War Eagle boys basketball back on track

Published 9:49 am Thursday, January 13, 2022

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By Brian Pitts
Enterprise Record

West Forsyth’s varsity boys basketball team had lost by five to Mt. Tabor, which beat Davie by seven. West lost by 10 to Glenn, which hasn’t lost in the Central Piedmont Conference and is tied for first.
Before facing West, Davie missed 29 of 43 field goals at Mt. Tabor and dropped its third straight in CPC play.
When Davie hosted West on Jan. 7, who’d have guessed the War Eagles would produce … utter domination?
The 74-35 thrashing marked Davie’s largest CPC victory since the 2014-15 season. One motivation was the emotional scar tissue of losing by three to East Forsyth, by two to Reagan and by seven to Tabor.
“We’ve had some frustrating losses and we haven’t really caught a break,” coach Bruce Wallace said. “Tonight we were making all our shots and everyone was playing good. That was a fun win for everyone.”
Tabor 52, Davie 45
The War Eagles couldn’t have started any better at Tabor on Jan. 4. Zymere Hudson scored four early points, Blake Walser banged a 3-pointer and Jackson Powers hit back-to-back baskets as Davie jumped to an 11-5 lead.
But they let the Spartans off the hook. Tabor managed to take a 24-22 lead into the locker room despite missing 10 of its first 12 shots and six straight free throws during one stretch of the half.
The second half started well enough for the War Eagles. Jake Powers swished a 3 to give them a 25-24 lead. Jake scored inside to put Davie ahead 27-26.
But Davie crumbled from there. Tabor went on a 9-0 run to build a 35-27 lead. Hudson hit a trey to pull Davie within 37-32, but the War Eagles couldn’t make anything the rest of the way. On top of that, Tabor found its rhythm from long range.
When Tabor’s lead was 40-35, it was 0 for 7 from 3-point territory. Then it made 4 of 9 shots from deep to put the War Eagles in a 49-37 hole. They could not mount a serious charge down the stretch.
“(With Tabor ahead 48-41), we missed five straight shots – and they were all pretty good shots,” Wallace said. “We could have cut the lead to four and then it’s a completely different game.
“To their credit, that was the best defensive team we’ve played.”
Hudson (13 points, six rebounds, three assists) and Jackson Powers (11 points) converted 8 of 14 shots, but the rest of Davie went 6 of 29. After scoring 31 points in the previous game against Salisbury, Za’haree Maddox was limited to 10, or eight below his average. Jake Powers had seven points and eight rebounds. Walser had four points.
The Spartans (9-3, 3-1) shot just 35 percent (19 of 54) but still managed to win the first meeting with Davie since February of 2017. Davie (7-5, 1-3) shot 32 percent and scored its fewest points in 20 games.
Davie 74, WF 35
Three days after the dismal shooting in Winston-Salem, the War Eagles looked angry against visiting West Forsyth and ran the Titans out of the gym.
“Everything was clicking for us and they played bad,” Wallace said. “Let’s be clear on that. They’re better than that.”
Maddox and Walser teamed up for 18 points as Davie (8-5, 2-3) raced to a 21-7 lead. Hudson’s nine points helped fuel Davie’s 26-point second, and Maddox was absolutely terrific in a first half that saw Davie carve out a 47-19 lead.
Maddox scored 17 first-half points on 5-of-7 shooting. He made 3 of 4 3-pointers as Davie shot a blistering 18 for 31. While Davie was hitting 58 percent, West was 8 of 25 for 32 percent.
“The first 3 Za’haree hit was deep and contested,” Wallace said. “In shoot-a-round, he hit like seven of those in a row. He was hitting those shots that he hit in the game.”
When Coleman Lawhon nailed a 3 to push the margin to 60-24, Davie was a torrid 9 of 12 from long range. When Walser scored inside through contact, it was 64-24, triggering the mercy rule running clock before the third quarter was over.
Maddox wound up hitting 4 of 6 3s and scoring 20 points to go with seven assists and three steals. Walser put up a varsity career high of 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting. He added four boards and three blocked shots. Hudson hit 6 of 8 field goals to score 14, and he also had five boards and three assists.
“Blake was part of the game plan going in,” Wallace said. “We don’t have an advantage on the inside many times, but I knew we were going to have an advantage against them on the inside.”
Twelve War Eagles produced points. Lawhon took two shots and made both for six points. Caleb Earnhardt had four points. Jake Powers and Hayden Williams had three each. Tate Carney, Jackson Powers, Landon King and Hunter Davis had two apiece, and Max Junker had one as Davie shot 56 percent (27-48) for the game.
Notes: The War Eagles beat West for the third time in a row and for the ninth time in 10 meetings. Last season they belted West by 24 and 32. … This was Davie’s largest win since a 69-29 decision over Carson last January. This was its largest CPC win since 86-47 over Parkland in 2014-15. … West shot 34 percent (15-43) as it fell to 5-8, 1-4. … With nine CPC games to go, Davie has time to do something, although its margin for error is thin. Glenn and East Forsyth are tied for first at 4-0. Tabor and Reagan are tied for third at 3-2. Davie entered the week in fifth. “If we win out, we win the conference,” Wallace said. “It’s not crazy to say we could win out, but it’s going to be really hard for us to win out. We can beat anyone in the conference, but we can definitely lose to anyone in the conference.”