Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 30, 2012
SALISBURY — Davie County didn’t have to run North Rowan out of the building.
It was more a power walk that was later supplemented by a cheetah-like burst in the second half where Davie took over in a 71-46 win in the championship of the Moir Christmas Classic.
After much anticipation, Saturday’s episode of “Catching up with the War Eagles” was canceled but the near 3,000 people in attendance still got a show.
“We felt like if we could get out and run we’d have a chance,” said Davie coach Mike Absher, who won his third Moir with the War Eagles. “It’d be better than going against them in the halfcourt since they’re really good on defense.”
The War Eagles avenged their championship loss to North last season on a 10-2 run to start the second half as they built a 46-28 lead and rolled from there.
Top-seeded Davie (11-1) won its first Moir since 2004 with Cody Martin winning MVP after a 18-point, 12-rebound night. Cody is the first Moir MVP for Davie since Josh Akin.
His twin, Caleb Martin, who was injured in last year’s Moir final, led all scorers with 19 points to orchestrate the high-flying show of athleticism that took place at Goodman Gym.
“Our whole team is shooters,” Cody Martin said. “Somebody’s got to help and if you don’t help, there’s a wide-open lane.”
The No. 2-seeded Cavaliers felt left in the dust. North (8-3) shot just 27 percent from the floor on 18 of 66 shooting and on its third game of the Classic and were 5 of 20 from behind the arc. Additionally, No. 2 scorer Michael Connor only saw 14 minutes of action after injuring his foot in the second half. North coach Andrew Mitchell said Connor had a sprained meniscus.
“It’s tough to play a team like that on back-to-back days,” Mitchell said. “It wore on us. I could see at halftime we were out of energy. That’s why we were concerned about this game.”
With North down 36-26 at halftime, Oshon West hit a shot from the corner to get it back to single digits. Cody Martin’s jumper on the ensuing possession put Davie up by double digits for keeps. Cody Martin dunked off a nice pass from Taylor Hatfield and Caleb followed with a dunk on a drive from the perimeter.
“With Cody, Kenyon [Tatum] and Caleb we know what we’re getting night in, night out,” Absher said. “On offense, we’ve got a lot of different weapons.”
Davie led 50-33 at the end of the third and poured its lead out to as much as 27 in the final quarter. Twins Austin Hatfield and Taylor Hatfield, familiar to North after transferring from Yadkin Valley Conference foe South Davidson, combined for 18 points with Austin scoring 10.
“I’m looking at 5 for 20 from the three-point line and that’s crazy,” said Mitchell, who mentioned the Cavs lost the Moir in 2010 and later won a state title . “5 of the 15 from the free throw line. We just didn’t play tough.”
North came out up to the challenge, gaining an 11-6 lead after a three-pointer from Michael Bowman. Caleb Martin hit a three while being knocked down in the final minute to give Davie the lead for keeps at 17-16. That score remained until the end of the quarter.
A pair of putbacks by Kenyon Tatum and three from Austin Hatfield keyed a run that made it 28-18 Davie to force Mitchell to call timeout.
“Some nights the ball don’t bounce our way,” Bowman said. “That’s how we’ve got to take it.”
Bowman was hindered by three first-half fouls. At the half North was 11 of 41 shooting.
Caleb Martin and Tatum (eight points, 13 rebounds) made the All-Tournament team while West (14 points, eight rebounds) and Bowman were selections for North.
“As advertised,” Mitchell said of the Martin twins, both N.C. State signees. “I thought our guys defended them well. They made some tough shots in some really tough spots tonight.”
NORTH ROWAN (46) —West 14, Connor 10, Sanders 7, Ellis 6, Bowman 3, Bates 2, B. Nelson 2, D. Nelson 2, Ford, Handy, Walker, Tate, Archie.
DAVIE (71) — Cal. Martin 19, Co. Martin 18, A. Hatfield 10, Tatum 8, T. Hatfield 7, Sell 4, Bennett 3, Boyette 2, Colamarino, Carney, Campbell, Parnell.
N. Rowan 16 10 7 13 — 46
Davie 17 19 14 21 — 71