Earlier this season, Tori joined Deidra in the Lady Warriors’ 1,000-point career club. The elder Davis, now a student at Jacksonville State University, got acquainted with the confines of Pete Mathews Coliseum as a starter her senior year in 2011, when the Lady Warriors made the Northeast Regional Basketball Tournament.
On Thursday, the younger Davis got her wish against Munford.
Behind her 22 points, 12 rebounds and four steals, the Class 4A, No. 10 Lady Warriors breezed past the visiting Lady Lions 40-19 in sub-regional action.
Cherokee County (24-6) will take on ninth-ranked Randolph (22-5) in the Northeast Regional semifinals at JSU on Tuesday at 3 p.m. Randolph defeated No. 8 Douglas 45-41 in other sub-regional action Thursday.
“I made it a goal to help my team out tonight to make it back to Jacksonville,” Tori Davis said. “Tonight was a great team effort. We didn’t have a great offensive night, but we had a lot of girls who made shots that helped us prevail.”
Seven of the other eight Lady Warriors who were dressed for the game contributed at least one point in the victory.
Darbie Rosser connected on a pair of 3-pointers to finish with six points. Jessen Burk had four points and three rebounds. Chelsea Ray contributed four assists, three steals and a bucket.
Davis was right about the Lady Warrior offense, but they more than made up for their offensive production a smothering defensive effort. Munford’s top scorer, Ra’aunna Caldwell, was limited to just eight points for the game.
Kelly Foster added seven points for Munford (17-14).
It’s the second game in a row the Lady Warriors have scored 40 points or under. They squeaked by Hokes Bluff 30-29 in the Area 11 tournament on Saturday.
But that’s not such a bad thing, according to Cherokee County head coach Travis Barnes.
“That’s what we’ve been preaching to the girls in the postseason. Your best teams are the ones who are going to play defense,” Barnes said. “We know an offense can go stagnant sometimes, especially when you get in bigger games, but defense usually wins. That’s what most of our focus has been on in the postseason since the start of the area tournament, and I think we did a great job with that tonight.”
Cherokee County led by an 11-4 margin at the end of the first quarter and held an 18-8 advantage at halftime.
Tori Davis only had eight points at halftime, but she stepped things up another notch in the second half with 14 points. She scored seven points in the third quarter to help the Lady Warriors take a 28-12 lead.
“Being patient is the biggest thing,” Tori Davis said. “Your offense works better when you’re patient, when you keep on moving the ball, when you keep on driving, when you keep on passing. That’s been our biggest thing this year. We want to cut. We want to pass. We want to move. That opens up drives, and it opens up 3-pointers. It opens up everybody, and that’s just a great thing to have.”
Another great thing the Lady Warriors have is their senior forward’s presence underneath the basket.
“Tori does such a great job under the basket and in transition,” Barnes said. “She’s just a good all-around player, and she carried us tonight. One good thing we did was we started looking to get the ball in to her more. Our offense runs through her.”
With their sub-regional game now behind them, Tori Davis said she wants to reach the next goal she has in mind.
“It’s a privilege to go down there and be in that atmosphere at JSU, but it would be an even greater privilege to go down there and win the first game, have that under our belt and then go into Saturday’s game and win that one,” she said. “We’re going to have to take it one play at a time, one quarter at a time, one game at a time. We’re going to have to leave everything out there that we have.”