WOODBURY – Practice has changed.
Woodbury coach Rahmod Noel recalled the very moment he realized he had a special basketball player in Alexis Davis, who joined the team this season after scoring 1 000 points in two years at Glassboro. It was the second day. It wasn’t a shot she made, it wasn’t an assist, and it wasn’t her first glimpse of one of the over 100 pairs of sneakers she owns.
“We’re doing a defensive exercise, where we slide and turn,” Noel said. “It was dead with the first group, but as soon as she came in, everything improved. She was loud and everyone started to get loud. It was only a simple improvement; everyone talks and communicates.
Call it the Davis effect, if you will.
It didn’t take long for this to carry over into games and start to have an effect on everything that happens when the Thundering Herd is playing.
Davis scored eight points in a 15-2 first-quarter streak for Woodbury on Wednesday night against Colonial Conference rival West Deptford. She scored the last nine points of the first half and six in a 13-4 streak to open the second, starting with a left-hander in the paint.
She owned the paint, with 27 points and 14 rebounds. She found teammates open under the basket. She blocked five shots.
It was about as complete a performance as you’re likely to see.
“She’s humble, she’s awesome,” said Woodbury coach Rahmod Noel. “She’s a great teammate. That’s why she’s a captain. She builds people. If someone makes a mistake, she doesn’t put them down, she builds them – hey, you’ll get them next time. She is very encouraging.
And very smart. As the opposing teams try to determine how they will defend against Davis, she is busy thinking about how the Thundering Herd will attack them.
Wednesday’s 72-39 victory was a perfect example.
“When they box me against one or they play the triangle or the diamond defense, I want to involve my teammates so they can shoot,” Davis said. “When they started shooting, that’s when they came out, and we all started to leave. “
Davis said it usually only takes a room or two to figure it out. The first time she leaves the game, she goes into the caucus and tells the coach what’s going on.
This time it didn’t even cost the Thundering Herd a downtime. Davis led the way to give Woodbury a 5-3 lead after 1:33 of play, and West Deptford asked for a moment.
The plan was then formed.
“By now we’re used to teams playing box-and-1 against me,” she said. “But we get Nile Miller back on Saturday so it will be difficult to do.”
It’s already hard. Clinton, Diamyndh Oakley and Jakya Jenkins connected from beyond the arc, and Woodbury held the Eagles scoreless on the field for six minutes and 26 seconds of the first half.
“It’s awesome,” said Oakley, a sophomore. “She has such a good mentality for basketball. It helps me keep going. It helps me strive to be more. She really helps me on defense, because she tells me certain things – if I’m wrong or get a little confused, she’ll put me back on track to do better, before the coaches even come to talk to me. .
“She’s a good player from all points of view. She is a good student. On and off the pitch he’s a great person.
Davis has been playing basketball since she started school.
“I started when I was 5 or 6 years old,” she says. “At first I was tall and I was made a post player, but since I was a little older I have played guard – the 1, 2 or 3 places.”
Learning different positions meant learning different skills, and Davis kept the old ones while gradually introducing the new ones.
“I work everyday,” she said. “At the gym with my mom – make me grow up, faster, stronger, then outside, or on the court with my dad, work on basketball moves, inside paint, on the court. outside of the paint, and also just working with my teammates – we always go hard and make sure we train with the tempo of the game.
Davis is the younger sister of Anthony Averette, whose name hangs on the beams of the Cap Paine gymnasium for his footballing exploits. Averette is currently a cornerback for the Baltimore Ravens.
Davis said she doesn’t think it changes the way people view her. She doesn’t meet any heightened expectations as the sister of Woodbury’s current favorite son.
“We are all different people,” she said. “But I still admire my brother. He made a path. I just have to keep following him.
He is the first NFLer in the family. She would like to be the first doctor.
He makes sure she can go her way in some fancy new kicks as well. She counts a pair of Balenciaga and a pair of Versace sneakers among her most valuable possessions.
“I am a sneakerhead. So is he, “she said.” I have over 100 pairs of sneakers. He definitely treats me. I work hard, my other brother works hard, at school and at sports. My parents and (Averette) always reward us.
John A. Lewis is a sports editor for the Burlington County Times, the Courier Post and the Daily Journal. Email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @ JohnLewis19. Please consider supporting local journalism with a subscription.