Girls bounce back with wins

Published 1:42 pm Tuesday, February 13, 2024

By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

The sky keeps falling for the Davie varsity girls basketball team. The sky keeps missing.

The War Eagles dropped three straight nonconference games in December, but they responded with a 4-1 run.

In a span of three days in early January, they lost to Reagan and Mt. Tabor. They recovered well, winning back-to-back Central Piedmont Conference games.

They fell to Reynolds in mid-January, but answered with wins over West Forsyth and East Forsyth.

In late January/early February, they got whooped by Reagan and Tabor and appeared to be spiraling. But the War Eagles just refuse to go away quietly. Last week they responded in a big way, winning two close games they needed in the fight for a top-three finish.

At the beginning of the week, Tabor was 11-1 in the CPC, with Reynolds at 10-2 and Davie at 7-5. West and Reagan are tied for fourth at 6-6.

In the 49-34 loss to Reagan, Davie shot 18 percent. The 70-39 decision against Tabor marked the War Eagles’ worst CPC defeat in two years, and coach Lindsey Adams told them about it at the practice leading up to the Feb. 6 game at West Forsyth.

“It was ugly,” she said. “In the second half against Tabor, we just gave up. They felt defeated, we stopped caring and we stopped trying. That’s not going to be any Davie team that I coach. I think we’re shooting 17 percent from the 3 in the last four games. I think that shows they’re letting our offense dictate if they’re going to play defense or not, and that’s not OK. At Monday’s practice, I said: ‘I could not care less if we win or lose the next four games, but one thing is for sure – my team will always play defense.

“On Monday, we focused on what I expect Davie basketball to look like, and that is toughness, grit, playing physical and getting after people.”

Davie 49, WF 42

The War Eagles really needed this one in Clemmons, and they played like it right from the opening tip, especially Peyton Spaugh.

The senior guard had struggled offensively in the previous six games, totaling 16 points. But Spaugh turned in a heroic effort against West Forsyth, scoring a career-high 18 points while hitting 5 of 11 field goals, 2 of 3 3-pointers and 6 of 10 free throws. On top of that, she piled up seven rebounds, five assists and five steals.

“I definitely talked to her on Monday,” Adams said. “Peyton has always been a defensive player for us and a spark, but the last three games I think she averaged two points. I said we need more from you defensively and she responded.”

West held the lead most of the third and early in the fourth, but Davie answered every Titan charge. It was 22-19 in West’s favor before Malayka Rankin went inside for an and-one that tied the game. The deficit as 28-24 before Spaugh fed Londyn McDowell for two. The deficit was 29-26 before Emmie Burris assisted an inside basket by Spaugh. The deficit was 30-28 in the fourth before Bailey Aderhold assisted a 3-pointer by Spaugh. Then Spaugh assisted an Aderhold triple. When Burris penetrated and gave a bounce pass to Vivian Vaughters that resulted in a bucket, Davie had a 40-34 lead.

“Going into the fourth quarter I told them: ‘We’ve just got to keep fighting. They don’t like it, they’re going to be tired and we’ve just gotta keep the gas pedal down,’” Adams said.

The Titans, though, completed a three-point play and had a 41-40 lead with 2:05 to go. But Davie worked a successful stall and Aderhold drew a foul. She hit both free throws to extend the lead to 43-40. Then West threw it away against Davie’s press. Makenzie Gentry, a sophomore who was playing her first high school game after missing her entire freshman year and the first 20 games of her sophomore year with knee injuries, threw a long inbounds pass to Burris, who finished a breakaway layup for a 45-40 advantage. The icing on the cake was Burris’ steal at :48.

“Those were clutch free throws (by Aderhold), especially since we shot 56 percent from the free-throw line and I think we’re a 70 percent free-throw-shooting team on the season,” Adams said. “To be able to knock them down at the end definitely helped.”

Spaugh did serious damage in the fourth, scoring nine points while hitting 6 of 8 foul shots. Rankin had eight points and five rebounds. Aderhold went 4-4 from the line and scored seven. Burris collected five points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals. McDowell (five), Vaughters (four) and Madison Daugherty (two) scored. Gentry contributed two rebounds, two steals and one assist in her Davie debut.

“(Gentry’s) been able to play over the summer with us, but she had never played in a Davie uniform,” Adams said. “She’s limited right now to two minutes per quarter; that is what she’s cleared to do. She’s trying to get her rhythm and get everything back to the way it was. She got a steal at the end that we definitely needed.”

Notes: West (11-8) was coming off a 34-27 win over Reagan, which beat Davie by six and 15. Davie beat West by six in January. “West swept Reagan and we swept West,” Adams said. “It’s just crazy how that has transpired.” … Davie forced 22 turnovers, including eight in the fourth. By contrast, Davie had one turnover in the fourth.

Davie 66, Park 62 (OT)

A scorching Aderhold was the story in an overtime win at Parkland on Feb. 9.

Davie nailed 6 of 7 treys in the first quarter, including 3-of-4 downtown shooting by Aderhold. Spaugh, Daugherty and Gentry accounted for the other triples in the first eight minutes. Aderhold would hit five straight 3s in the first half, giving her 16 points in 16 minutes.

Davie’s first-half shooting was magnificent: 12 of 24 overall and 8 of 11 from the arc.

“The last few teams that have played us have denied our 3-point shooters, so it’s been hard for them to get their shots off,” Adams said. “Parkland was more concerned about protecting the paint because of Malayka and Peyton killed them at our place.”

But on the flip side, Parkland also shot 50 percent (14-28) in the first half and Davie’s lead was a skinny point (36-35).

“I kind of ripped them at halftime because we were not stopping anybody,” Adams said. “We were in a zone defense and not protecting the paint.

Aderhold’s 3-point barrage was something to see, but Burris also came through in big spots as the freshman flirted with a triple-double. With her team down three in the fourth, Burris went up with one hand, was knocked to the deck and scored, an eventual three-point play that tied the game at 50. Spaugh scored on an offensive rebound, Rankin went 2-2 from the line and Davie led 55-53 at :11. The Mustangs got three opportunities on the final possession of regulation, and they banked in a short shot at the buzzer to force overtime.

Adams felt like the shot came after the horn, but she remained calm amid Parkland’s delirious celebration.

“All three refs had already met, so they were not going to overturn it, so there was no point in arguing,” she said. “I just needed to get my girls focused for overtime.”

Spaugh and Davie regrouped in the clutch. Spaugh scored back-to-back buckets. Aderhold took a pass from Burris and made a 3 to make it 62-57 Davie.

Parkland fought back to 62-all, but Davie didn’t wilt. Rankin went to the line, hit the first free throw and missed the second. The rebound was tipped up and Burris snatched it and put it in for a 65-62 lead. When Spaugh rebounded Parkland’s last shot at :03, the War Eagles (13-9 overall) had matched last year’s win total (13-13).

Aderhold (19 points) went 6 of 10 from deep, grabbed five boards and handed out three assists. Burris compiled 12 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. Spaugh put up 11 points, eight rebounds and two steals. Rankin (10 points, 10 rebounds) recorded her fourth double-double along with taking three charges on defense. Gentry and McDowell scored five and four, respectively. Daugherty had three points and three assists. Vaughters had two points and two assists.

“(Burris) may have the highest basketball IQ of any of the girls on the team,” Adams said. “To be able to facilitate like that and find the right person, you have to have a high basketball IQ.”

Notes: Avarie Martin missed her third straight game with an injury. … Parkland fell to 5-16, 4-8. … Aderhold scored her most points since going for 21 with seven 3s in a December game against West Davidson.