Friday night began as a triumphant homecoming for Desert Pines boys basketball coach Chancellor Davis.
Cheyenne made sure the ending wasn’t as enjoyable.
Davis, a 1993 Cheyenne graduate, had his No. 21 jersey retired before the game. But after the pregame festivities, the night belonged to Cheyenne as the Desert Shields earned a 56-45 home victory in their season opener.
“We’re battling through injuries,” Davis said. “But Cheyenne is good. Cheyenne is very good.”
The Desert Shields led 10-0 and Desert Pines missed its first 12 shots before a 3-pointer by Chancellor Davis Jr. broke the ice with 3:25 to go in the first quarter.
The Jaguars erased the deficit and took a 17-16 lead on Najee McIver’s 3-pointer midway through the second. But that was the last time they would lead. Chris McCall scored nine of his game-high 20 points in the third quarter to help Cheyenne expand its lead to 45-34.
“I thought we came out strong, but after that we were flat,” said Cheyenne assistant Bruce Gaitor, who ran the team while head coach Teral Fair served a one-game suspension. “Once the game started going, I thought Desert Pines did a pretty good job of settling down and getting back in the game.”
McCall also had seven rebounds and three steals. He shot 4-for-9 on 3-point attempts.
“Chris is going to be a big-time player for us this year,” Gaitor said. “He’s just got to keep knocking down those jumpers. Chris will be a big-time scorer.”
McCall’s outside shooting helped the Desert Shields retake the lead, but their rebounding locked it down. Cheyenne had a 50-37 rebound edge, with 6-foot-7-inch senior Brian Organ grabbing 16. Jaylen Henry, a 6-8 senior, got 13 rebounds to go with 15 points.
J’Quon Wroten also had a double-double for Cheyenne with 10 points and 11 assists.
Tyler Larson led Desert Pines with 18 points and 15 rebounds. Chancellor Davis Jr. added 10 points on the night his father was honored.
“I want to thank the administration here, the coaching staff and of course a lot of my teammates and family and friends that came out,” the elder Davis said. “It was a very special night.”