JV girls rally past Reagan, extend streak

Published 1:14 pm Tuesday, February 6, 2024

By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

The Davie JV girls basketball team’s out-of-nowhere story continued against visiting Reagan on Jan. 30.

In the first meeting on Jan. 3, the War Eagles never stood a chance, losing by 27. Reagan followed that 56-29 drubbing with wins over Mt. Tabor, Reynolds and East Forsyth. The Raiders were 4-0 in the Central Piedmont Conference when they visited Mocksville.

Coach Lamar Russell’s War Eagles turned the tables and shocked Reagan 44-34 for their third straight win after a 2-7 start.

“These girls have worked so hard and now we have a chance to finish first,” Russell said after Davie improved to 3-3 in the CPC. “If you would have told me that at the beginning of the year, I might have said you’re crazy.”

The War Eagles gave Russell and their fans the full experience against Reagan. They fell behind 13-5 and 22-15 in the first half. Russell let his girls have it at halftime. Then Davie caught fire in the third quarter.

“I said: ‘Y’all are playing a team that is undefeated in our conference, we are sitting No. 4 in our conference and you have a chance to beat them right now. But you’re going to have to get your heads up and you’re gonna have to play like you know how to play. We are better than them, but we have to play like we want to win. We’ve got to pick up the speed and run them.’”

In the third, Davie blitzed Reagan 23-5. Britany Hernandez was incredible during that time, scoring 15 points on five field goals and 4-for-4 foul shooting. All of a sudden, Davie had a 38-27 lead.

Davie scored more in the third than it did in two games earlier in the season. It came in averaging 27 per game; it nearly reached that mark in the third.   

“I did not realize how many points we scored in the third,” Russell said. “When I saw the book, I almost passed out. That was amazing.”

Reagan could not recover in the fourth. Hernandez poured in a season-high 20 points. After averaging 7.8 through the first eight games, she’s scoring at an 18.2 clip across four games. “Britani was sick Monday and I did not start her,” Russell said. “We played about four minutes without her and they went up 8-0 real quick. I turned around and looked at her and said: ‘I need you to change the tone of the game.’ She got in foul trouble quick and I had to pull her back out. Brittani only played about two quarters, 14 minutes maybe, and scored 20 points. I think that speaks for itself. Brittani is not one to brag about it. She just does her thing and the girls feed off of her and Maddie (Ratledge).”

Zahmirah Summers (8 points) scored for the ninth consecutive game. Ratledge also had eight. Kate Nicholson and Zariyah Conner had 5 and 3, respectively.

“Without Maddie controlling the ball, we don’t win that game,” he said.

For the third straight game, Jaylene Rivera and the box-and-one defense left the opponent searching futilely for answers. In the first matchup, No. 22 had 16 points. In this one, she had 11 first-half points but zero in the second half.

“Jaylene is playing defense without fouling, and that is frustrating girls on the other team,” Russell said. “Their coach said his girls told him: ‘She’s in our face and barking at us.’ Their coach said it frustrated them and got in their heads.”

Tabor 34, Davie 23

Hernandez came up big again, but didn’t get enough offensive help in a home loss to Mt. Tabor on Feb. 2.

Hernandez did all the scoring as Davie jumped to a 7-3 lead in the first quarter. But Tabor surged to a 13-11 lead at halftime, extended it to 21-16 in the third and pulled away in the fourth.

Hernandez (16) delivered 15-plus for the fifth game in a row. Summers had 5 and Nicholson 2.

The War Eagles (5-8, 3-4 CPC) saw their winning streak end while scoring their fewest points in 5 games.