Prep Basketball: Davie boys 83, Carson 55

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 15, 2011

By Mike London
CHINA GROVE — Davie County’s boys didn’t produce the dunks that were expected on Thursday, but fans in the mostly quiet, half-empty Carson gym saw a different sort of Showtime.
The story was Davie guard Nate Jones. He scored 34 points with a startling combination of stroke and athleticism, and the War Eagles whipped young Carson 83-55.
The effort wasn’t Jones’ career high. He’s had 36 and 38 in CPC battles with West Forsyth and Mount Tabor.
Jones was the area’s leading scorer coming in, although he may be the fourth most recognizable War Eagle after 1,000-point post man Shannon Dillard and the sophomore Martin twins, Cody and Caleb, who already have ACC offers on the table.
“That’s OK,” a beaming Jones said. “The biggest thing about this team is we’re one big family. Ask anyone on our team — everybody knows everything there is to know about everyone else.”
One thing everyone knows about Jones is he’s tough to guard. His release is lightning, and if you crowd him he’s blowing by to finish at the rim. He scored 30 against West Rowan last week. Four minutes into Thursday’s game, he already had 15.
No kidding, 15. And Davie (7-1) led the Cougars 18-3.
“He had a big game against us last year, so we knew he could play,” Carson coach Brian Perry said. “But he gets his shot off so quick it’s hard to stop him. On some of them, Dontae (Gilbert) had a hand up, and he still knocked them down.”
Davie coach Mike Absher has seen Jones’ act frequently, but it’s not something he’ll ever grow weary of.
“The best thing was those early shots Nate got came off really nice team execution,” he said. “And Nate just buried the shots. It was awesome to watch.”
Jones was 6-for-6 on his early spree with three makes from the 3-point line.
“It was things we work on, curls and flares off sideout plays,” Jones said. “I was holding my release a little bit longer, and the shots were falling.”
For a while there, it looked like Carson (2-7) might get beat by 80.
“Maybe we read the papers too much and we let them intimidate us a little bit,” Perry said. “We didn’t start out well.”
Once Jones actually missed an open shot and proved he was human, the Cougars, mostly sophs, settled down.
A few minutes later, the deficit was just 22-11 and Davie was in foul trouble. Cody Martin was whistled for his third a minute into the second quarter.
“All our starters had two fouls early,” Davie point guard Davis Absher said. “It turned into kind of a sloppy game. But we persevered. We battled through it.”
Davie stretched its lead to 44-25 at halftime mostly because it got a huge lift off the bench from Kenyon Tatum. He scored 10 points in the second quarter, mostly on weakside stickbacks, and finished with a career-best 18 points.
Carson had thoughts of making a charge in the third quarter, but back-to-back 3s by Cody Martin and Jones ended that remote possibility.
Colton Laws hit three 3s in the second half and led Carson with 17 points. Tre Williams scored nine, and Rameiq Howard had a season-high eight.
“We try to take some positives out of every game,” Perry said. Competitive-wise, I thought we really picked it up after the slow start we had. Our young guys played a lot more aggressively.”
It was not the sort of high-flying victory Davie expected, but wins are wins.
“Every game is different,” Coach Absher said. “We had some bad spots tonight and the game didn’t have much flow, but part of being a good team is being able to generate motivation and enthusiasm in any kind of atmosphere.”
DAVIE (83) — Jones 34, Tatum 18, Dillard 13, Ca. Martin 7, Beeson 6, Co. Martin 3, Absher 1, Miller 1, Sell, Banner.
CARSON (55) — Laws 17, Williams 9, Howard 8, Gilbert 7, Abbitt 7, Love 4, Stout 3, Raper, Broome, Martin, Bigelow.
Davie 22 22 21 18 — 83
Carson 11 14 16 14 — 55