Davis sisters spark Calera in area win

Published 5:24 pm Wednesday, January 16, 2019

By SETH HAGAN | For the Reporter 

CALERA – In an up-and-down season, things took a turn for the better for the Calera Eagles on Tuesday, Jan. 15, as they got their first area win at home over a scrappy Pelham Panthers squad.

The game looked like a runaway in the beginning, but Pelham fought back and Calera needed solid defense to pull out the 56-44 victory.

Calera (9-11,1-2) pounced on the Panthers early and often in the first quarter. The Eagles filled the passing lanes and made their living offensively on the fast break off of turnovers.

Calera racked up 10 steals in the first period alone while sisters A.B. and Treasure Davis combined for 14 of the team’s 18 points in the quarter, as they raced out to an 18-6 lead.

“We’ve come to the conclusion that chaos is probably our best thing,” said Eagles head coach James Knowles. “They’re good girls and they try very hard, but it’s tough to play that way. You’ll have big leads but you can lose them very easily.”

Then, for much of the second quarter, the game’s momentum was flipped on its head as the Panthers dominated from an offensive and defensive standpoint.

They stifled Calera, who found it difficult to score apart from the transition game all night, then kept the ball moving on offense to find open teammates.

Emma McKenney was a bright spot for Pelham in the first half collecting eight points before halftime to lead the team. Taylor Thrash scored nine points in the first half and the Eagles’ defense was able to return briefly as Treasure Davis, who scored 14 herself before the buzzer, took two more steals to the house to preserve Calera’s lead for a 30-21 halftime advantage.

“Those two are juniors and they really bring a lot of effort,” Knowles said. “I told Taylor to relax tonight and let the game come to her on offense and if it didn’t go, get it back on the defensive end. Treasure is just energy, energy, energy and they had a great game tonight.”

Calera grew its lead to 34-21 early in the third quarter, but the Panthers found a way to fight back again much like they did in the second quarter. Pelham became disruptive again on defense altering shots in the paint and contesting perimeter shots well.

The Panthers also briefly found their touch from outside as well knocking down two threes in a 9-0 run to shave the deficit to four. They also scored six of the quarter’s last seven points and found themselves down just 37-36 heading into the final period.

In the final period, however, it was A.B. Davis who sparked the Eagles again from a variety of angles. Whether it was scoring at the hoop or getting to the free throw line, Davis found a way to generate offense.

Taylor Thrash got in on the action as well scoring five straight in a 9-0 run that gave Calera its double-digit lead back.

“(Davis) has been our most consistent player all year,” Knowles said. “She’ll get down on herself and she’s so conscientious and wants to do so well and that’s why I hate it that we lost to Helena and Chelsea by five or less and had the lead in both ball games.”

The Eagles were efficient on defense again as well winning the turnover battle in the closing minutes and allowing only two field goals from the Panthers before the final buzzer.

Calera finished with 22 steals on the night. Thrash and Treasure Davis led Calera with 18 points apiece, while A.B. Davis finished the game with 15.

McKenney paced Pelham with 12 points, while Savannah Scarbrough added 10.

Pelham (7-11,1-2) will stay on the road for their next area matchup and face the Chelsea Hornets Friday, Jan 18 at 6 p.m. Calera will stay at home and welcome Helena next on Friday, Jan 18 at 6 p.m.