Lewis, Slabach combine for 43

Published 10:30 am Thursday, February 21, 2019

You’re not going to believe this.

A Davie girls basketball team that was destroyed, devastated and depressed with a 10-game losing streak, including a 31-point loss to Reagan in January, rose from the ashes and beat Reagan 59-47 here Feb. 15 on Senior Night for Emma Slabach, Morgan Lewis, Maddie Tellup and Lexie May.

On paper, it looked like Davie had no chance.

• Reagan lost to East Forsyth by five points and beat East by 11; East beat Davie by 25 and 21. Reagan beat Reynolds by eight and 26; Reynolds beat Davie by 13 and 24. Reagan lost to Glenn by six; Glenn beat Davie by 40 and 37.

• When Davie and Reagan met Jan. 13, the War Eagles faced deficits of 19-7, 34-15 and 44-21 on the way to 55-24 defeat. The War Eagles had dropped seven straight in the series, including scores of 54-42, 59-40, 69-47, 59-26, 68-27 and 59-14.

• The War Eagles had averaged 29 points during their 10-game skid. Counting the regular season and conference tournament, they had lost 21 straight against CPC competition. And Reagan came in with a 13-8 record.

But not only did Davie release lots of pent-up angst against Reagan, it totally dominated 59-47. Try to wrap your mind around that.

“If you scripted it, it wouldn’t be any better,” coach Kevin Revels said.

Dreadful losses preceded the Reagan game. Davie fell 70-21 at home to West Forsyth on Feb. 5, 53-16 at Glenn on Feb. 8 and 55-34 at East Forsyth on Feb. 12. The scorers against West were M. Lewis (seven), May (six), London Dirks (four) and Slabach (four). The scorers against Glenn were Slabach (seven), May (five), Dirks (two) and M. Lewis (two). And the points against East came from Slabach (16), Olivia Tatum (six), M. Lewis (six), May (three) and Klara Lewis (three).

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Three days after the East game, the War Eagles picked up a win they needed in the worst way – the first win since 48-26 at Kannapolis on Jan. 9, the first CPC win since 52-26 over Parkland on Feb. 10, 2017 and the first win over Reagan since 54-41 on Feb. 3, 2016.

“We got the right mix of officials,” Revels said. “They called the game like they call a boys game – not a lot of hands on the ball handlers. Reagan likes to play fullcourt man. The first time we played, they literally knocked us down and took the ball away. These officials did not allow them to play defense with their hands, and that allowed us to run our offense.”

The War Eagles raced to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, but the margin was only 28-25 at the half. “They made a really good charge at the end of the first quarter and in the second quarter,” Revels said.

Behind M. Lewis and Slabach, the War Eagles never trailed, surging to a 43-35 lead in the third, leading by as many as 18 and holding a double-figure lead most of the fourth.

M. Lewis, a senior who came in averaging 8.3 points, flourished with 22 points and three assists. She converted 12 of 15 free throws. Her previous season high was 17 and her previous varsity high was 20 last season.

While M. Lewis couldn’t miss from the line, Slabach was flat-out amazing from the floor, hitting 8 of 9 field goals and all five 3-point attempts on the way to 21 points, eight rebounds, three steals and two assists. It was the senior’s fourth 20-point game of the season.

It was the first time in 16 years that a Davie duo reached 20 points on the same night. In the 2002-03 season, Sarah Williams had 30 and Dawn Singleton 25 in an 82-61 win over North Davidson.

“The vast majority of the points coming from Emma and Morgan was pretty typical, but they shared the ball a lot more and that made them a lot more effective,” Revels said. “We had more shots taken by people other than Emma and Morgan than in any other conference game. The four seniors did a fabulous job of staying mentally tough and avoiding breakdowns.”

Tellup (six), May (four), K. Lewis (four) and Tatum (two) helped Davie put up the most points in 31 games, dating to a 62-60 loss to Reynolds on Jan. 26, 2018. Tellup went 4-4 from the line, and Davie sank 18 of 21 foul shots altogether.

May, who had 12 rebounds and two blocks, and Tellup played big roles in far and away the biggest win of the season. At 6-18, Davie has doubled last year’s win total.

“Maddie and Lexie played terrific defense,” he said. “Reagan has two really good post players. One (sophomore Alyse Binyard, who had 12 team-high points) is incredibly strong around the basket. The two of them did a good job of keeping that girl at bay. Lexie was incredible on the boards.”

Another element that made the win all the more beautiful: A number of eighth graders were in the crowd.

“Our young kids really, really enjoyed being able to watch the seniors have that experience,” Revels said. “We had a good turnout of rising ninth graders at the game. I was happy to see those kids there and super excited for our seniors to go out like that. They have worked hard and really deserved it.”

West Forsyth captured the regular-season championship at 9-1. Glenn was second at 8-2, followed by East Forsyth (6-4), Reagan (4-6), Reynolds (2-8) and Davie (1-9).