Cavs Corner: Varsity hoops off to a strong start
Posted 11/10/2016 04:45PM

By Andy Pogach, Assistant Director of Athletics and Sports Information Director, Varsity Girls Tennis Coach
Twitter: @daathletics
Instagram: @dacavsathletics 

In this week’s Cavs Corner, we have a preview the varsity boys basketball team, as well as a recap both the boys’ and girls’ opening night victories over Durham School of the Arts.

This weekend in Kirby Gym, our varsity hoopsters will participate in the Durham Academy Classic, a four-school event featuring boys and girls teams from North Raleigh Christian, Southlake Christian and Hickory Grove Christian. We hope you can come out and support the Cavs as they host Hickory Grove on Friday night (6:15 p.m., girls; 7:45 p.m., boys) and Southlake on Saturday (11 a.m., girls; 12:30 p.m., boys).


The DA boys head into the 16-17 season with high expectations as they look to build upon last season’s 18-10 year and run to the state tournament. Once again, the NCISAA 3A division will be a tough one as three schools (two on the Cavaliers’ schedule) are ranked nationally in the top 50. In fact, many national high school sports writers are calling the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 3A state championship the most difficult to win in the entire country.

Senior guard and two-time all-conference selection Jorden Davis (16.5 ppg / 5.1 rpg), will be the offensive leader on the squad, as he looks to continue where he left off last year with his prolific scoring. Davis led the Cavs in scoring in 18 games a year ago. Joining Davis in the backcourt is junior Charlie Mendys (6.9 ppg / 1.7 rpg). Mendys’ 44 threes were second on the team last season, and his hard-nosed style complements Davis’ smooth scoring ability.  Junior Jack McCallie (2.4 ppg / 0.9 rpg) will have an increased role this year, both handling the ball and scoring from the outside. McCallie was third on the team in made threes a year ago. The DA frontcourt will be led by a pair of veteran seniors. 6-7 Nick Beischer (5.4 ppg / 5.5 rpg) will man the middle, and his strong inside presence will help the Cavs on both ends of the floor. Four-year varsity member Caleb Vanderburg (2.5 ppg / 3.6 rpg) is as tough as they come and has led the team in charges taken each of the last two years. Vanderburg can score from both inside and out, and his veteran leadership will be key for the Cavs to have a great year. Junior forward Joey Savarino (1.0 ppg / 1.0 rpg) and senior guard Xavier Nonez (0.3 ppg / 1.0 rpg) both return for their second year on the varsity team. Their leadership and ability to score from the outside have already paid dividends for the Cavs in practice this season.

The Cavs welcome five newcomers to the squad, four of whom donned JV uniforms for DA in 15-16. Junior Tyler Carpenter (10.8 ppg / 3.4 spg for JV) takes pride in his on the ball defensive ability and will be an asset on both ends of the floor for the Cavs. His back-court mate from last season, sophomore Michael Savarino (9.9 ppg / 3.0 apg for JV), will help with the ball-handling and shooting load for DA. Freshman Davis Beischer (4.5 ppg / 3.0 rpg for JV) has a high basketball IQ and can score from both inside and out. Junior Shane Smith (1.0 ppg / 0.7 rpg for JV) adds some size and scoring ability from the post position.  Finally, newcomer Cole Sinclair, an eighth-grader and younger brother of four-year varsity team member Pryce Sinclair ’16, has already received rave reviews from not only the DA coaching staff but members of the media who attended the Cavs’ scrimmage event in Greensboro last Saturday. Sinclair has an innate scoring ability and the physical tools to help the Cavs both this year and beyond. 

Once again, Ravenscroft will be the team to beat in the TISAC (Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Conference) as the team’s incredible streak of 10 consecutive undefeated conference seasons is intact. The Cavaliers will look to unseat the Ravens at the top of the conference but will have to fend off the solid programs of North Raleigh Christian, Wake Christian and Cary Academy, as well. In addition to these conference games, DA will travel to Charlotte in early December to battle Charlotte Latin and last season’s 3A state champ Providence Day. The Cavs will host another state champion as NCHSAA 1A champion Voyager Academy comes to Kirby Gym on Nov. 22. DA will take part in two holiday tournaments: the Panther Classic in Myrtle Beach at the beginning of winter break, and the Holiday in the Pines event in Southern Pines after toward the end of the break. Finally, a trip to Greensboro to battle nationally ranked Greensboro Day highlights a tough January schedule. 


Varsity Boys Basketball
Jorden Davis scored a career-high 30 points to lead the DA boys to a season-opening 81-60 victory over Durham School of the Arts on Wednesday night. The Cavs used a hot start to jump out to an 18-2 lead and never looked back. Despite DSA cutting the Cavs’ lead to 29-23 late in the half, the Cavs scored the final seven points of the period as part of an 18-5 run to open up a 19-point lead midway through the third. Davis led four Cavs in double-figure scoring as guards Jack McCallie and Charlie Mendys each chipped in 13, while big man Nick Beischer added 11 and picked up a team-high eight rebounds. DA shot 53 percent from the field and hit 10 for 22 from three-point range. The Cavs had assists on 22 of their 33 baskets, including six from Davis and four from Mendys. Shane Smith, Tyler Carpenter, Michael Savarino and Cole Sincliar all scored their first varsity points tonight.  

The game marked a milestone for head coach Tim McKenna — his 250th career victory.

Varsity Girls Basketball
The DA girls started the season with a convincing 41-13 victory at DSA on Wednesday night.  Junior guard Izzy Strigel led all scorers with 22 points, and classmate Nicole Riepl added 10. The Cavs led 14-3 after one period and then pulled away with a strong 14-2 third period. Despite not scoring, sophomore Imani Spence had a monster game with nine rebounds, five steals and three assists. Also in the scoring column was Audrey Monson with four points, Grace Drewry with three points and Erin Dilweg with two points. 

Next week, we will preview the girls varsity basketball team as coach Krista Gingrich-White looks to life after Liz Roberts, the Cavaliers’ all-time leading scorer and now a member of the UNC Chapel Hill’s basketball program. 



As always, you can keep up with the Cavs on Durham Academy’s website and the DA App: 

www.da.org/athletics: Schedules and Results

The DA App: Schedules and Results

  • The DA App allows you to keep up with athletics wherever you are. You can download the app from iTunes at http://bit.ly/DACavaliers. The DA App pulls athletics content directly from the DA website and delivers it to iOS-based devices including iPhone and iPad.
  • The Athletics portion of the DA App (after launching, click Menu, then click Athletics to open) features results of recent games, a list of upcoming contests and team records.

Click infographic below for full resolution.

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