All systems go for Bobcats: Sophomore's big game leads Berryville over Blue Eye
By Scott Loftis
At some point this season, the Berryville Bobcats may have to endure some growing pains with two sophomores in the starting lineup — including one holding the keys to the Berryville offense.
On Dec. 10 at Bobcat Arena, however, it was a smooth ride for the Bobcats as they held off a late three-point barrage to beat the Blue Eye Bulldogs 62-52.
Sophomore point guard Kade Davidson led the way for Berryville with a 24-point performance that also included several assists despite being heavily guarded at times by the Bulldogs.
“He’s just got the tools to be a really good basketball player,” Berryville coach Brent Compton said of Davidson, who’s listed at 5-8 and 150 pounds. “He’s very unselfish. He’s a pass-first kind of player but he will take advantage when there’s an opening.”
The Bobcats, who beat Blue Eye for the second time in four days, won despite making just three shots beyond the three-point arc. Compton said that’s a good sign for a team that can sometimes depend heavily on its outside shooting.
“We were attacking the basket and getting the ball inside,” he said.
Blue Eye, on the other hand, finished with 10 three-pointers — including six in the fourth quarter as the Bulldogs tried in vain to erase the 11-point lead that Berryville built over the first three quarters.
“They’ve got a good team,” Compton said of Blue Eye. “They’ve got some size and they’re well-coached.”
While Blue Eye scored 22 points in the final eight minutes, Berryville answered with 21 of its own, including 10 from the free-throw line as two Bulldogs fouled out.
After Blue Eye’s Nathan Garnett hit a three-pointer for the game’s first points, Davidson responded by reeling off seven consecutive points for the Bobcats — highlighted by a driving scoop shot that gave Berryville a 4-3 lead. The Bobcats led the rest of the way.
The Bulldogs got within two, at 13-11 when Barnett fed Hayden Forester for a basket early in the second quarter, but Berryville answered with an 11-2 run to stretch its lead to 24-13 with 1:18 left in the quarter.
Davidson had six points and an assist during that run, which was capped with a three-pointer from the left baseline by junior guard Landon Chester.
After leading by six at halftime, Berryville scored the first four points of the second half and opened up a 16-point cushion of Davidson’s three-pointer from the left baseline with 4:16 left in the third quarter that made it 39-23.
While Davidson’s big game was a boost for the Bobcats, Compton was pleased with the effort displayed by the entire team.
“I was really proud of our kids,” he said. “They played as hard as they can.”
Sophomore Weston Teague scored 11 points for Berryville, while Chester added 10 and senior guard Chris Lehr added eight.
The Bobcats got some good news on Dec. 12 when 6-4 senior forward Scotland Lucas was cleared to play after recovering from a torn knee ligament he suffered during preseason football practice.
Compton said Lucas was given “no restrictions” and would begin practice that afternoon.