By Joel van der Veen
DAVIDSON — A deep bench is paying deep dividends for Davidson’s junior boys basketball team this season.
Coach Garrett Bailey said the team has roughly 16 players in grades 7 through 9.
With such a large roster, he said, “We’ve had to split them up a little bit for some games.”
On Wednesday the Davidson Raiders hosted the Outlook Blues, one of their two competitors in their section.
Knowing they were up against a weaker team, Bailey said he used the opportunity to put some of his younger players on the court.
Even so, Davidson handily won the game, leading 23-10 after the second quarter and finishing with a score of 59-21.
Hunter Herback was the only Grade 9 player on the court for Davidson. This was just his second game of the season, as he had injured his ankle just before Christmas.
Herback — at 6’2”, the tallest player on the team — was the top scorer with 25 points, including a trio of three-point shots.
Gavin Arend scored 13 points, while Donta Desjarlais scored a total of seven points including a three-point shot.
Bailey said the team has a 3-3 record for the season so far.
This includes the games played in a home tournament co-hosted with the junior girls on Dec. 15 and 16, in which the boys suffered somewhat due to the absence of some key players.
“A lot of our better players are hockey players, too,” said Bailey, adding, “We’ve still been pretty strong against most teams.”
Following the boys’ game, the Davidson junior girls played Outlook, defeating the Blues 47-20.
Halle Herback and Tolu Arowolo led the scoring for Davidson with 10 points each.
Leila McDonnell and Mya Charette scored eight points each, while DJ Anderson added seven points to the tally, including one-three point shot.
Joell Tiffin, who coaches the team with Karrie Stamnes, said they have close to 20 girls in grades 7 through 9 playing this year.
“It’s the biggest team we’ve had since (we) started,” she said. “We’re learning a lot at every practice and applying it at games . . . It’s just a fun group of girls.”
The team is a younger group, with about half of the players in Grade 7.
The sectional playoff final for both the boys and girls teams will be held on Feb. 6. The winners of those games move on to West Central District finals on Feb. 14.