Wisecarver turns in heartwarming performance in memory of dad
Published 9:34 am Thursday, December 30, 2021
By Brian Pitts
Freshman Callie Wisecarver’s dominating performance at West Rowan on Dec. 21 felt like an act of divine intervention.
First, let’s back up to Aug. 17, when life rocked Callie, her mother Lynn and the Anderson/Wisecarver families. That’s when Brian Wisecarver, Callie’s father, died at age 56 after contracting COVID-19 pneumonia.
Now fast forward four months. Callie and the Davie JV girls basketball team were heading to West Rowan, where her father attended school and graduated in 1983.
The War Eagles romped 26-13, and no one has ever deserved the game ball more than Callie did on this night. Let’s put in perspective a performance that was pretty amazing. In 35 middle school games at North Davie across three seasons, Callie’s highest scoring game was 12. In the first six Davie JV games, Callie was averaging 6.8 with a high of 12.
What did Callie do on a night that she dedicated to her father? She scored (take a deep breath) a career-high 15. At halftime, it was Wisecarver 10, West Rowan 6. Don’t you know Brian was beaming in heaven.
“Callie had a big game,” coach Lamar Russell said. “I feel as if there was a presence of God and her dad there. She played like an out-of-body experience. She wanted to make a statement, and I think she made a statement that she can be that post player that scores 15-20 points a night. She drove to the basket several times, got fouled several times and played great.”
Basketball has undoubtedly helped Callie get through the loss of her father.
“It brought tears to my eyes when she played so well,” Russell said. “There was some type of presence there. I want them to know it’s not about basketball for me. It’s about family for me. I know Callie has been through a tough time. I’m 34 years old and I couldn’t imagine losing a parent right now. So for her to lose a parent at an early age and then go to her dad’s old high school and play the way she played … She could have shut down, she could have cried all night, and I wouldn’t have been mad at her. But instead, she stepped up, she played her game and she balled out.”
Callie’s 15 felt like 25 or so because the game was shorter than normal. Instead of playing four eight-minute quarters, there were two 20-minute halves with a running clock except for the last minute of the first half and the last two minutes of the second.
With Wisecarver supplying 57 percent of the offense, Davie led 16-6 at the break and eased to its fifth win in seven tries. Kaylee Lewis had eight points. Tasia Tarpley had three. Kaylee Lynch continued her extraordinary rebounding, grabbing 18 to match a season high and bump her average to 13.7. Hannah McMillian contributed four steals.
Notes: Davie played a second game without leading scorer Nadelie Jones, who is expected to be back for the next game. … Lewis is tearing it up at the free-throw line, hitting 15 of her last 20 attempts.