Denmark’s boys basketball team has immediately made itself known during its inaugural season.
The Danes’ success has certainly come in region play, but it's also come against against their Forsyth County neighbors, beating West Forsyth and Forsyth Central earlier this season. But one notable team eluded them — South Forsyth, the school Denmark drew all its players from.
On Saturday, Denmark avenged their early-season loss to the War Eagles, as the Danes utilized a suffocating defense to pull away in the second half for a 62-35 win.
“Us all coming from South, it’s that rivalry that we have,” Ze’Vian Capers said. “We came out with that fire. We played a collective game together.”
With the victory, the Danes completed their county slate having defeated three of those four opponents at least once, with Pinecrest Academy being the only squad they couldn’t secure a win against. The victory also extended Denmark’s winning streak to eight games.
“I wish I knew the formula because I wish I could push that button every night,” Denmark boys coach Tyler Whitlock said. “I think our guys have settled in and really have started to buy into what we’re trying to do.”
Sutton Smith got Denmark started on the right foot, connecting on three shots with two three-point plays and a shot off a turnover to pace the Danes to a 10-2 lead with three minutes left in the first.
South’s Devin McGlockton found some early shots under the basket for South, but Denmark did an effective job throughout the game locking down the paint, forcing missed shots and coming away with two blocks in the first quarter. During Denmark’s 74-50 loss to South, McGlockton was an issue for them, and they were determined not to let him have his way again.
“Last time we played them, he had a field day and he did whatever he wanted to do,” Whitlock said. “He’s a heck of a player. Tonight, we knew that if we were going to have a chance, we had to really make sure he worked for everything that he got. We did a really good job of doing that.”
Despite the struggles inside, the War Eagles were able to draw closer, with the Danes leading 15-8 heading into the second period. Behind some shots from Ze’Vian Capers to start the third, though, the Danes put together a 7-0 run to start the second half. The Danes continued to take advantage of turnovers, and were clicking offensively.
South’s Ethan Underwood connected on two consecutive threes early in the fourth, but it was not nearly enough to make up for South’s ineffectiveness under the basket.
“We didn’t make shots, they got the 50/50 balls, we turned the ball over too much,” South boys coach Scott Givens said. “We shot the ball really well the first time (we played them). We didn’t shoot the ball well today. We’re a little too reliant on our inside game right now.”
Smith and Capers totaled 17 and 16 points for Denmark. McGlockton led the War Eagles with 17.
South Forsyth girls 60, Denmark 14
The War Eagles jumped out to a 13-2 lead with 3:21 left in the first quarter, and the Danes never made it much of a contest after that, with South holding a dominating 36-9 lead at the half.
Ashley Breindl and Sophie Rosin scored 19 and 15 points for South, respectively. Leah Kelly led Denmark with four points.