Boys finish 10-0 in CPC

Published 10:27 am Thursday, February 21, 2019

The Davie boys basketball team added layers to its season for the ages.

When the War Eagles pulled out a 63-58 win at East Forsyth on Feb. 12, they accomplished two things that had never been done in program history – records of 21-1 overall and 9-0 in league play.  They had already clinched the top seed for the Central Piedmont Conference Tournament. This gave them first place outright.

“I don’t think people quite understand the time, effort and work these guys have put into trying to break that string,” coach Mike Absher, pointing to Davie’s first regular-season title since 1970, told the Winston-Salem Journal. “We were one game away last year. To finally do it after 49 years, I couldn’t be happier for a group of guys.”

Troy Griggs’ eight points lifted Davie to a 20-10 lead in the first quarter, and Davie rolled into halftime ahead 38-28. The Eagles had an answer, cutting Davie’s lead to 45-42 in the third.

That’s when Davie and Jacob Hendrix reaffirmed their toughness. Hendrix, who had five points through three quarters, became a one-man wrecking crew at crunch time. East (13-8 overall) had score six straight points to take its first lead at 48-47 with 4:54 to go. The fearless Hendrix broke East’s back with three 3-pointers during an 11-2 run. At 58-50, that was all she wrote.

Hendrix fouled out at 1:24, but East couldn’t get closer than three down the stretch. It was another gut-check win for Davie. It was merely the latest strong performance by Hendrix, who cracked double figures for the ninth time in 10 games.

“It’s neat to watch him because he shoots with such confidence,” Absher said.

“It felt amazing,” Hendrix told the Journal. “My teammates set me up perfectly. That corner shot has always been my side, the left side. I really love that shot.”

“People can talk about (Owen) McCormack and (Michael) Walton all they want to, but in my mind Griggs and Hendrix are the ones that make them go,” East coach Mike Muse told the Journal. “We talked about that all week.”

Both teams were shorthanded, with Davie missing McCormack (ankle) and East going without 6-8 sophomore Zyun Reeves (sick).

Davie was powered by Griggs (15 points), Walton (15), Hendrix (14 with four 3s) and Justice Redmon (10). Griggs, who was averaging nine, delivered his two-year varsity high. Redmon matched his season high. Brooks Johnson had six and Zach Smith three.

“This didn’t start on Oct. 31,” Absher said. “These guys have truly, especially this senior class, bought in to what we asked them to do.”


The War Eagles have survived several close calls, including a 57-53 home win over Reagan in the regular-season finale on Feb. 15 on Senior Night for Walton, Latham Chamberlain, Griggs, McCormack, Hendrix and Ronald Wilson.

It was a struggle as McCormack missed his third full game. Davie trailed 11-9 after the first and 24-22 at halftime. Davie led by one (34-33) heading into the fourth.

The difference-makers during Davie’s 23-point fourth were Walton, who went 4-4 at the line; Griggs, who converted 3 of 4 foul shots; Johnson, who nailed two triples; and Redmon, who saved six of his eight points for money time.

While Reagan fell to 9-13, the War Eagles soared to 22-1 and completed a perfect 10-0 run through the CPC. They’re something to behold. When they beat Reagan by nine on Jan. 31, Johnson was out with the flu and McCormack provided 17 crucial points. In the rematch on Senior Night, five guys scored at least eight points.

Davie was far from perfect, but it did what it had to do. “We have figured out different ways to win those types of games,” Absher said. “With this senior-laden class, there was a lot of emotion. You try to channel that and we struggled. We played really well in the second half. Again, different people made different kinds of plays.”

Hendrix heated up in the second half again – three 3s – to finish with 14 points. He banged three or more triples for the fourth straight game, and he’s averaging 17.5 while Davie has been without its standout big man (McCormack).

“Jacob was unbelievable,” Absher said.

Walton had 11 points, going 6-6 from the foul line. Johnson hit three 3s for nine points. Griggs also had nine.

“Michael is just a warrior,” he said. “We spread the floor, held the ball and he got fouled several times and was able to knock them down. Brooks was huge. I was glad to see him step in there and make shots.”

Redmon continued his emergence with eight points. After averaging 1.2 in the first 13 games, he’s averaged 4.8 in the last 10. Smith chipped in four and James Reid two as Davie extended its winning streak to 12. Reagan played in a third straight game decided by four points or less, going 1-2 during the span.

“We had a lot to play for,” Absher said. “We wanted to be 10-0 in the league. Every time we win, we solidify ourselves in the state playoffs. Reagan is much better than people probably think. Their record is very misleading. We have tough matchups when we guard them.”

Behind Davie’s 10-0 mark was Reynolds at 7-3, followed by East Forsyth (5-5), Glenn (4-6), West Forsyth (2-8) and Reagan (2-8).

“We’ve accomplished some cool things already, but you always want to win on Senior Night,” Absher said. “We said 15-20 years from now it’d be great to say you went 10-0 instead of 9-1. A lot of high school kids don’t get to experience something like that. They realize it’s been a special run. The great thing is they’re excited to move forward and see where this can end.”

Notes: McCormack is probable for the CPC Tournament. “He’s getting much better,” Absher said. “I would say he’s getting close.” … McCormack remains the top scorer at 14.2. Walton is averaging 13, Hendrix 12.7, Griggs 9.3 and Johnson 8.2.