A lot of Danny Davis and a faster second-half tempo were what Springfield needed Friday night to subdue a resilient Beavercreek team and snap a two-game losing streak.
Davis scored 33 points and the Wildcats found their defensive energy in the third quarter to pull away for a 78-61 victory in the Greater Western Ohio Conference Central.
The Beavers (5-15, 1-8) could not guard the sophomore Davis in the open floor or any time he saw even a sliver of a lane to the basket. Even when the Beavers gave him room to shoot from 3-point range, he looked to drive or found an open teammate.
“We worked on some things in practice Thursday, and it really helped him tonight,” Springfield coach Isaiah Carson said of Davis. “He was just in attack mode all night long, and he didn’t let up. He didn’t let anybody off the hook and took what they gave him. He was just aggressive all night long.”
Springfield (12-7, 4-5) used its full-court pressure to finally get to the Beavers in the final three minutes of the third quarter. Davis’ steal in the backcourt and quick drive to the basket resulted in a three-point play and 44-39 lead. Dae’Shawn Jackson scored the next two baskets to further spark a 16-7 run to close the quarter for a 56-44 Springfield lead.
“We started doing what we were supposed to be doing on the defensive end and trusting our principles,” Carson said. “We weren’t flawless in it, but we played extremely hard. And it led to some turnovers and we were able to capitalize.”
The momentum carried into the fourth quarter as the Wildcats built the lead into the high teens by the middle of the quarter.
Jackson added 17 points for the Wildcats and helped spark the defensive effort. The Wildcats managed to get by without much help from 6-foot-8 junior center Darius Harper because of foul trouble. He scored four points in only about seven minutes.
“We just picked up the pressure, we have to be tough and we rebound by committee,” Carson said.
Davis scored 21 points in the first half with a variety of drives to the basket, mid-range jumpers, a 3-pointer and four free throws late in the half. But the Wildcats couldn’t shake the Beavers and led only 35-31 at halftime.
Davis scored 10 of the Wildcats’ first 19 points. His long 3-pointer with 35 seconds left in the first quarter pushed the lead to 22-13. But the Beavers sliced through the Wildcats’ press for a Brian Loose layup and trailed 22-15 after one quarter.
Springfield led by nine twice in the second quarter before building the lead to 35-24 with 1:20 left on two Davis free throws. The Beavers finished strong with a 7-0 run. Chandler Hemmerich scored off and offensive rebound, Drew Prater made two free throws and Jackson Back swished a 3-pointer with two seconds left.
Back and Hemmerich led Beavercreek with 14 points apiece, and Chris Williams scored 13.