Walton joins 1,000 point club

Published 11:17 am Thursday, January 24, 2019

Michael Walton turned a page in Davie boys basketball history, Justice Redmon staged his coming-out party and the War Eagles thumped Glenn and West Forsyth to maintain sole possession of first place in the Central Piedmont Conference.

What a run for the War Eagles, who are 14-1 overall and 3-0 in the CPC. It’s the greatest start through 15 games in 19 years. Jim Young’s 1999-00 bunch started 15-0 behind Duane Phillips (25.1 ppg).

Three days after an emotional win at Reynolds, Davie got off to a slow start against visiting Glenn on Jan. 14. It got into a rhythm in the second quarter, the Bobcats came out hot in the third and then Davie put them away with torrid shooting down the stretch, 67-50.

“It was a tough game,” coach Mike Absher said. “We had a quick turnaround (from Reynolds). We finished the first half strong. We got off to a bad start in the third, but man, what a great ending to the third quarter to separate ourselves again.”

Glenn (8-7, 1-1 CPC) stayed within 5-4, 8-7 and 12-11 in the early going. Davie broke out to a 30-15 halftime lead, but the Bobcats scored the first eight points of the third to close within 30-23. Their 16-7 run cut Davie’s lead to 37-31, at which point Davie was shooting 36 percent overall (11 of 30) and 18 percent from deep (3-16 on 3-pointers).

But Davie ended the third by making 5 of 6 shots, including 3 of 4 3s. Walton nailed a 17-footer to make it 39-31. Walton found Redmon in transition, and Redmon buried the 3. Brooks Johnson assisted Walton, who hit a triple. Redmon got a steal and passed to Owen McCormack, who whipped it to Walton. Walton hit a gorgeous, step-back 3 to make history and bring the crowd to its feet. (It put Walton over 1,000 points for his career.) After a Glenn turnover, Walton went to Redmon again on the wing. Redmon canned the 3, Davie’s second triple in the final 10 seconds of the third.

Davie had ripped off a 13-2 run – for a 50-33 lead – and that was that.

“Glenn is much, much improved from last year,” Absher said. “We knew we were going to have to bring it. So I’m really proud of the guys for being mentally tough to win that game.

“The great thing about us offensively, we can struggle but we can do some damage in a hurry.”

Walton finished with 20 team-high points on 7-11 shooting, including 3-5 from distance. He added three assists. When you achieve something that has only been done 11 times in Davie’s 63-year history, it’s a bona fide moment. With 1,001 points, Walton joined luminaries Dwayne Grant (2,007 in 1977), Phillips (1,544 in 2000), Drew Absher (1,460 in 2009), Shannon Dillard (1,387 in 2012), Nate Jones (1,348 in 2012), Sean Stevens (1,232 in 2002), Randall Ward (1,094 in 1967), Cody Martin (1,072 in 2013), Jingles Ijames (1,058 in 1970) and Cooper Wall (1,025 in 2018).

“It’s great to be on that list,” Walton said. “It’s a great accolade to pick up on this four-year journey. I was counting in my head the whole game. I knew I was three away (when he pulled the step-back 3).”

The 6-4 senior averaged 5.5 points as a freshman, 11.5 as a sophomore, and as a junior he led the team at 14.9, including seven 20-point performances.

“He made a big-time 3 to get to 1,000,” Absher said. “It couldn’t happen to a better kid. I’m super proud of him. He’s worked so hard. He’s a real humble kid. He’s just a hard worker. He’s bought into everything we’ve tried to do. He’s always been about what’s best for the team. He really exemplifies what we want Davie County basketball to look like.”

It’s seemingly never a one-man show for Davie. Jacob Hendrix had 14 points, four rebounds and three blocks. McCormack had nine points, six boards and four assists. Troy Griggs had nine points, going 5-6 on free throws. Redmon had eight points, Johnson five and Zach Smith two.

One of the pleasant stories of the season has been the defensive emergence of Redmon. In this one his offense came alive. Last year as a sophomore he averaged 1.4 points. He entered Glenn averaging 1.2. He scored his two-year high on five shots, hitting three field goals and 2 of 3 3s.

Redmon was a big reason why Davie pulled away for good in the third. Davie needed some energy and momentum.

“He’s grown a ton,” Absher said. “Last year we really wanted him to be aggressive, especially on defense. He wasn’t able to do that all the time. This year he has truly helped. His defense and quickness is his strength. We’ve told him to shoot the ball and to attack. He’s just a different player right now. Tonight we needed somebody to help ignite us because you knew it was going to be a tough, grind-it-out game, and he was awesome off the bench.”

Redmon mans the top of the 1-3-1 zone. “We do some stuff defensively that is really designated for him,” Absher said.

Walton: “That’s my boy. Me and Justice go to the Y a lot. I’ve been talking to him about his confidence, trying to get him going, because I know what he’s capable of. I think this game is going to be good for him to get his momentum going.”

Notes: A good sign for Davie: Glenn beat Reagan 48-35 in the Bobcats’ previous game. … Davie closed the game hitting 11 of 18 shots, including 6-8 3s. “We’re jelling,” Walton said. “We’re moving the ball really well; we’re connecting with each other. We’re having a really strong season. It’s even better than I thought it was going to be.” … Absher, in his 17th year at Davie, has coached six of the 1,000-point members, including D. Absher, Dillard, Jones, Martin and Wall.


Davie took care of reeling West Forsyth, 57-44, in Clemmons on Jan. 18. McCormack engineered a 28-20 halftime lead with 15 points. Davie slowly extended the lead in the second half, thanks to Hendrix’s 11 points.

McCormack had 17 points as Davie pushed its win streak to four. Hendrix (11) did all his scoring in the second half. Griggs had 10, Johnson nine, Walton eight and Redmon two.

Davie has a three-game winning streak over the Titans, who fell to 1-13, 0-3. Glenn, East Forsyth and Reynolds are tied for second with 2-1 marks.