EL DORADO – It was the Zach Davidson show and there was nothing El Dorado could do about it.
Davidson scored 21 points in the first half and 41 for the game. The Augusta Orioles punished the Wildcats down low time and time again. They came out the first four plays of the second half and hit Davidson in the paint, scoring on all four possessions, forcing a timeout by El Dorado.
“I think he beat my high score,” Augusta head coach Jake Sims said. “I think my was 36 points.”
Davidson’s 41 points is one of the best single game performances in school history. When asked, many thought the single game high score was 46 points.
The physicality of the game gave it a mirage of a closer game then the final 65-44 indicated. The Orioles led for double digits for a majority of the second half.
“These are the type of games that will pay off down the road,” Sims said. “I’m glad we were able to grind this one out.”
With a win, Augusta wins the West. With a loss they would drop into a tie with Andale, who owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Orioles.
Like the first time around, Augusta let the Wildcats hang around for the first quarter, then they went right at the Wildcats inside. They attacked relentlessly and the lack of size became the Orioles’ advantage.
Davidson scored 15 in the second quarter, leading the way as Augusta had a 33-25 lead at the break.
“It’s great to have a guy like that who can score when he wants,” Ely Wilcox said. “When the offense is slowing down, we can go to him and he gets us going again.”
Augusta continued to attack to start the third quarter with Davidson scoring eight points on the first four possessions of the second half. The Orioles had built a double-digit lead in a matter of minutes.
Connor Clausing hit a three with 4:01 left in the quarter to bring the Wildcats back within single digits but there was no answer for Davidson. He had his second dunk of the game.
Augusta took their largest lead of the half when Wilcox hit a three, putting Augusta up 41-27 with 2:54 left in the third.
Davidson capped off night with an and-one and a steal at the other end. Ryan Andrews had his own and-one on the breakaway of Davidson’s steal.
“This was a tough environment,” Davidson said. “When sub-state comes and everyone is showing up, playing in this type of game will help us.”
Jaren Jackson added nine points on the night to compliment Davidson’s play. Brendan Parker added six himself.
Garrett Meyer had eight points to lead the Wildcats in scoring.
The win puts the Orioles, who are ranked fifth in Class 4A in prime position to take first place in the West Division. They have a showdown with McPherson that has major implications for both teams.
“That’s going to be a good one,” Sims said. “If it’s not, it means we didn’t play well. So, I expect a good one.”
Augusta 16; 17; 16; 16 – 65
El Dorado 13; 12; 10; 9 – 44
Augusta: Davidson 41, Jackson 9, Parker 6, Wilcox 5 Andrews 4
El Dorado: Meyer 8, Johnson 6, Clausing 7, Wittenberg 7, Kemboi 6, Sundgren 5, Fowler 5