PIAA BASKETBALL: Reams overcomes heartbreak and adversity to help Forest City in Class 1A

Mar. 11—Davon Reams has dealt with his share of heartbreak. So, he can easily shrug off losing a basketball game on a last-second shot.

Reams and his Forest City teammates return to the court today in the first round of the PIAA Class 1A playoffs when they travel to play Northumberland Christian at Lewisburg High School at 6 p.m. The matchup is part of a full slate of state playoff basketball in the boys and girls brackets, as Friday's schedule was postponed because of winter weather.

"That was tough," Reams said of losing to Notre Dame-East Stroudsburg on a halfcourt buzzer-beater by Xavier Spears last week in the District 2-11 Class 1A subregional final.

"That is basketball, though. It is going to happen. I am not really angry or anything. It's just more disbelief and shock. But you have to put it behind you and bounce back."

Reams has shown emotional and physical strength throughout this past year.

As a junior, Reams played football at Carbondale Area when it renewed a co-sponsorship of the sport with Forest City. He suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in a Week 10 game against Mid Valley, which caused him to miss the Chargers' District 2 Class 3A playoff game against Wyoming Area. A quick running back, Reams had 520 yards rushing and 101 yards receiving and scored 14 touchdowns.

This summer, after putting in a lot of work in the offseason, Reams was projected as one of the top offensive players in the Lackawanna Football Conference. However, he suffered the same injury to the same shoulder in a scrimmage, and it cost him the season.

"It was unbelievable," Reams said. "It had always been a dream of mine to play running back in high school football. I really only got to start three games. That is all I ever wanted to do. I didn't play my freshman or sophomore year because we didn't have football, so I couldn't wait for my senior year."

Reams chose to hold off on surgery because he wanted to have an impact on the basketball court. He is a defensive standout who uses his athleticism to his advantage.

"I really didn't play basketball too much growing up because I focused more on football," Reams said. "I feel I am at my best when the ball isn't in my hands."

Then, as the Foresters were getting ready for the district subregional playoffs and a game against Bethlehem Christian, Reams lost someone very dear to him.

His grandmother, Donna Sweeney, died. It crushed him.

"That was very hard," Reams said. "But I know that she would want me to be strong and play well for her. I have tried to keep my head high, because I know that is what she would want from me. "

Reams went out and scored 11 points against Bethlehem Christian, providing Forest City with a spark on the way to an 82-71 win that clinched the District 2 Class 1A title and punched a ticket to the state playoffs.

He followed that effort with 10 points against Notre Dame-East Stroudsburg.

While facing adversity and heartache, Reams is determined to play his best and is inspired by the memory of his grandmother.

"I am super excited," Reams, 18, said. "I imagine it will be something that I have never felt before. I know that my emotions are going to be high, but I have to focus and play."





2-1 Forest City (12-11) vs. 4-2 Northumberland Christian (18-5) at Lewisburg, 6 p.m.


11-3 Minersville (16-9) at 2-1 Holy Cross (19-5), at Lackawanna College Student Union, 5 p.m.


2-2 Mid Valley (19-6) at 4-1 Troy (18-7), 4 p.m.


3-4 Octorara (17-8) at 2-1 Scranton Prep (16-9), 5 p.m.

4-3 Shamokin (19-8) at 2-2 Valley View (21-4), 5:30 p.m.


12-4 Dobbins Tech (25-2) at 2-1 Abington Heights (21-4), 5 p.m.

12-3 West Philadelphia (15-11) vs. 2-2 West Scranton (14-11) at Scranton High School, 3 p.m.


1-9 Coatesville (18-9) at 2-1 Scranton (14-11), 5 p.m.



3-5 Harrisburg Christian at 2-1 Mountain View (18-6), 5 p.m.


4-3 Northwest Area (20-6) at 2-1 Montrose (20-4), 6 p.m.


4-3 Bloomsburg (21-6) at 2-1 Dunmore (22-3), 5 p.m.


4-3 Lewisburg (18-8) at 2-1 Scranton Prep (21-1), 3 p.m.


12-3 Archbishop Ryan (9-15) at 2-2 Abington Heights (17-8), 3 p.m.

2-3 Scranton (15-9) vs. 1-2 Villa Maria (23-4) at Great Valley High School in Malvern, noon

Contact the writer: jbfawcett@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9125; @sportsTT on Twitter