Grimsley hoss too much for Davie boys

Published 1:04 pm Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

The Davie boys basketball team’s season took many enjoyable turns before running into a roadblock named Richard Goods.

Goods is a 6-9, 220-pound moose, and the Grimsley senior overwhelmed visiting Davie in the second round of the state playoffs on March 1. He scored 28 points on 10-of-11 shooting. He sank 8 of 12 free throws and added seven rebounds and three blocks as the seventh-seeded Whirlies ended the season for No. 10 Davie, 72-55.

“I think we were intimidated by their size at the beginning, and it showed throughout the game,” coach Josh Pittman said.

The War Eagles staggered out of the gate, missing their first five shots. Grimsley hit its first two 3-pointers and burst to leads of 7-0 and 14-4.

To the War Eagles’ credit, they settled in. Adam Brown scored as he was fouled. Then Gavin Williams and Bryson Mickey buried 3s as Davie closed within 15-12 at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Davie stayed in contention by having success from the arc. Williams, who hit all three of his attempts in the first half, drained a 17-footer. Mickey and Williams nailed 3s. Then Ethan Driver hit a pair of triples. Davie was only down 33-26 at halftime because it converted 6 of 15 from downtown.

Early in the third, Davie clawed within two as Coleman Lawhon, who sat the last 14:14 of the first half with three fouls, pulled off a four-point play and Mickey drilled a 15-footer.

At that point, Grimsley’s lead was 34-32. A Davie team that had trailed at halftime and rallied to win six times this season believed.

Alas, the Whirlies kicked into high gear. They made five straight field goals, including three 3s, during a 15-5 run that created a 52-37 gap. That was all she wrote.

“I was upset we lost because I know we had a better team than they did,” Pittman said.

The War Eagles simply didn’t shoot well enough to stay with Grimsley for four quarters. They went 20 of 58 for 34 percent. On the other hand, the Whirlies burned the nets at 58 percent (24 of 41 overall, 6 of 9 from 3). They also held a huge advantage at the free-throw line, hitting 16 of 25 while Davie went 5 of 7.

Lawhon paced Davie with 12 points, followed by Mickey (11), Jackson Powers (8), Williams (8), Driver (6), Landon King (6), Ethan Ratledge (2) and Brown (2). Powers and Driver pulled down nine and eight rebounds, respectively.

The War Eagles ran into a stud and a hot-shooting team, but a night of agony in Greensboro can’t wash away all the memories made in 2023-24. They had their best finish (second place) in the CPC in five years. They had the best start/longest winning streak (16-0) in the school’s 68-year history. They became just the third team to win 22-plus games. At 22-5, they finished two wins shy of the all-time record.

The seniors who played their final Davie games were Lawhon, Williams, Ratledge and CJ Phelps.

“I told them in no way, form or fashion should they walk out of here with their head down,” Pittman said. “What they did this year has changed the culture of a county. I said: ‘Y’all had people coming to games that did not associate with Davie basketball.’ They will give me a lot of credit for it, but I can’t get it done without them, without them buying in.”

Powers, a junior, delivered 13.8 points and 10.7 rebounds, the second straight year he averaged a double-double. Mickey, a junior, was No. 2 with a 12.8 scoring average. Ratledge averaged 9.4, Lawhon 8.7, Driver 5.7 and Williams 5.4.

“I thank everybody,” Pittman said. “I thank the seniors for the commitment and for helping turn the program around. They were key parts of last year’s and this year’s success. I’m extremely thankful for them.”

Notes: Grimsley (23-5) extended its winning streak to six. … In second-round games involving the CPC, Mt. Tabor won 71-57 over Mooresville and East Forsyth lost 100-77 to Lake Norman. … Goods, who came in averaging 20.9 points and 13.7 rebounds, is eighth in the state in rebounding. He has 25 double-doubles.