Rankin, Spaugh play final games as girls lose in Round 1

Published 1:03 pm Tuesday, March 5, 2024

By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

Last year when the Davie girls basketball team drew Northern Guilford in the first round of the state playoffs, the Nighthawks didn’t even break a sweat in a 63-36 drubbing of Davie, which trailed 33-10 at halftime.

Davie had to face the Greensboro juggernaut in the first round again on Feb. 27. The visiting War Eagles got routed 70-43, but they could take solace in the fact they hung tough for a half.

Davie outscored Northern in the second quarter and only trailed 32-23 at the break. “We got their second-leading scorer in foul trouble,” coach Lindsey Adams said.

The Nighthawks, however, came at Davie like a freight train in the third. They rung up 34 points and widened the gap to 66-32.

The Nighthawks (27-1) are a well-oiled machine. They’ve won by 40-plus margins 10 times, their average margin of victory is 32.8 and they have a freshman sensation in Leena McField.

“She is top five in the state in her class,” Adams said. “We haven’t played anybody of that caliber. She averages 25 points a game. She had their first eight points. She can shoot from the volleyball line consistently.”

Davie’s scorers were Malayka Rankin (13), Makenzie Gentry (7), Vivian Vaughters (7), Bailey Aderhold (5), Londyn McDowell (4), Madison Daugherty (3), Avarie Martin (2) and Peyton Spaugh (2).

Even though the final game was a beatdown, it was easy for the War Eagles (16-12) to walk out of the gym with pride. They won the most games in seven years, posted the first winning season in seven years and achieved the highest finish in the Central Piedmont Conference (third) in seven years.

Under Adams, Davie’s win totals have gone from three to nine to 13 to 16. This year’s record was an insane accomplishment with two seniors, two sophomores and five freshmen and without Kenadi Gentry, who missed her entire senior season after leading Davie in scoring the past two years.

Adams gives a ton of the credit to seniors Rankin and Spaugh.

“The freshmen have some big shoes to fill defensively,” she said. “There’s nothing else (Rankin and Spaugh) could’ve given. They never missed workouts. They never missed a practice. They never missed in preseason. They got on AAU teams to better themselves. They went to all the training opportunities they could’ve gone to. They got in a weight room every chance they could. They got extra reps up on a Saturday or Sunday to get better at shooting. And that’s all they could do.”

With so many coming back, the sky is the limit on how far Davie can go in the coming years. Adams and her girls will take a month off before getting back to work.

“We give them March off and in April and May we will go three times a week from 6-7:30 (a.m.),” she said. “There will be 45 minutes with me in the weight room, working on speed, agility and strength. And then we will switch and they will go on the court with (boys coach Josh Pittman) for skill development.”

Notes: Davie’s top six scorers were Rankin (10.3 points per game), Martin (8.7), Aderhold (8.2), Emmie Burris (7.8), Spaugh (7.7) and Daugherty (6.2). … In other first-round games involving the CPC, Reynolds won 46-37 over Northwest Guilford and Mt. Tabor won 63-55 over Cox Mill.