JV boys upset by Demons

Published 8:55 am Thursday, January 27, 2022

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By Brian Pitts
Davie Enterprise Record

The Davie JV boys basketball team’s game at Reynolds on Jan. 21 did not go as Davie had envisioned.
The War Eagles came in supremely confidence while riding a six-game winning streak. Reynolds was reeling, having lost six of seven. (Reynolds did beat Davie 48-43 on Dec. 10, but that was when Davie was missing three starters.)
For three quarters, it was a dumpster fire of a game for the War Eagles, who lost 58-55.
“We were sleepwalking,” coach Tracey Arnold said. “Both teams had been off all week, but they showed up to play and we were still in Mocksville. I don’t know what we were doing in the first half.”
The Demons hit three straight 3-pointers to grab a 12-6 lead in the first quarter. A Demon missed two free throws but a teammate snatched the rebound and scored to give Reynolds a 19-11 lead. That was the first half in a nutshell. Davie shot terribly and simply couldn’t get out of its own way.
When the margin stood at 29-13, Reynolds was 6 of 10 from 3-point distance. By contrast, Davie was missing eight straight 3s. Davie did manage to cut the halftime margin to 32-23.
Davie shot 23 percent (6-26) from the floor in the first half. It climbed back into contention by hitting 10 of 14 free throws. Reynolds made 13 of 27 field goals for the half. It could have built a bigger lead if not for 2-for-10 foul shooting.
Davie had a 7-0 run in the third. Braddock Coleman dashed down the court after getting a steal. Carter Helton hit a 3. (It was Davie’s first triple in about 17 minutes, and it ended an 0-9 drought from the arc.) Then Coleman found Helton, who had slipped inside, for a layup that pulled Davie within 37-32.
The Demons responded with a little run, and when it was 53-43 with 6:40 remaining, they were an astounding 10 of 18 from long range.
“They made everything,” Arnold said. “They got confidence. They had guys coming off the bench that probably hadn’t scored all year that were jacking up 3s and making them. Looking at their record, they probably played as well as they could play in the first half. We probably should have been down 20 points at halftime.”
The War Eagles finally put the clamps on in the fourth quarter, finally found their rhythm. Cam Bell’s 2-for-2 trip to the line ignited a 12-5 run. Gavin Williams drained a 19-footer. Ball hit two more free throws. Helton stole a pass and went down for a layup. Williams threw a long pass to Helton for a layup. When Ball scored inside, it was 58-55 with 67 seconds to go.
“We settled in and started playing,” Arnold said. “I said if we make a run and make it tight, they’ll stop making those shots. Lo and behold, we closed it to three and the shots they were making earlier were not going in. They left the door open for us, but we kept shooting ourselves in the foot.”
Indeed. Reynolds missed a 3 and Coleman got the rebound at :48. But Davie missed a 3 at the other end, making it 2 of 17 from deep for the game. Ian Koontz blocked a shot, Reynolds’ 11th miss in a span of 13 shot attempts, but Davie threw the ball away.
A Reynolds player was called for a technical foul with nine seconds left for grabbing the rim during a dead-ball situation, but Davie missed both foul shots. Then Davie’s 3 to tie the game did not fall as time expired.
Although Reynolds missed its last five 3s, Davie could not quite overcome the brutal start.
“Every time we had a chance to take control of the game, we either turned it over, missed free throws or missed a layup,” Arnold said.
Ball (16 points, 12-17 free throws, 10 rebounds) and Koontz (16 season-high points, 5-9 field goals, eight rebounds) carried the War Eagles, who got 10 points from Helton, four from Coleman, three from Sebastian Bellomo and two each from Williams, CJ Phelps and Trey’von Doulin.
The War Eagles committed 20 turnovers and shot 31 percent for the game. “We didn’t deserve to win it, but we could have won it,” Arnold said. “They were trying to give it to us.”
Notes: This was the first loss since Dec. 17 for Davie (11-3, 5-3 Central Piedmont Conference). Reynolds improved to 7-8, 4-4. … Coleman had four rebounds and three assists. Bellomo had four rebounds. Ethan Ratledge controlled five boards. … Reynolds finished at 41-percent shooting (23-55, including 10-23 from 3).