By Kris Freeman for White House High School
WHITE HOUSE – To say the opening night at DeKalb County was frustrating for senior Nathan Bowman and his team was an understatement.
Replacing seven graduated seniors and now counted on for leadership and a key starting role, Bowman struggled to shoot early and scored nine points. But at the end of a six-point game. he sank a three at the buzzer. The momentum carried into Thursday and the senior torched Stewart County for a career high 22 points in a 61-56 victory at home.
Fellow senior Ethan Droz added 13 as the two leaders carried the squad to even the record at 1-1 heading into Thanksgiving week. Bowman nailed five of his first six three-point attempts for 17 first-half points, and Caleb Dorris powered his way for six of his nine.
Bowman was also a force on the boards, wrestling away a late rebound from Stewart County’s Weston Wallace to draw a foul and positioning himself for hard contact underneath as the Rebels failed to secure an early nine-point advantage.
With Stewart County’s Landon Dennis dropping 28 points, the Devils needed every bit of the 13 three-pointers made from the perimeter. Trailing 34-28 at the half, it was a series of momentum buckets to swing the tide.
First, Dorris cut inside for two, then fellow sophomore Zane Brown daggered a three from the corner for the first of two made from long range for six points total in the game.
Trailing 37-36, Brown stole the pass and fed down court to Amarion Lucas, and the junior tossed to a wide open Droz in the corner for a go-ahead three. Dennis made it 40-39 immediately on the other end, but Bowman cashed in his sixth three in 10 attempts for a 42-40 edge from the right wing in front of the home bench.
Leading 48-46, Lucas drained his only three to make it a five-point Devils lead in the fourth, and he later added three free throws late to finish with six points.
The biggest bucket of the fourth came with a 53-49 margin when Droz slammed a three from the contested corner and forced a Stewart County timeout.
Every time the Rebels drew close, White House battled back, with Jimmy Allen spotting four points off the bench when the dominant Dorris ended up in foul trouble in the paint. Allen was just as effective as his classmate, taking the inside out feed under two minutes to play for a left-hander off the glass and a 58-49 score.
The closest the Rebels got was 58-53, but a charging call inside and free throws by the Devils put the game away.
White House stays at home doing the Thanksgiving break and will play Portland on Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. at Jeff Bennett Gymnasium.
Photos by Sarah Wright and Leanna Holland