Ball lifts JV boys over Glenn

Published 9:12 am Thursday, January 20, 2022

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By Brian Pitts
Davie Enterprise Record

Davie’s JV boys basketball team clanged 14 straight shots in the first quarter. It missed all seven 3-point attempts in the first eight minutes. The War Eagles were playing without one of their big guys in Ian Koontz.
So who could blame them for looking as satisfied as the cat that ate the canary following a 40-39 home win over Glenn?
“It was a game we probably should have lost, but we somehow found a way to win it,” coach Tracey Arnold said following Davie’s sixth consecutive win.
The War Eagles’ first game of the week was an easy one, 61-36 at Parkland on Jan. 11. The tone-setter was Carter Helton, who banged three 3-pointers in the first quarter to stake Davie to a 12-3 lead. It never looked back, leading 25-13 at halftime and 41-23 after the third quarter.
“Carter got us off to a good start,” Arnold said. “In the second half, Ian Koontz and Ethan Ratledge started eating in the middle.”
Helton finished with 17 points in his fifth game with at least three 3s. Ratledge had 10 points, 13 rebounds and three steals. Koontz had nine points, 12 rebounds and two steals. And Cam Ball had seven points and nine boards as Davie recorded its third win by 25-plus points.
The other scorers were Sebastian Bellomo (five), Elijah Dillard (three), Braddock Coleman (three), Cooper Drum (three), CJ Phelps (two) and Trey’von Doulin (two).
Arnold sang the praises of Phelps, who capitalized on his added minutes. His role expanded because Gavin Williams was out sick.
“CJ has been coming on,” he said. “He’s not really a scorer, but he hustles, gets on the boards and contests shots.”
Davie 40, Glenn 39
It wasn’t pretty offensively. In fact, it was a slog. But things went remarkably well on defense as Davie held off visiting Glenn on Jan. 14.
“Our defense kept us in it because we didn’t have a good offensive game at all,” Arnold said.
The War Eagles endured a horrid display in the first quarter, when they shot 0 for 14 and trailed 6-0. Ratledge kept Davie in contention in the second quarter, scoring seven of Davie’s 13, as Glenn led by three at halftime.
Davie prevailed because Ball came up big in the second half. He scored eight of his team’s 15 in the third, when the War Eagles took a 28-24 lead. Ball, Williams and Ratledge scored Davie’s 12 points in the fourth.
In the final minute, Davie was ahead 40-36 and was looking for the knockout blow when Ratledge went up for a shot. There was contact, but no whistle. Ratledge missed the shot and rolled his ankle. Moments later, Glenn nailed a 3-pointer to make it 40-39.
After Arnold called a timeout, Davie threw the ball away on a long inbounds pass. The Bobcats had possession under their basket with five seconds left. Their shot missed, “the ball fumbled around and time ran out,” Arnold said. “It was helter skelter at the end. It wasn’t a pretty game. We had to hold on.”
With Koontz out, Davie got exactly what it needed from Ball, who scored 14 of his team-high 16 points in the second half. He converted 8 of 11 free throws and pulled down seven rebounds. He replaced Koontz, who is averaging 8.1 points and has controlled double-figure rebounds three times, in the starting lineup.
“We’re deep,” Arnold said. “Any given night, we’ve got six guys that could score 20 in a game. Most teams don’t have that on the JV level. Cam helped us in the second half. He started crashing the boards and gave us a lift.”
Ratledge, who limped off with a sprained ankle, was vital with 12 points and eight boards. Helton had eight points, Williams three and Luke Clark one as Davie improved to 11-2 overall and 5-2 in the Central Piedmont Conference.
“We couldn’t have won without Ethan,” Arnold said. “He was big.”
Again, Arnold pointed to Davie’s unsung hero – Phelps.
“CJ came in and gave us some big minutes on the boards,” he said. “He had to play a lot and he was big on defense.”
For the season, Williams has the No. 1 average at 12. The Nos. 2-6 scorers are Helton (11.6), Ratledge (8.9), Koontz (8.1), Ball (7.6) and Coleman (4.9).