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Numbers up for girls basketball

By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

Lindsey Adams is not only a young coach at age 22, she has one of the toughest rebuilding jobs in the state.

That job has begun with offseason workouts.

Adams is trying to overhaul a culture in Davie girls basketball. A string of recent seasons have been filed and forgotten. There were 6-17, 3-21 and 6-19 records from 2016-17 through 2018-19. The 2019-20 season was as bleak as bleak ever gets – 0-25. Add it up and you find 15 wins across four years.

Davie tapped Adams fresh out of college to be the new coach. There hasn’t been a JV team in recent years. That is about to change.

The silver lining during last winter’s winless campaign – when Davie was outscored 56-22 on average – was the youth on the roster: 10 freshmen, four sophomores and no seniors. It was basically a  “JV team” forced to play against varsity competition. In fairness to former coach Kevin Revels, it was almost impossible to wring anything good when facing those odds.

Now Adams is doing everything she can to pump life into the program.

“We have consistently had 20-22 girls come to each workout,” she said. “That shows we’re going to have a JV team, which is something Davie hasn’t had in a while. You can see the excitement in the girls.”

Two seniors who did not play last year – Layla Caldwell and Bella Kite – have returned to the hardwood. Caldwell is a 5-10 post player.

“I think she’s going to do a lot of rebounding for us,” Adams said. “She’s definitely going to help out in the back of the press.”

Kite can give Davie a long-range shooter.

“She can step out and shoot, which is something a lot of people wouldn’t look for because of her size,” Adams said. “She’s taller than most of our guards, so they would expect her to stay in the paint. We can use her shooting to our advantage.”

Juniors London Dirks and Olivia Tatum have emerged as valuable leaders.

“They are stepping into that role of speaking and getting players where they need to be during drills,” Adams said. “Everything I’m throwing out there is new to them, whether it be a layup drill or a new defensive set. (Dirks and Tatum) are talking and getting the girls where they need to be.”

Adams isn’t concerned with offense at this point. Her focus is defense, defense and more defense.

“Our style of play is going to be defense,” she said. “Anybody – doesn’t matter your basketball skill – can play defense. All it takes is heart. All the girls are stepping on the court with aggression and intensity. Honestly, the only thing I’m looking for right now is defense. I couldn’t care less if you can make a 3-pointer. You need to know how to stop the opponent on defense. Everybody is competing each day.”

The War Eagles will hit the first official practice (Dec. 7) and the first game (Jan. 6) with a boulder-sized chip on their shoulder.

“Our team has come up with our motto for this year: Make a statement,” she said. “It’s going to be on the back of our warmup shirts. It’s something we’re buying into as a program. We’re going to make a statement that Davie County basketball is going to change, and we’re going to start a tradition of defense and intensity.

“We haven’t really focussed on offense yet because I feel like our defense is going to lead to our offense by making layups in transition and secondary breaks. Once we start practicing and are able to do more things, then I’ll be able to see more of that.”

Adams is realistic. The leading scorer last year was a freshman in Elizabeth Johnson, who averaged six points a game. It’s unlikely that Davie will make mountains tremble and rivers dry up in Year One of Adams. What she wants is for Davie to get incrementally better.

“I’m not saying we’re going to be conference champions this year, but parents and the community are definitely going to see a change in the program in how we play and our intensity level,” she said. “They’re going to see a change, that’s for sure.”

Adams’ assistant coach is Debbie Evans, who has been in the program for many years. She could add two more coaches.

“Debbie’s great,” she said. “We’re still in the process of looking for more coaches.”