Prep Basketball: Central Davidson sweeps Hornets
By Bruce Wehrle
LEXINGTON — If you walked into the Central Davidson boys’ basketball game at halftime, you might have had to rub your eyes once or twice to help you believe what you were seeing.
The first-place Spartans trailed lowly Salisbury 30-17, and looked every bit as bad as the score suggested in doing so.
When the third period started, you probably had to rub your eyes again. Here was Central’s Chris Pompey, potential conference player of the year, sitting on the bench.
And then you probably had to rub your eyes again 16 minutes later when Central walked away with a rousing 54-43 Central Carolina Conference victory over the Hornets Tuesday night while extending their winning streak to 15 straight.
None of it quite made any sense.
“I wanted to make a statement,” said Central coach Brian Hege, explaining why Pompey was riding the pine. “I told him at halftime we can win without you. All we got to do is come out and play with enthusiasm, determination and play as a team. And show a little effort. We didn’t show any effort in the first half. We just walked around like we were in a daze.”
When the third period started, Jared Walls was playing in the post, but it was Central’s seldom-used 1-3-1 zone and some clutch perimeter scoring by Will Ramsey and Derek Chavis that helped the Spartans claw their way back into the game.
“Our guys got us back in the game and I turned to Chris as asked him if he was ready,” said Hege. “He said he was ready.”
Pompey came in with 2:22 left in the third period with the score tied at 36-all. From that point on, Pompey played his, anchoring the middle and making himself a defensive presence.
“He played the way he’s capable of playing,” said Hege. “We were down 13 and I didn’t see us getting back in it unless I made a bold move. But I also believe in my guys. We were down and persevered. We have strong-willed kids and I’m proud of them.”
Interestingly enough, the rest of the Spartans picked up on the move, especially defensively.
“We decided it was time to bring the 1-3-1 out,” said Hege. “We haven’t used it all year. We limited them to one shot and that gave us some fast-break opportunities.”
Tyler Petty and Buster Hillie got into double figures with 10 points, but the 16-point deficit in the third quarter was too much to overcome.
Pompey ended up with 17 points while Will Ramsey scored 12 and John Hanes had 11 as the Spartans improved to 7-0 in the CCC, 17-2 overall. Salisbury dipped to 1-4 in the CCC, 4-12 overall.
The Central girls had a difficult time shaking the pesky Hornets, but the Spartans essentially waited for Salisbury to implode on the way to a 65-49 victory.
Brielle Blaire scored 23 points for the Hornets but got little help. No one else had more than six.
Central got off to a slow start and held a slim 8-7 lead after the first period. The Spartans managed to expand their lead to 28-18 by halftime, but then Salisbury chewed their way back into the game to trail 36-30 midway through the third period.
The Spartans took a 39-30 lead when Skylar Briggs swished a 3-pointer, but the big momentum shift came when Salisbury’s Briella Blaire was whistled for a technical foul. McKenzie Burkhart drained both free throws, and the Paige Chavis knocked down a 3-pointer as Central went up 47-32 to take command of the game.
“We didn’t play with any energy in the first half at all, and it showed,” said Central coach Kevin Hudson, whose team is now 5-2 in the CCC, 12-6 overall. “But we raised it up a notch in the second quarter. And at the half, we told them we needed to play harder than they were.”
Paige Chavis sparked Central with 16 points, while Chandler Young scored 12 and Jordan Chavis added 10.
SALISBURY (43) — T. Petty 10, Hillie 10, Alexander 7, Troutman 7, J. Petty 4, Usry 3, Brown 2, Adams, Burgess.
CENTRAL DAVIDSON (54) — Pompey 17, Ramsey 12, Hanes 11, Chavis 8, Walks 4, Biesecker 2, Wray, King.
Salisbury 18 12 8 5 — 43
C. Davidson 11 6 24 8 — 54
SALISBURY (49) — B. Blaire 23, A. Blaire 6, Caldwell 6, Harris 6, Wolfe 2, Conner 2, Harmon 2, Gloster 2, Riche.
CENTRAL DAVIDSON (65) — P. Chavis 16, Young 12, J. Chavis 10, Burkhart 8, Briggs 8, Shoaf 8, Herick 2, McMath 1, Johnson.
Salisbury 7 11 14 17 — 49
C. Davidson 8 20 19 18 — 65