Caden Davis had no qualms characterizing the Reynolds boys basketball team’s season as a losing one, so far. That’s how Davis, a 6-foot-4 junior guard, prefaced it, adding that the Demons appear to be emerging from a rough patch.
Led by Davis’ game-high 23 points — 17 in the first half — Reynolds found some consistency Wednesday night in Bryson Gym. The Demons, who had seven losses since their season opener on Nov. 27, defeated visiting West Stokes 68-52 in a nonconference matchup. Tyreik Leach added 15 points and Jaben Mars scored 14.
That victory was Reynolds’ second straight, heading into another Central Piedmont 4-A game — against Reagan at home Friday.
“It meant a lot, man,” Davis said. “I think we’re finally coming together as a team.”
The “turning point,” as he called it, occurred in Mocksville. Reynolds defeated Davie County, at 9-2 heading into their conference opener against the Demons, 69-50 on Tuesday night.
Mars had a game-high 20 points in that win, with Tobias Johnson and Leach each scoring in double figures. But Davis had just 5 points against the War Eagles.
Davis said, after that win against Davie, the team thought it was a telling sign that records didn’t matter. Knocking off previously one-loss West Stokes — undefeated in the Western Piedmont Athletic 2-A with four wins — erased an off night for Davis.
It was another significant game for the Demons (6-7). Atkins, which beat Reynolds 75-72 in the first round of the Frank Spencer Holiday Classic on Dec. 26, was one of those four conference teams West Stokes defeated.
“I think I played horrible last night,” Davis said. “Last night, I was watching film, just seeing what I did wrong. I hit the first one, and my teammates just kept feeding me.
“Really, tonight it kind of helped us,” Davis said. “Everything that happened in the Frank Spencer, West Stokes was one of the best teams and we lost in the first round.”
On Wednesday night, Reynolds started off strong with a 9-2 run stretching more than three minutes into the first quarter, with Davis hitting a 3-pointer. West Stokes tied once — a layup from Luke Mickey at 7:14 to make the score 2-2 — before the Demons took the lead for good.
The Wildcats (9-2) trailed by just a point twice in the first half, but that was it. Elan Muniz had 9 first-half points — all of them 3-pointers. Isaac Spainhour, who had a team-high 13 points, scored 8 during that stretch.
West Stokes’ last loss was on Dec. 27 in the Pepsi Bracket semifinals of the Spencer. It was a 52-49 OT loss to undefeated Mount Tabor, which went on a day later to win its sixth tournament title.
Coach Dan Spainhour of West Stokes said the two losses weren’t similar.
“They beat us to every loose ball. We played well last night, but hadn’t played since the Frank Spencer. We hadn’t played anything of that caliber of quickness and speed — and it showed,” said Spainhour, whose team plays Carver in King on Friday. “I didn’t like the way we handled it, but credit to Reynolds because they defended us well.
“They also attacked our zone really well, and made shots.”
Two wins certainly helped, but the Demons’ road is far from finished, Coach Billy Martin of Reynolds said. It was a strong starting point.
“What we’ve got to do right here is not think, you know, we’ve arrived,” he said. “We’ve just got to keep playing the way we’ve been playing now.
“Focus on that, and that’s what we’ve got to do.”
West Stokes 18 13 10 11 — 52
Reynolds 23 11 13 21 — 68
West Stokes: Isaac Spainhour 13, Elan Muniz 11, Amon Conrad 10, Kelin Parsons 7, Palmer Elliott 4, Luke Mickey 4, Jacob Adkins 3.
Reynolds: Caden Davis 23, Tyreik Leach 15, Jaben Mars 14, Tobias Johnson 9, Ahmon Lumpkin 5, Gavin Becker 2.
Records: West Stokes (9-2), Reynolds (6-7).