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Foul play sinks Wolverines
Finch lifts Johnson with 18 consecutive free throws
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Forsyth County News

Devaris Finch seemed to feel right at home on the free throw line at West Forsyth.

The senior guard hit 19-of-20 at the charity stripe and finished with a game-high 29 points, leading Johnson to a 69-61 victory against West on Friday in The Den.

It was the sixth straight loss for the Wolverines, who have dropped nine of their last 10.

West starters Shaeem McLaren, Kris Drees and Lance Baker all fouled out in the closing minutes, while Finch made his last 18 foul shots in a row, including eight in the final 50.3 seconds to cement the win for the Knights.

“He’s very good at getting in the lane. We had people that were supposed to be there to help and they weren’t there, they were leaving their feet,” Wolverines’ coach Chris Roy said.

“We just didn’t execute as well as we should have and kept putting him on the free throw line. He may be one of the best free throw shooters in this whole area.”

The Wolverines fell behind 16-5 out of the gate, but clawed back to take a 29-25 lead until the Knights tied the game at 31-all before halftime.

West pulled ahead 44-37 in the third quarter, but Johnson executed a 10-0 run to climb back on top.

“We had the ball and the lead and just made mistakes,” Roy said. “They [Johnson] tried to pick up the pace and we tried to play faster and faster, and that’s just not our game. We got away from what was working and what built our lead.”

The game remained close throughout the fourth quarter and Baker (team-high 14 points) hit a pair of free throws to narrow the Knights’ lead to 63-61 with 41.1 seconds left.

From there, though, West was shut out, and Finch pushed the Johnson lead out of reach.

“Once they went on a run we just couldn’t seem to get that momentum back,” Roy said. “They made all the big plays they needed to win the game.”

Chris Hickman was also in double-figures for West with 12 points, while Drees added 10. Johnson got the same scoring contributions from Brandon Finch (12) and Tre Dudley (10).

West will travel to East Hall to face the Vikings on Tuesday.