Reagan beats Davie boys at buzzer

Published 9:21 am Thursday, December 23, 2021

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By Brian Pitts
Enterprise Record

After the euphoric, two-point win at Reynolds, the Davie varsity boys basketball team was hit from behind by a heavy bag of humility in back-to-back Central Piedmont Conference losses.
Both home games could have gone the War Eagles’ way. They led East Forsyth by 10 before losing 57-54 on Dec. 14. They led Reagan by nine before losing 52-50 on Dec. 17. Reagan’s only lead of the game came with 0:00 on the clock.
EF 57, Davie 54
The War Eagles’ plans worked most of the first half against East Forsyth. They hit five of their first nine shots, including three 3-pointers, in taking a 13-6 lead. They had a 22-12 lead when Za’Haree Maddox buried a 3. They had a 29-22 lead early in the third when Alex Summers connected from deep.
The 3-balls, though, proved to be fool’s gold. Matters deteriorated after Summers’ basket. East scored 18 of the next 20 points to take a stunning 40-31 lead. The Eagles could not miss in the second half, hitting eight straight field goals during one stretch to open up a 50-39 lead.
“We could not buy a basket at the end of the second quarter and the beginning of the third,” coach Bruce Wallace said. “If we make shots at the beginning of the third, we’re up 15 or so. Once we stopped making shots, we stopped playing defense as hard, we started turning it over and the game changed. We got into a funk for 10-12 minutes and we never recovered from it.”
East was a torrid 12 of 19 (63 percent) in the second half. By contrast, Davie shot 35 percent overall (19-54). Making matters worse, it went 7-16 at the free-throw line.
“When we’re taking jump shots and not making them, our guys need to go to the hole,” Wallace said. “They went to the hole and we didn’t.”
To Davie’s credit, it made a serious push after falling behind 55-41. It had missed six straight long-range shots before Coleman Lawhon hit a triple with 2:14 remaining to trigger a game-ending 13-2 run. Then Lawhon hit two of three free throws, East missed the front end of a one-and-one and Maddox drove for two to cut the deficit to 55-49 with a minute left. Off a Jackson Powers steal, Zymere Hudson scored as he was fouled. Maddox nailed an NBA 3 to make it 57-54, but only two seconds remained as Davie ran out of time.
Maddox had 16 points, four assists and four rebounds. Hudson had 14 points. Blake Walser had eight points and seven rebounds. Lawhon had seven points and five rebounds. Summers had six points, Jackson Powers two and Tate Carney one. Jake Powers contributed seven rebounds and four assists.
East improved to 6-1 overall and 2-0 in the CPC.
Reagan 52, Davie 50
Reagan’s Noah Quarless let the game’s final shot fly as the final horn sounded. The 18-footer swished to give Reagan its first and only lead of the game. You can’t lose a game more painfully than that.
While the Raiders went mad with court-storming joy, the War Eagles walked slowly to the locker room with blank stares.
“That was a tough loss because, No. 1, they hit a game-winner,” Wallace said. “No. 2, we were up in the fourth quarter. And three, we were better than they were. That hurts. So yeah, it was a very, very tough loss.”
It was all Davie early. Riding Maddox and Hudson, Davie bolted to a 9-0 lead. But then Davie went cold, missing 10 straight shots and finding itself tied at 14.
Davie would regain control. A 10-2 run gave it a 40-31 lead late in the third quarter. After Carney and Jackson Powers hit 3s, Maddox converted a teardrop and Lawhon hit a pair from the line.
Later, Davie hit five straight field goals, a stretch that was capped by Maddox posting up, turning and scoring for a 44-37 lead with 5:45 remaining.
Just when you think Reagan is about to get run over, it stormed back. It was 0 for 8 from 3-point territory before hitting one with 5:04 to play. Thirty seconds later, it popped another trey.
But it still looked as if Davie was going to salt it away. Lawhon hit two free throws – he was 6-6 from the stripe on the night – to give Davie a 46-40 lead at 4:49. When Lawhon scored inside off a pass from Jake Powers, it was 50-45 at 2:47.
Then Davie came unraveled. It wouldn’t score again, and Reagan took full advantage with a game-ending 9-2 run.
Davie threw the ball away and Reagan’s Jack Leonard scored off an offensive rebound to tie the game at 50 at 1:08. Maddox raced the length of the court, a secondary defender slid over around the low block and the whistle blew as Maddox went up for a layup: charging. Davie regained momentum when Jackson Powers took a charge on the other end. Hudson missed a 3 but Lawhon hustled for the rebound. Still tied at 50, Davie could have held for the final shot, but Jake Powers’ 3-point try was off with nine seconds left and Reagan rebounded.
The Raiders hurried downcourt and passed to the right wing to Quarless (14 team-high points), who hit the game-winner at the buzzer.
Seemingly nothing went Davie’s way.
“Zymere was in foul trouble,” Wallace said. “He couldn’t play very much and he never got in a rhythm. We could play a hundred games and Zymere doesn’t score only three points.
“We had three 3s in the second quarter rim out. At the beginning of the fourth, we missed two free throws (while leading 40-33). And we missed four layups or little bunnies in the fourth.”
While Hudson was limited to 13 below his scoring average, Blake Walser got injured and had to watch the end from the bench.
“We win the game if we have Blake because he rebounds,” Wallace said.
Maddox had 19 points and seven steals. Lawhon had eight points, Jackson Powers five, Walser four, Hayden Williams three, Summers three, Hudson three, Carney three and Jake Powers two.
Notes: Reagan (5-3 overall) picked up its first CPC win after losing to East Forsyth (64-47) and Glenn (44-36). … The War Eagles (1-2 CPC) lost to Reagan for the first time since December of 2016, ending a 10-game winning streak in the series. … Davie shot 31 percent (15-48). After shooting 29 percent in the first half (7-24), the Raiders hit 50 percent (13-26) in the second half. … On the bright side, the War Eagles (5-3 overall) stopped their slide with a solid 65-61 win at Atkins on Dec. 18. Maddox (27 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds) narrowly missed a triple-double and Hudson added 17 points as Davie pulled out a tight struggle in the final minutes. Details on the win will appear in next week’s paper.