. James and Ratledge had seven each and Crenshaw six. Adrian Cranfill, Aaron Williams and Zach Smith had two apiece.
“Ever since the Reynolds game when he hit the game-winning 3 (at the buzzer), Noah’s confidence level as a shooter has skyrocketed,” he said.
Notes: The War Eagles average 49 points to opponents’ 41. … Their record on the road was 8-0. “That’s pretty amazing,” Woodring said. … On a down note, Davie lost guard Scottie Lyons to a broken wrist before the game. “Before East got here, they were shooting around and he went up to try to dunk the ball and came down on his wrist,” he said.
The War Eagles didn’t need a scintillating comeback when they beat visiting North Davidson in a nonconference game on Feb. 7. They put up their most points in 22 games (72-52 win at Forbush on Feb. 2, 2017) and enjoyed the largest margin of victory since December in a 66-45 rout of the Black Knights.
After the first quarter, when North held a 14-13 advantage, it looked similar to Davie’s 53-51 win on Jan. 10 in Welcome. But Davie pulled away in the second and never looked back. Smith, Cranfill, James and Luke Williams, a call-up from the freshman team, powered a 20-4 run that gave Davie a comfortable 33-18 halftime lead.
The gap widened in the third as Smith finished with a season-high 13 points. James had 10. Reid and Isaiah Cuthrell had nine each. Cranfill, Crenshaw and L. Williams had six apiece. Bohannon had five and A. Williams two.