Girls stage rally against Alexander Central

Published 10:03 am Thursday, December 6, 2018

Not much can be said about the West Rowan and North Davidson games. Those opponents did whatever they wanted against Davie’s varsity girls basketball team.

But after back-to-back lopsided losses, the War Eagles dug deep at Alexander Central and stopped the tailspin.

West feasted on host Davie 75-37 on Nov. 27. The Falcons improved to 2-0 after going 21-8 and reaching the third round of the 3-A playoffs last Feburary.

“I think that’s one of the two or three best 3-A teams in the state,” coach Kevin Revels said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re playing in the regional final at all. They were so much bigger and stronger than us.”

Emma Slabach had 15 points and Morgan Lewis 13 to account for 75 percent of Davie’s offense. Olivia Tatum had four, Bella Kite three and Maddie Tellup two.

Davie had another difficult matchup at North Davidson on Nov. 28. The result was a 66-37 loss to the 2-0 Black Knights. Davie’s points came from Tatum (10), Kite (10), M. Lewis (seven), London Dirks (three), Layla Caldwell (three), Slabach (two) and Lexie May (two).


The start of the Alexander Central game in Taylorsville on Nov. 30 was eerily reminiscent to the West Rowan-North Davidson contests.

Davie was down 19-7 at the end of the first quarter. Junior Teagan Pennell was on fire with 11 points and three 3-pointers through eight minutes. Right then you thought: “Here comes another blowout loss.”

You were way wrong. Davie flipped the script and won 47-42 to even its nonconference record at 2-2.

“We had the same issue in the first quarter that we had against West Rowan and North Davidson,” Revels said. “We couldn’t hit anything.”

What was the cure? Revels changed to man-to-man defense, which disarmed Pennell, who had three points over the final three quarters. Also, Slabach overcame a two-point effort at North as well as a slow start at AC. The senior returned to the spotlight with 24 spectacular points.

“We changed defensively,” Revels said. “We started playing man and were much more aggressive. That enabled us to beat them up and down the floor. We were quicker than they were.

“We made sure we had somebody on (Pennell) as soon as she crossed halfcourt.”

With Slabach, Dirks and M. Lewis combining for 16 points, Davie went on a 16-7 run and closed within 26-23 at halftime. Slabach knocked down two 3-pointers, while Dirks and Lewis connected from deep once each.

Slabach buried two more treys in the third as Davie drew even at 34-34. Davie opened up a 46-35 lead in the fourth, meaning it outscored the home team 39-16 from the end of the shaky first through most of the fourth.

Interestingly enough, Davie shot 38 percent on 3s (8 for 21) and 22 percent on two-pointers (6-27). It made enough free throws (11-18) to get the job done.

Slabach hit 8 of 14 field goals, including 5 of 10 3s, to finish with a career high of 24 to go with six rebounds. Her previous varsity high was 21 as a sophomore in a 37-36 win at Kannapolis on Dec. 8, 2016.

“Emma started off slow,” Revels said. “I think she missed her first four or five attempts. We took her off the wing and put her in the post. We started flashing her to catch the ball at the elbow and she got a lot more comfortable. Once she hit one, everything she put up was going in.”

M. Lewis had seven points and four assists as Davie defeated AC for the third time in a row. Dirks had six points, while Tellup and May had four each. Kite had two points and a team-high seven boards as the Cougars fell to 0-2.