Davidson does in Calvert
OLD FORT – Hopefully those who came to watch Old Fort play Calvert got all the excitement they could handle from watching the JV game go four overtimes.
Because once the varsity took the floor, the Stockaders made sure all the excitement was zapped from the contest early on.
Old Fort’s Cole Davidson matched Calvert’s first quarter total with 11 points as the Stockaders raced out to a 24-11 lead. Davidson went for a career-best 31 points in only three quarters of work as Old Fort cruised to an 89-32 Midland Athletic League win.
The extra long wait for the JV game’s conclusion looked like it served a positive, as Davidson said he came into the game extra loose.
“I got loose. I got a little bit more loose than I usually do, got a little bit more stretching done,” he said. “We just had to stay ready and I think we did a good job of that.”
The hot start was just what Old Fort coach Eric Hoover was looking for, after a string of what he referred to as slow starts.
“We haven’t been getting off to very good starts the last few games, I feel like,” Hoover said after his team improved to 12-1 overall and 5-0 in the league. “We’ve been down early probably the last four games. We changed it up a little bit, didn’t come out pressing right away, played some half-court defense and waited to press a little bit. I don’t know if it made a difference or not, but this time we were on the good side of the lead at the beginning of the game instead of the bad end.”
For Calvert coach Ted Willman, his team’s cold shooting in the first quarter set the stage for how the game unfolded. The Senecas shot 5 of 18 from the floor in the opening frame.
“Missed shots. I don’t know how many times we’ve had this conversation, when it comes to, either they turn it over and we miss shots or we turn it over and they make shots,” he said. “To start the game, we did a pretty good job taking care of the ball, we only had two turnovers the first quarter. But we missed layups, missed shots in the paint. We miss, they go down and score. If we make those, it’s one of those quarters where it’s 10-8, 11-7, you’re right there in the ball game. Instead it’s almost over before it started.
“Then you look at the scoreboard and you’re down 20 and think you have to be in a hurry and try to get all the points back, then second quarter you turn it over 10 times, and then still miss shots. It’s just a bad combination of a lot of things you can’t do against a team like that.”
Davidson wasn’t the only one to have a hot hand for Old Fort. He was one of four Stockaders scoring in double figures. A.J. Phillimore came off the bench to score 19. Hunter Perry chipped in 13 while Matt Hill posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Calvert (2-11, 1-4) meanwhile was led by Mike Bennett with eight points.
Davidson said the secret to his team’s offense rests in ball movement.
“We move the ball around, get good shots. Get the ball in people’s right hands, right spots,” he said. “We get good picks, good screens. Get good ball movement, that’s the main key. We get good ball movement, we get good looks. It creates, not just for me but for the rest of my team. Dalton down low gets open. It makes them spread out and have to guard the whole floor.”
Old Fort’s offense was steady throughout the night, but the defense kept getting better and better. Over the first three quarters Calvert’s numbers of points and field goals made kept dropping. In the third quarter, Calvert was held to just one field goal and three points.
“Our guys have to learn to execute,” Willman said. “We have a game plan. I think we had a solid game plan coming in. Our guys have to execute the game plan for 32 minutes. We do it at times, we get layups, get the shots we want. We got to execute, make the shots. We get those shots in the paint, layups, we got to make those, put those in the basket.”
Continuing the defensive intensity throughout the game was one key Hoover was looking for out of his team.
“We really needed to pick back up the defensive intensity for the entire game,” he said. “We haven’t played a complete game for a month, I don’t feel like. Our defensive intensity had been dropping. I knew that we were going to have to change that tonight.”