Feb. 19: Eau Claire North vs. La Crosse Central

Central High School's Johnny Davis dunks for the Red Raiders during Tuesday’s nonconference game against Eau Claire North. Davis scored a game-high 31 points in Central's 82-55 win.

The was nothing the Eau Claire North High School boys basketball team could do to stop Johnny Davis on Tuesday.

There was also nothing that Division I recruit Dalton Banks could do against the defense of Central’s Jordan Davis, and those two facts led to an 82-55 nonconference victory for the second-ranked Red Raiders in front of a group of Division I coaches at Mark Sutton Memorial Gymnasium.

Johnny Davis had 31 points and 14 rebounds as Central (19-2) won its eighth game in a row with coaches from Wisconsin (head coach Greg Gard included), UW-Green Bay, UW-Milwaukee, North Dakota State and others in attendance.

“I didn’t know anyone was going to be here tonight,” said Johnny Davis, who had 20 points in the first half and made 14 of 21 shots. “I walked out there and was surprised to see everyone, but we just focused on playing our team game.”

That involved a lot of ball movement and dominance inside the 3-point line against a team with its tallest player standing 6 feet, 3 inches. The Red Raiders controlled the paint with 6-5 Johnny Davis, 6-7 Terrance Thompson and 6-5 Jordan Davis.

“They can really shoot it (from the perimeter),” Central coach Todd Fergot said of the Huskies. “We wanted to get hands in their faces on those shots and didn’t every time but did on some. They were making the shots anyway.”

Todd Fergot mug


North made 20 shots and 12 of them came from behind the 3-point line. The Huskies attempted 30 3-pointers and just 17 shots in front of the line.

Banks, a junior who has four scholarship offers and averages 24.6 points per game, was held to eight points on 2-for-13 shooting while being guarded primarily by Jordan Davis.

“If there is a player of the game, it would have to go to him,” Johnny Davis said of his brother, who had eight rebounds, six assists and four points. “He’s a physical kid, a strong kid, has the same build (as Banks), and he did a great job tonight.”

Banks did get the ball into the hands of North shooters but couldn’t get much going for himself. Banks didn’t get his first basket until North’s final possession of the first half, and that was answered by a steal and hoop by Johnny Davis that gave the Red Raiders a 40-24 lead heading to the second half.

Jordan Davis mug

Jordan Davis

The Huskies led once — a Bennett Mayer 3-pointer gave them an 11-10 lead with 11:11 left in the first half — but a 10-point run by Johnny Davis put the Red Raiders in front the rest of the way.

“Johnny is competitive and always come out ready from the start,” Fergot said. “The energy he brings gets everyone else started, whether it’s from an offensive rebound, a deflection or anything else you can think of.”

Senior Noah Parcher scored 20 points for the Red Raiders, who also received 14 points on 6-for-7 shooting and five rebounds from Thompson. Central shot 59 percent (36-for-61) from the floor, hitting 18 of 31 shots in the first half and 18 of 30 in the second.

The victory also ended a stretch of four games in six days for Central, which beat Aquinas on Monday and is off until ending the regular season with a home game against Madison Memorial (14-5) on Friday.

“It’s a grind,” Johnny Davis said. “All those games, and then we have to take the ACT (on Wednesday). But it will help us for the playoffs, and it always helps with conditioning.”

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Todd Sommerfeldt can be reached at todd.sommerfeldt@lee.net or via Twitter @SommerfeldtLAX


Assistant Sports Editor

Todd Sommerfeldt has covered sports for the La Crosse Tribune since 2003 after doing the same previously in the Fox Cities and Rock County.