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Moir Classic: Davie boys 70, South Rowan 60

By Mike London

Salisbury Post

South Rowan’s leading scorer Wesley Honeycutt crumpled to the floor three minutes into Wednesday’s game, bringing back haunting memories of South star Josh Chapman’s broken leg at Catawba’s Goodman Gym two years ago.

Honeycutt was diagnosed as having hyper-extended his left knee and was able to return, but he never got it rolling and neither did his team in a 70-60 loss to fifth-seeded Davie County.

Fourth-seeded South (5-6) had beaten the War Eagles 67-62 in a CPC game in Landis, but Davie (5-7) was the smarter, smoother team throughout a payback victory in the first round of the RoMedical Care Sam Moir Christmas Classic.

Davie, which settled for launching 3s at a dizzying pace in its first meeting with South, benefited from plenty of high-percentage 2s from Matt Vanhoy (18 points, 13 rebounds) and Darius Hall (13 points, 12 rebounds).

Davie also got 22 points from Drew Absher and a solid floor game from point guard Eric Lowery.

“Most of the good things we did were no accident,” said Davie coach Mike Absher, Drew’s father. “This was one of our better games, no doubt. I thought Eric really dictated the tempo.”

South lost despite career-high scoring efforts from David Wolford (22 points) and Derek Davis (20).

South’s problem was everything it got came from 20 feet out. Davis and Wolford combined to make nine 3-pointers, but the Raiders were only 10-for-43 on 3s as a team. South also shot below 50 percent from the foul line and was pounded 44-32 on the glass.

“We were 8-for-18 on free throws, and Lord knows how many were one-and-ones,” South coach John Davis said. “Throw in six missed layups, and we just left too many easy points out on the floor.”

It was all Vanhoy early. He scored 12 points in the first quarter as Davie inched to a 17-15 lead.

“I just get pumped up for South,” said Vanhoy, who matched the career high he scored against the Raiders in Landis. “I’ve got too big a body not to crash the boards. I can’t just stand around out there.”

The second quarter was an entertaining contest of H-O-R-S-E between the coach’s sons, with Davis sticking long 3s and Absher answering with longer 3s.

“I started out great — I just wish I’d finished that way,” Derek Davis said with a sigh. “As far as Drew, we just lost him for a few plays. Then he got hot.”

Absher, a sophomore, missed his first two shots, but his father told him to hang in there, and he did. He was ridiculous in the second quarter, scoring 14 points in a three-minute flurry. He swished four 3s and connected on five straight shots as Davie crafted a 38-32 halftime lead.

“We’d already established Vanhoy in the high post, and that was opening up 3s,” Drew Absher explained. “Eric was the guy pushing the ball. I was just making some shots I’m supposed to make.”

“That was a really huge stretch,” Mike Absher added. “Someone could really have opened up a big lead, but it stayed close with both teams hitting. I remember they had a four-point play (by Davis). When they do that, you have to answer it, and we were able to.”

South’s failure to find Absher when he was sizzling didn’t please John Davis.

“We know Drew can shoot, know we need to make him put the ball on the floor,” he said. “You have to wonder sometimes how smart we are. We’ve gotta play smarter.”

Davie couldn’t pull away in the second half, but South, which shot 28.6 percent after halftime, couldn’t make a serious run.

Trailing 60-52 with 3:02 remaining, South’s Bo Caldwell appeared to have soared in for a three-point play to tighten things up, but he was instead called for an offensive foul.

When Hall immediately scored inside to push the lead into double digits, South was finished and Davie was headed to a semifinal meeting tonight at 7:30 with No. 1 seed East Rowan.

DAVIE COUNTY (70) — Absher 22, Vanhoy 18, Hall 13, Mayfield 8, Lowery 6, Redmon 3, Miller, Williams, Cope.

SOUTH ROWAN (60) — Wolford 22, D. Davis 20, Honeycutt 10, Shaver 3, Morgan 2, Caldwell 2, Doby 1, Charles, Bettis, Hagerty, Morrison, Daugherty, Houston, J. Davis.

Davie 17 21 13 19 — 70

S. Rowan 15 17 14 14 — 60

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Contact Mike London at 704-797-4259 or mlondon@salisburypost.com.

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