Central boys surge past Dragons

TYRO | Central Davidson, dealing with a scrappy West Davidson team that Spartan coach Brian Hege had warned a day earlier was one of the best in the Central Carolina Conference, was in trouble Tuesday night.

With his team leading by one late in the third quarter, Hege ordered up a zone defense.

Problem, meet solution.

Led by 19 points from Will Ramsey, 13 points from Chris Pompey as well as hustle play from others, the Spartans pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 56-43 win before a loud, packed house at Crim Court to maintain their hold on first place in the CCC.

“I think the zone switch kind of threw them for a loop,” said Central coach Brian Hege. “They were killing us with penetration. I thought our legs were tired and we had that emotional game last night. We just decided to see if they could shoot it.”

They couldn’t.

Despite getting plenty of open looks, West sharpshooters Tyler Grooms and Zach Queen didn’t hit a single 3-pointer. Neither did anyone else for the Dragons.

“They did good switching to the zone,” said West coach Derrick Stokes. “Coach Hege made a great adjustment. He saw we weren’t hitting from the outside. If you had told me that Queen and Grooms, as good as shooters as they are, would miss that many open looks, I would have said that was impossible.”

West sought to contain the 6-6 Pompey, who lit up Lexington for 29 points the night before, and it worked for the most part. But with the score 36-35, Pompey converted a three-point play with 23 seconds left in the third quarter to give his team some momentum heading into the final eight minutes.

At the beginning of the fourth quarter, reserve guard Spencer Snider poked the ball away from a West player and John Hanes turned that into a three-point play on the other end.

Hanes wasn’t done. On the Dragons’ next possession, Hanes drew a charge from Austin Teague, clapping his hands furiously in celebration as he fell to the court. Seconds later, Pompey laid in a finger roll for a 46-37 lead and the Spartans were on their way.

Central, 15-2 overall and 5-0 in the CCC, was stingy on defense most of the night. Queen scored just six points and Teague was held to four before fouling out. Jordan Lakey had eight points for the Spartans, including a pair of 3-pointers.

“We had to play really well to beat them tonight,” Hege said.

It was the Dragons who were playing really well from the onset. Grooms, who had 5 points, threw in a floater over Pompey to give his team an 8-1 lead in the first quarter and send the toga-clad West student section into a frenzy.

The Dragons still led 17-10 late in the first quarter before Central reeled off a 9-0 run to turn the game into a horse race.

West fell to 6-11 overall and 1-3 in the CCC.