Girls get back in hunt with impressive win

Published 12:35 pm Tuesday, January 16, 2024

By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

Coming off disappointing efforts against Reagan and Mt. Tabor, the Davie girls basketball team found itself at a crossroads when it hosted Parkland on Jan. 12.

This was an opportunity to get a signature win against a team that was 3-1 in the Central Piedmont Conference and revive its league hopes. Not only did Davie beat Parkland, 58-47, the hungry War Eagles were mighty impressive in front of a great home crowd.

“After last week, we had to find out who this Davie team is,” coach Lindsey Adams said.

The War Eagles shot 42 percent from the floor, compared to 25 percent for Parkland. They held one of the finest players in the league to five points. They upset a team that has two victories over Reagan. The CPC is wide open, and now Davie is right there in the hunt. Reynolds and Tabor are 4-1, West Forsyth is 3-1, Parkland 3-2, Davie 2-2 and Reagan 2-3.

“We are the youngest team in conference, and they have three transfers on their team – two from West (Forsyth) and one from Glenn,” Adams said. “They took Glenn’s best player.”

Davie torched Parkland out of the gate. Behind scoring from Peyton Spaugh, Malayka Rankin, Bailey Aderhold and Vivian Vaughters, they raced to a stunning 18-3 lead. Spaugh accounted for eight of the 18.

“Nobody can stop us when we’re confident, it doesn’t matter if it’s the 14-year-olds or the 18-year-olds,” Adams said. “They tried a triangle-and-two on Bailey and Madison (Daugherty). Then Peyton and Malayka started scoring and then they tried to face-guard them. But nothing stopped us on offense.”

If it was fun to watch Davie on the offensive end, the effort and energy on defense was equally enjoyable.

“I showed them film (last) week of our team plan playing Parkland last year,” Adams said. “I told them my old teams played defense, and I don’t think they realized how much more they can give until I showed them film of what my old teams used to give.”

The Mustangs got off the deck and got back in the game. They cut Davie’s lead to 31-25 and Adams called timeout. This was a critical moment in the game and the season.

“I said: ‘Weather the storm, calm down and relax. Don’t panic and lets analyze what they are doing. They have changed defenses to a 1-2-2 trap. Recognize and execute. We also have to get a stop and rebound. Focus back on getting a stop and scoring,’” Adams said.

The War Eagles responded beautifully to Parkland’s 22-13 run. After the timeout, Emmie Burris intercepted a pass and raced to the other end for two. Rankin scored inside off a feed from Aderhold. Vaughters took a pass from Aderhold, scored, was fouled and completed the three-point play at the line. Avarie Martin knocked down a 3-pointer. Aderhold pulled up at the arc and banged the 3 to provide a 44-30 lead.

“This is the best offensive team I have coached, and most of them are young,” Adams said. “It’s going to open up, they’ve just got to continue getting their confidence.”

Still, the Mustangs (4-10 overall) did not go away, rallying within 46-40. But Davie (8-6 overall) answered again. Martin was bumped but hit a driving bank shot anyway. Burris finished a fast-break layup following a Rankin steal. Spaugh attacked the paint and scored over a defender. With Davie killing clock in its delay game, Martin got the ball in the lane and made a nice dish to Rankin. Aderhold snatched a defensive rebound and threw an outlet to Rankin, who scored on the break. Burris assisted a Rankin layup.

There were a ton of smiles as the lead reached 58-45.

“I told them it was going to be a track meet, but there’s nobody in conference that conditions and runs their team as much as I do,” Adams said. “I said they may stay with us in the first quarter or the first half, but when we push and transition, that’s how we’re going to score buckets. I wanted them to play and not think, and that opened up the bucket for everybody tonight.”

A significant factor in the outcome was Davie’s box-and-one defense on Parkland senior Justace Williams, a gifted penetrator who came in averaging 16.2 points. Vaughters and the box stifled Williams, who scored her only five points in the third.

“There was no point in guarding her outside the 3-point line because she is not a shooter,” Adams said. “I told them you are going to run yourself to death if you chase her outside the 3-point line, so think of the 3-point line as an electric fence and stay inside of it. She stopped trying once she realized we were in there taking charges (because) I had Emmie and Peyton set up on the top and bottom. So whoever wanted to drive, a charge was coming on their side. They did a good job buying in, letting them shoot the 3, go after the boards and push the ball.”

Rankin (16 points) finished with her highest point total in four games, grabbed seven rebounds, took two charges and handed out two assists. Spaugh tallied 11 points, nine rebounds, two steals and took a charge. Aderhold hit three triples for nine points, snatched six boards and dished out five assists. Besides giving Davie what it needed defensively on Williams, Vaughters contributed seven points on 3-of-4 shooting. Burris had six points and nine rebounds. Martin had five points, two blocks and two assists. Daugherty had four points.

“Malayka had a hot week in practice,” Adams said. “We put them on teams every day and they competed. I told her she has to change her (offensive) mindset.”

Notes: Davie got a measure of revenge for 79-52 and 77-71 losses to Parkland last year. … Parkland jacked up 36 threes and made just nine. “I could not press this team because of their speed, so I said let’s pack the paint and see if we can buy into a zone defense or box-and-one – and they did,” Adams said. … Davie hit 26 of 61 overall shots, while Parkland went 17 of 68.