JV boys get their mojo back
Published 9:31 am Thursday, February 3, 2022
By Brian Pitts
After everything went wrong in a 58-55 loss at Reynolds in which the Davie JV boys basketball team shot 31 percent and fell to a lesser opponent, everything seemed to go right as the War Eagles got their mojo back against visiting East Forsyth on Jan. 25.
Davie survived a fierce battle 76-69, representing the most Davie points in 92 games.
“Both teams were slugging it out,” coach Tracey Arnold said after Davie improved to 12-3 overall and 6-3 in the Central Piedmont Conference.
The teams traded baskets for three quarters, with Davie leading 22-19, 40-37 and 56-52 at the end of the third. The War Eagles dominated a stretch of the fourth and had no trouble hanging on.
“We went on a crazy run,” Arnold said. “We executed three inbounds plays down the stretch to close it out. They were trying to play us man-to-man on inbounds, so we executed three plays in a row to give us a cushion.”
What a surge by Cam Ball, who scored 24 points and grabbed five rebounds. After averaging 6.9 points through his first 11 games, he’s scoring at an 18.6 clip across three games. He’s making a living at the free-throw line, going 12 of 14 in this one and 24 of 31 against Reynolds/East.
“Cam has come on the last three games,” Arnold said. “The switch has come on. He is crashing the boards and taking it to the rack. I mean, he’s been a beast the last three games. He’s taken over that leading-scorer role.”
Carter Helton had a subpar game at Reynolds – pretty much everyone in orange and black did – but he gave Davie exactly what it needed against East, scoring an efficient 17 points while hitting 3 of 5 3-pointers.
“He took too many 3s at Reynolds,” Arnold said. “He played a lot better today. All the shots he took were clean looks. He wasn’t forcing it. He was driving and he got on the boards.”
There’s more. Ian Koontz had a vintage night. After scoring a season-high 16 at Reynolds, he amassed 15 points, 15 rebounds, four assists and three blocks.
“Ian is a workhorse,” Arnold said. “He always does the dirty work. He’s a glue guy. He sets the screens and dives for loose balls. He was a man among boys against East.”
Davie’s inspired effort included nine points, eight rebounds and two assists from Ethan Ratledge, a big who played some point as Arnold got creative against East’s fullcourt pressure. Braddock Coleman had eight points and two steals. Sebastian Bellomo had two points and CJ Phelps one.
“I had one of our bigs play point against their bigs,” he said. “Ethan brought the ball up and that helped us against their pressure. He played good at the point, getting us into our offense.”
This was Davie’s highest point total since an 80-50 win over Parkland in January of 2017.