By Kai Raymer
Corner camper. Corner specialist.
It’s a moniker Jaxon Davis wears with pride. And he backs it up regularly.
“I like it,” Davis said. “I like letting teams know what I do a little bit.”
Davis was his usual deadly self from the corner Friday night in a pivotal Ozark Conference showdown with Rolla. The senior had 22 points on six 3-pointers.
“We all play Call of Duty, and there’s a thing in Call of Duty called a corner camper,” said teammate and senior guard Jordan Walton. “(Davis) calls himself a corner camper. He’s a corner specialist. He’s great at it. We make fun of him, but that’s what he does.
“There’s nothing better than driving it and kicking it to a dude who’s 70 percent on corner 3s.”
With Monty Johal (28) and Walton (27) combining for 55 points, the Falcons held off a late Rolla surge for a 91-78 victory on senior night. Josh Pritchett scored 31 and Alec Buhr added 28 points for Rolla in the loss.
Glendale (16-6 overall, 8-0 Ozark Conference) can claim an outright Ozark Conference title with a win at Hillcrest next Friday. The Falcons play Hogan Prep (Feb. 19) and Central (Feb. 20) in between.
Glendale last won the OC title in 2012.
“It’d be a big accomplishment for us,” Walton said. “It was one of our goals at the beginning of the season.”
Rolla never went away despite a 25-point second-half deficit. The Bulldogs frustrated Glendale in the fourth quarter with a turnover-causing, full-court press.
Pritchett’s 3-pointer brought Rolla within 82-74 with about three minutes to play. The Bulldogs recently had buzzer-beating victories over Parkview and Kickapoo.
“Rolla didn’t stop playing. They’re (22-2) for a reason,” said Falcons coach Brian McTague. “Their kids believe they’re going to win every game.”
The Falcons built their 25-point behind the balanced scoring of Johal, Walton and Davis. Davis often feasts on open looks from the corner when Walton or Davis drive toward the basket and dish it out.
“Normal basketball strategy tells you to stop the layup,” McTague said. “So that’s what most teams try to do. It’s kind of a pick your poison thing.”
Davis, who has only played about two seasons of varsity basketball, entered this week with 185 career 3-pointers. By comparison, he’s not too far behind four-year varsity players Walton (204) and Johal (196).
“I’ve kind of taken over the name ‘corner specialist,’ from NBA 2K the video game,” Davis said. “My friend Caleb Peck, from Clever, we kind of adopted that as our little thing. Like JellyFam has their thing, we’re the corner specialists.
“It really helps when Monty and Jordan are really good attackers. They draw the defense in toward the basket, guys have to help off, and it just leaves me open.”
It was another typical Glendale game. The Falcons, unofficially, made 15 of 33 3-point attempts. They only attempted 15 shots inside the perimeter – mostly layups.
“We can shoot the ball really well,” Walton said. “Threes are worth more than twos, that’s the way we look at it. We still need to tighten up our defense, I feel like we’ve gotten better this year, but it’s still something we need to improve on.”
Rolla shot 29-for-67 from the field overall, including 10-for-28 from 3.
Glendale caught fire in the second quarter. The Falcons used a 16-4 run to take a 40-27 lead. They led 48-33 at halftime.
“Jaxon, Winston were hitting (shots)… All of us were hitting,” Walton said. “Our ball movement was really good. Monty definitely got going in the second quarter. Garrett (Freeman) was running the team, I was getting to the basket. We just played really well. If we would’ve kept that up, it wouldn’t have been close.”
Rolla (21-2 overall, 7-1 OC) hosts Pacific on Tuesday and finishes the regular season next Thursday at Waynesville.
Glendale 91, Rolla 78
Rolla 17 16 11 34 — 78
Glendale 19 29 21 22 — 91
Rolla – Josh Pritchett 31, Alec Buhr 28, Blaize Klossner 7, Colby Martin 5, David Pound 3, Nick Janke 2, Muluken Pritchett 2
Glendale – Monty Johal 28, Jordan Walton 27, Jaxon Davis 22, Winston Quinn 12, Adam Hirsch 2
Glendale JV 61, Rolla JV 44
Glendale freshmen 69, Rolla freshmen 35