On paper, Strawberry Mansion and Imhotep Charter met yesterday in a meaningless, nonleague boys' basketball game.
After all, it's only the middle of December.
Try telling that to Strawberry Mansion senior Wayne Davis.
"I got revenge!" Davis said after the Knights' 77-66 victory in front of a standing-room-only crowd at the Lonnie Young Recreation Center. "That's all I wanted."
The 6-foot-4 guard finished with 17 points, six rebounds and four assists, even though he sat out the final 9 minutes, 32 seconds of the first half with foul trouble.
But Davis could not have cared less if he was held scoreless. All the Murray State signee wanted to do was help the Knights (4-2) beat the Panthers (3-2), something he was unable to do in last season's District 12 Class AA semifinal.
Davis made eight three-pointers and scored 32 points before fouling out of last season's playoff game with 6:40 remaining. Without him in the lineup, Imhotep, which entered the fourth quarter down by 19 points, came back to win.
"This time, I calmed down in the second half," said Davis, who picked up his third foul with 1:32 left in the first quarter. "I also told my team to be patient."
The Knights' patience turned out to be the difference in yesterday's game.
Strawberry Mansion entered the fourth quarter with a huge (49-29) cushion. And like last season, Imhotep made a late run, closing the gap to 69-62 with 50.3 seconds remaining.
Instead of panicking, the Knight made six foul shots down the stretch to clinch the victory.
Junior guard Will Adams led Imhotep with 29 points eight rebounds, three steals and two assists.
The Panthers played without two key contributors. Standout forward Rashad Savage served a one-game suspension for violating a school rule. Sixth man Steven Leath was held out with an ankle injury.
Strawberry Mansion7 24 18 28 - 77
Imhotep Charter9 14 6 37 - 66
SM: Eddie Frazier 16, Devon White 15, Wayne Davis 17, Darren Lawrence 15, Isaac Bradford 13, Marcus Johnson 1.
IC: Migual Bocachica 9, Lamar Trice 14, Demar Morine 2, Kenny Battle 4, Will Adams 29, Sam Prescott 5, D.J. Newbill 2, Jerrod Johnson 1.