JV girls right the ship

Published 11:57 am Tuesday, January 30, 2024

By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

Britany Hernandez’s scoring spree and a box-and-one defense changed the fortunes for the Davie JV girls basketball team.

After losing four straight, the War Eagles righted the ship in a 33-29 home win over West Forsyth on Jan. 23. Offensively, the first win since Dec. 15 was spearheaded by Hernandez (season-high 19 points) and Maddie Ratledge (12).

Davie had to rally to make this happen. It was down 17-10 at halftime. Hernandez kept her team alive with seven first-half points.

Davie crept within 22-19 at the end of the third quarter, and the offense really hit its stride in the fourth. Guards Hernandez and Ratledge fueled a 14-7 run down the stretch. Ratledge had 10 in the second half to register double figures for the sixth time.

“We had one of the best fourth quarters that we’ve ever had,” coach Lamar Russell said. “That started with Britany. She had two or three steals and layups. She’s starting to get comfortable in what we need her to do.

“You were looking at Britany and then all of a sudden here comes Maddie. She sneaks in behind you and does what she needs to do.”

But a big part of why Davie was able to break through was the box-and-one. The box helped Davie hang with Reynolds in the previous game, a respectable 10-point loss, and Jaylene Rivera’s defense in the box made West’s foremost weapon look ordinary.

“Our game plan worked,” Russell said. “We switched the plan for the last two games. We played a very good Reynolds team and only lost by 10 and tonight we won, so we’re going to stick with that game plan to see if it’s luck or if we’re doing something right.”

Rivera held West’s go-to player to seven points.

“Without Jaylene, I don’t think we win that game,” he said. “We  pick out the girl who we think can do damage and we put Jaylene on her. Jaylene was on their best guard.”

Zahmirah Summers had two points.

Davie 30, EF 12

This was a perfect illustration of Davie’s improvement. In the first meeting against East Forsyth in December, Davie won by a skinny point, 25-24. In the Jan. 25 matchup in Kernersville, Davie (4-7)  enjoyed its largest victory of the season.

“I think we are firing on all cylinders,” Russell said.

Hernandez had yet another outstanding offensive game, scoring 19 on seven field goals and 4-of-6 foul shooting. She has delivered 53 points in three games. Summers and Ratledge contributed seven and four, respectively.

“Brittani played big,” Russell said. “Most of her points came off steals, and we had passes from Maddie and Kate (Nicholson) that got her open. We still need some more scorers. Maddie did not play her best game, but Zahmirah helped out.”

Again, the box-and-one worked like a charm. This time Rivera rotated on East’s biggest threat with Zariyah Conner.

“The last time we played East Forsyth, No.  25 scored 13 points,” Russell said. “Jaylene and Zariyah guarded her tonight and she had zero points. I subbed them in back and forth to give each other a break. If they can continue to do that against the other team’s main player, we might sneak up and beat some people.”