AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy – Don’t try to tell Nyrika Davis that she’s a one-person wrecking crew.
“We’re a strong team,” the Naples senior said Saturday after a weekend to remember. “You can’t win a game by yourself.”
Davis, a 5-foot-5 forward, did a pretty good imitation, however. She scored 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in a 39-28 victory over Würzburg on Saturday as the Wildcats improved to 11-0.
Earlier in the day, she had 19 points and 13 rebounds in a 50-9 courtesy-rule victory over Aviano. That followed a 10-point, nine-rebound effort in a 49-35 victory over Vilseck on Friday.
The boys and girls teams for Naples, Vilseck and Würzburg all traveled to Aviano for a weekend of basketball. Naples and Aviano played three times, while the teams from Germany each had a pair of games.
Davis almost didn’t make the trip. She was supposed to take the SAT on Saturday, but eventually decided to take it later. That meant she could make the 10-hour bus ride. And she got some highlight tapes to send to colleges as well.
“I’d really like to play in college,” she said. “I love basketball.”
Coach Craig Lord said Davis’ desire enables her to grab rebounds from taller players.
“And some kids have that nose for the ball. She’s definitely one of them,” he said.
Freshman Darien Moon had 10 points against the Wolves and directed the Naples offense. She and Davis combined on some pretty give-and-goes and made it look as though they’ve been playing together for years.
“She and I didn’t even like each other until basketball season started,” Davis said, laughing.
Moon also led a tenacious defense that held Würzburg to 10 first-half points. It was even more impressive against Aviano, when the Wildcats forced 32 turnovers and officially ended the game on Davis’ layup to begin the fourth quarter. It was the most lopsided game between the rivals in years.
“I can’t remember ever doing that to Aviano,” Lord said.
Part of the reason for the unusual blowout was the absence of Aviano point guard Lindsey Jackson. The Saints had trouble handling the ball all weekend, also losing to Würzburg, 40-4, and Vilseck, 55-30.
“We will be stronger when she returns,” Aviano coach Greg Mead said.
Mead wasn’t getting any sympathy from Naples’ boys coach Richard Elliott. Three starters stayed behind to take their SATs, and Naples dropped two of the three games it played to fall from the unbeaten ranks.
The losses included a 77-42 drubbing by Würzburg when the Wildcats were without four starters. Guard Denver Arrieola picked up a pair of technicals earlier in Naples’ 46-44 victory over Aviano and had to sit out the game.
“If you take four starters away from any team, it’s likely you’re going to get blown out,” Elliott said. “We’ll be fine.”
Naples survived its showdown with Aviano when London Bridget broke the press and scored on a layup with just under a minute left. Aviano had several attempts to tie it, including a good look from Andre Dean (19 points) with seconds left.
The Wildcats were never in the game against Würzburg. Just about every Wolves player was connecting from all over the floor as Würzburg improved to 5-3.
“Everything was going down for us,” said Würzburg coach Juanita Johnson-Archie. “Even when I took out the starters and put the subs, in, we kept hitting.”
James Robinson had 15 points, Korey Workman had 14 and Jamal Caldwell 13 to lead Würzburg.
Würzburg also won Friday, stopping Aviano 58-53 behind 16 points from Caldwell and 15 from Donald Bryant.
In the other Friday game, Vilseck used a balanced attack to beat Naples 56-52. Vilseck closed out the weekend with a 55-49 win over Aviano.