JVs lose three close games

Published 10:38 am Thursday, February 13, 2020

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The first time around the Central Piedmont Conference schedule, the Davie JV basketball team could not catch a break, losing 43-42 to West Forsyth, 58-54 to Reynolds and 51-46 to Glenn.

The War Eagles of Ty Woodring saw the same three opponents last week, and you’ll never guess what happened. They drew blackjacks. They beat West 48-47. They beat Reynolds 68-66 in overtime. And – pause for breath – they beat Glenn 56-39.

Davie 48, WF 47

Davie built a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter against the visiting Titans on Feb. 4. Then it tried to give it away.

“We went four and a half minutes without scoring a field goal,” Woodring said.

West took a one-point lead. Jake Powers’ 3-ball gave Davie the lead. West answered with a triple. The Titans were ahead by one with the ball. Then Hayden Williams came up with the defensive play of the game.

“They have one kid who’s really good,” Woodring said. “We doubled him and made him throw it to somebody else. We lucked up and (Williams) stole the inbounds pass.”

Davie had possession under its basket when Woodring called timeout. Blake Walser drew a foul with 25 seconds left. He made both shots to give Davie the 48-47 lead. But it was far from over.

“We doubled their best player again and made them put the ball in somebody else’s hands,” he said. “They got a really good look but they missed.”

Walser controlled the rebound and was fouled. He missed the front end of a one-and-one and West got the board. Andrew Shuler preserved the win by poking the ball away.

Powers (18 points, three 3s) and Walser (14 points, 6-6 free throws) played starring roles. Shuler had six points. JT Bumgarner and Williams had three each. Owen Byers and Ryan Walton had two.

After pacing the Davie scoring for seven straight games, Walser had his lowest output in five games. Meanwhile, Powers, who had only managed 14 points across three games, broke loose in a big way.

“It was an emotional game for Jake because he had the ball in his hands when we were at West (and lost by one),” Woodring said. “He had two chances and he missed both, so he felt like he let the team down last time.”

It was the second straight one-point loss for the Titans (11-9, 5-2 CPC).

Davie 68, Reynolds 66 (OT)

The War Eagles squandered another double-figure lead as it hosted the Demons on Feb. 5. Again, they regrouped in time to pull it out, this time in overtime.

The first half was all Davie, which led 40-25 at halftime behind Powers (14 points), Walser (eight) and torrid 3-point shooting (six 3s by Davie).

The War Eagles got outscored in the third, but they still maintained a comfortable lead at 48-36. But they watched Reynolds score 22 in the fourth. Freshman Eli Calhoun scored 10 of his 20 in the fourth. Freshman Wyatt Mowery, who had one point through three quarters, had six in the fourth.

“We had a couple silly, costly turnovers and they tied it up (by hitting two free throws),” Woodring said.

Davie experienced euphoria at the end despite missing seven of 12 free throws in OT. Shuler, who had one point through the third quarter, was heroic in OT. One of his two field goals in the extra session was an unexpected 3 that broke a tie. Walser followed with two free throws and Davie was headed to victory.

“We got lucky,” Woodring said. “(Shuler’s 3) was a ‘no, no, no … yes, yes, yes.’”

Just like the West game, Powers and Walser had 18 and 14, respectively. Walton and Caleb Earnhardt had seven. Shuler had six and Luke McCormick five. Byers, Williams and Bumgarner had three and Burke Rosenbaum two.

“We have made a lot of adjustments (since losing three straight in the CPC),” he said. “We’re finally learning how to win these grind-them-out games.”

The scoring leaders grab most of the headlines, but Davie isn’t soaring without unsung players like Shuler, Rosenbaum, Williams and Byers.

“Shuler does a lot of little things, rebounding and stuff like that,” he said. “Rosenbaum and Williams are two really good backups. Byers is always a gnat on defense. He’s a thorn in people’s sides.”

Davie 56, Glenn 39

The War Eagles got payback for the third time in four days against the visiting Bobcats on Feb. 7, and the latest one came without Davie really straining.

“One of their better guards did not play,” he said. “I guess he was hurt.”

Woodring was not happy with the first quarter, which saw Davie hold a 12-10 lead. But he got what he wanted in the second, a massive 22-2 run that was powered by Byers, Walser and McCormick.

Davie took a 34-12 lead to halftime and cruised to 14-4 overall and 5-3 in the CPC.

“We came out really soft,” he said. “(Assistant coach Todd Bumgarner) laughed at me because I pulled a Roy Williams and took all five of the starters out and put five subs in. I chewed on them a little bit. I put them back in, and the next thing you know, everything started clicking.”

Byers, the defensive pest who entered with a 4.5 scoring average, took his offensive game to a new level with a season-high 16. Walser was next with 12.

“They tried to press a lot and nobody could stay in front of Owen,” he said. “He was setting stuff up for guys, getting to the rim and finishing, and hitting shots whenever he was open. He played a heck of a game.”

Powers had eight, McCormick seven, Earnhardt six and Rosenbaum three. Williams and Shuler had two.

Notes: Davie has a six-game winning streak. … Last week’s trifecta evoked memories of Woodring’s first year as coach in 2017-18, when Davie went 18-2 by going 7-0 in games decided by three points or less.