Davie boys 83, West Forsyth 77, OT

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 5, 2011

By Ryan Bisesi
MOCKSVILLE — West Forsyth won’t be able to mock its rivals at Davie County with brooms this year.
That’s because the War Eagles ended a three-year losing streak to their 4A Central Piedmont Conference foe with a thrilling 83-77 overtime win Tuesday night in the conference opener for both teams.
Davie junior Shannon Dillard scored 31 points to lead all scorers in one of the most satisfying wins of the year for Davie on a raucous home court. The players and fans had reason to celebrate as it was the first win against West since 2008.
“That was probably the rowdiest gym I’ve been in since my freshman year,” said the 6-foot-4, 190-pound Dillard. “I liked it a lot.”
Dillard had a bit to do with that as he scored the initial seven points in overtime, including an and-one that followed an alley-oop from Nate Jones, who dropped 16 points. Dillard’s fourth slam of the night earned a crescendo from a healthy turnout of home fans.
“He’d just look at me and I’d know he was going to throw it up,” Dillard said. “We have a connection like that after playing ball for so many years together.”
Dillard, who’s garnering attention from the college ranks, was just short of a season-high 33 against West Rowan.
After leading by as many as 11 in the fourth quarter, Davie allowed West to rally at tie the score at 70 to end regulation. Fortunately for Mike Absher, his kids had been there before. Davie (12-1, 1-0) countered the Titans’ late run by scoring the first 10 points of the extra period.
“I said ‘guys, we’ve been right here before,’ ” said Absher, referring to Davie’s overtime win against West Rowan. “We have to refocus and do the things we’re capable of doing. To come back and play the way we did in overtime, it’s exceptional.”
West’s Russell Miller sunk a runner in the lane for the last basket of the fourth quarter with 48 seconds left. Titan guard Victor Williams (26 points) collected a steal on the ensuing possession to give West (5-6, 0-1) a chance to complete the comeback, but his dish to Miller was for naught after an off-balanced trey attempt.
“The Dillard kid killed us inside,” West coach Mike Pennington said. “We didn’t have any answer for him, especially when they drive and find him on penetration. I thought that was probably the difference in the game.”
Davie grabbed an 80-70 lead after a free throw from Caleb Martin with one minute to play. West scored the next five points, but drew no closer.
The win came off the heels of Davie’s lone loss against Salisbury in the finals of the Moir Christmas Classic.
After trailing 21-20 early in the second quarter, Davie grabbed the lead at 26-23 and never trailed again, fighting off four ties in the final 2:41 of regulation. Dillard misfired on two free throws to start overtime, but Jones gave Davie the lead for keeps with a jumper.
West then missed a shot in a the paint as well as two putback attempts with Miller fouling out while going for the rebound with 2:14 left.
Davie led 43-35 at the half and gained its biggest lead of the night on Davis Absher’s trey with 1:53 left in the third to make it 59-45. From that point on, West outscored its host 22-11 to force overtime.
“In the fourth quarter, we lost our focus a little bit,” Mike Absher said. “We kept our composure and got to overtime and in overtime, we obviously played really well.”
Davie set up Jones with a fadeaway trey at the buzzer that went off the side of the backboard to send the game into the extra session.
“We just knew in overtime that we had to execute and play the game so that we could win,” Dillard said.
WEST FORSYTH (77) — Williams 26, Tyson 4, Massengill 3, Waller 5, Brown 9, Egbona 15, Glenn 4, Miller 11.
DAVIE (83) — Dillard 31, Ca. Martin 13, Jones 16, Co. Martin 9, R. Martin 7, Absher 3, Redmond 4, Simmons, Whaley, Miller.
W. Forsyth 19 16 13 22 7 — 77
Davie 20 23 16 11 13 — 83