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Practice makes perfect for Tecumseh’s Davis

Most kids Dalton Davis’ age have never heard of Rick Mount. But basketball fans much older remember a deadeye shooter, an All-American and the greatest scorer in Purdue history.

Davis has been one of Mount’s students the past 10 summers at the Rick Mount Shooting School in Fort Wayne, Ind. For three days in August, Davis learns all he can from the 67-year-old Mount, whose website proclaims him as the greatest shooter of all time.

“He’s still stroking it,” Davis said.

So is Davis.

Davis has led Tecumseh to a 10-1 start and a share of first place in the Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail Division. Davis has been the league’s best 3-point shooter on a team that has shot 72 more 3-pointers than any other team in the CBC.

“I spend the whole summer perfecting it,” Davis said of the system Mount teaches. “I think that helps me make shots.”

Davis has made a league-high 33 3-pointers and is shooting 45.6 percent, the highest rate in the league for shooters with at least 20 attempts. And he leads the Arrows with a 15.5 scoring average.

“He’s put the hours in to get where he’s at,” Arrows coach Roger Culbertson said. “He’s a big reason why we were 18-4 last year and we’re 10-1 this year.”

If Rick Mount has been the teacher, then Dak Davis has been his son’s mentor. He’s taken him to camps, AAU tournaments and been one of his coaches.

“My dad’s helped me a lot,” Davis said. “He’s there when Rick’s not.”

Davis is more than a shooter. He is a deft ball handler and a creative scorer when he drives the lane. He has to be because he’s barely 5-foot-10 with a thin build.

“Skill-wise, his shooting and ball handling makes him awful hard to guard,” Culbertson said. “The shooting sets up the other things. And he shares the ball well, too … makes others better.”

Davis knows that his dad’s teaching of the fundamentals and pushing him to master ball-handling drills has been a big part of his success.

“I remember in eighth grade crying because of having to do it,” Davis said. “But I’m glad he helped me out.”

Davis gets to practice early when he can, stays after when he can and gets the coach to open the gym on weekends. This past summer he was up most mornings at 7 to lift weights, then work at perfecting his shot.

Davis hopes an NAIA or NCAA Division II school will notice him so he can get scholarship help with college.

“I love playing this game,” Davis said, “and I want to continue.”

For now, Davis and his teammates are pursuing a CBC title. Tonight, the Arrows play host to Shawnee (4-4, 2-2), the two-time defending league champion.

“We have great chemistry,” Davis said. “My freshman and sophomore years it wasn’t so great, but my junior and senior years I feel we have more chemistry. We’re all real close. Those guys are my friends, my family.”

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