Prep Sectional Final: Davie 66, Richmond County 65

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 24, 2012

By Jordan Honeycutt
MOCKSVILLE — Many high school basketball coaches would love to have just one go-to guy.
Davie County’s Mike Absher enjoys the luxury of having four.
He needed every one of them Friday as the War Eagles out-muscled Richmond County 66-65 to advance to their first Western Regional berth in school history.
Sophomore standout Cody Martin led the way with 17 points, while senior leaders Shannon Dillard and Nate Jones registered 14 and 13.
“This is a new thing for my guys,” Absher said. “We’ve played in some big games but not with so much on the line as in going to regionals. And they responded well. It is so great to have four big weapons on offense like we do. It makes it very hard for an opposing team to key on anybody.”
Cody’s twin brother Caleb still fresh of returning to action from a knee injury suffered in the Moir Classic, chipped in with nine points in addition to providing some stellar defensive play.
“The atmosphere was great tonight with the place being sold out and all. I’m just glad that we were able to give them something great to watch,” Caleb Martin said. “As for the knee, I’m feeling really good out there, but still not close to 100 percent.”
Davie trailed 36-31 at the half and had been beaten hard on the boards over the first two quarters.
Cody Martin, obviously took that personal as he started the second half with a 7-0 scoring run.
The War Eagles grabbed the lead at that point and were able to keep it the rest of the way in a tooth-and-nail struggle to the final buzzer.
“They played us very physical,” said Cody Martin. “but we know that nobody from here on out is going to be easy and that everyone is going to try and be physical with us. So we were ready for it.”
The Raiders from Richmond attempted to punish Davie inside with their twin towers Jordan Richardson and Shydamion Ellerbe, who scored 17 apiece.
Dillard and the Martin twins did just enough for the War Eagles to offset Richmond’s inside force.
“We knew it would be hard inside tonight,” Dillard said. “We had to attack more and especially when Richardson fouled out, it cleared the paint up a bit.”
The game hung in the balance all the way to the end as Davie held a six-point lead with two minutes to go when Richardson fouled out.
Turnovers and foiled possessions drew the Raiders closer and point guard Josh Calhoun was fouled with ten seconds on the clock.
Calhoun calmly swished the first one and then the second drew back iron and nestled into the controlling arms of Dillard, who was fouled immediately.
In the bonus, Dillard stepped to the line and came up short on the first free throw.
Richmond raced up court and due to some tough War Eagle defense, failed to get a shot off before the buzzer sounded, sending the War Eagles to Greensboro and the Davie faithful into delirium.

NOTE: Davie will now face No.2 seed Greensboro Page at the Greensboro Coliseum next Thursday in the regionals.
DAVIE (66) — Co. Martin 17, Dillard 14, Jones 13, Absher 9, Ca. Martin 9, Tatum 4.
RICHMOND COUNTY (65) — Ellerbe 17, Richardson 17, Wallace 8, Little 7, Calhoun 6, Glenn 5, Clark 2.
R. County 17 19 12 15 — 65
Davie 14 17 20 15 — 66