One for the books: Lawhon hands out 15 assists as boys move to 8-0

Published 1:15 pm Tuesday, December 26, 2023

By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

Coleman Lawhon, whose greatest gifts on the basketball court have always been his fierce competitiveness and his passing IQ (and he’s no slouch when it comes to scoring), was all-time great in the Davie varsity boys’ 68-50 drubbing of Alexander Central in a nonconference game in Taylorsville on Dec. 19.

In Davie’s eighth win against zero defeats, the senior point guard was surgical. He was John Stockton. He was making sure when people talk about the finest assist men ever at Davie, it will be impossible to not have him in the conversation.

Lawhon racked up 15 assists. What’s even crazier is he had zero turnovers to go with the epic number of assists.

“Sometimes I just sit back and watch him go because it’s great to see him play with that level of confidence,” coach Josh Pittman said. “When he does that, it’s gonna be hard for anybody,  not just Alexander Central. He did a job tonight. I’ve seen flashes over and over again, but to completely abandon looking for points and just look for assists and make the right read and give it up – that shows maturation to me.”

After the Cougars (5-6) took a quick 6-0 lead, Lawhon began to demonstrate his huge playmaking abilities. His steal led to a Bryson Mickey layup and triggered a 30-10 run. Lawhon stole a pass, accelerated on a fast break and fed Gavin Williams for a layup. Lawhon drove and dished to Ethan Ratledge for two. Lawhon assisted a Williams 3-pointer. Lawhon snatched a defensive board, pushed the ball down the floor and hit Powers for two. Williams scored inside on a pass from Lawhon. After Lawhon deflected a pass, Ethan Driver finished a break. Ratledge scored off an inbounds pass from Lawhon.

Lawhon was responsible for all but four of Davie’s assists. As if the 15 and zero numbers weren’t enough, he had five rebounds and four steals.

“I think Coleman is a next-level guard, it’s just about somebody giving him an opportunity,” Pittman said. “After working for the the last year and a half or two years, it is starting to show.”

Central clawed back to 36-30, but the War Eagles did not flinch. They responded with a 25-10 run. Mickey was awesome during this stretch. The junior guard banged three straight 3s in the third, and early in the fourth, he drained another one. (A couple of them were from the parking lot.) The first three triples were assisted by (who else?) Lawhon.

In the fourth, Lawhon assisted back-to-back buckets by Elliott Erlandsson. Then he fed Ratledge on the low block for two. Davie carved up Central after needing a huge fourth-quarter rally to win the Dec. 8 meeting 62-53.

“It is lovely to see the whole team buying in and playing for each other and cheering for each other,” Pittman said. “Just like they say, family over everything so that family can overcome everything.”

Davie shot 52 percent overall (27 of 51, including 7 of 20 from 3). Central couldn’t keep up as it shot 36 percent (17-47).

“We were better with our shot selection,” Pittman said. “We took our time instead of forcing. We emphasized that the one-pass 3 would always be there. We emphasized penetrate and kick, move the ball around and be deliberate. We did well scoring 68 points while playing against a zone the whole night.”

By catching fire, Mickey led with 19 points on 4-of-7 shooting from deep. He went 5-5 from the foul line and made three steals. It was business as usual for big man Jackson Powers, who put up his fourth double-double (14 points, 10 rebounds).

Williams (11 points, 5-of-7 shooting), Ratledge (10 points, 5-6 FGs, six rebounds) and Erlandsson (seven points, 3-4 FGs) were opportunistic contributors. Lawhon had three points, while Cam Owens and Driver had two each.

“(Ratledge) has been shooting lights out the last few games,” Pittman said. “Coming in he was shooting 59 percent, and that went up even more.”

Pittman could not ask for better balance. Mickey is averaging 14 points, followed by Powers at 13.8, Lawhon at 9.6, Ratledge at 9.2 and Williams at 8.5. Davie has nothing but good feelings as it heads into the Ledford Christmas Classic tournament.

“If they believe in what they can do, the sky is the limit,” he said.