Back in September, the county’s newest high school got a leg up on the county’s oldest by earning a slim victory in football.
On Saturday, Denmark High School added boys basketball to its list of bragging rights, with its first-year squad defeating Forsyth Central 64-36. It was the second county win the Danes have earned this season after beating West Forsyth in their season opener on Nov. 13.
“Every time you play in-county, you want to beat your rival schools,” Denmark boys coach Tyler Whitlock said. “I was proud of how hard we played. That team is very well-coached. I was happy to see our guys execute what we were trying to do.”
Unlike the game against the Wolverines, though, Denmark’s tilt against Central was much more one-sided. The Bulldogs initially took the first lead, but Ze’Vian Capers put the Danes in front 6-5 with four minutes left in the first quarter.
Jake Craft added a three for Central later in the quarter, but that was quickly answered by another by Denmark. With 1:50 left in the first quarter, Adonnis Tolbert secured a momentum-shifting play for the Danes, blocking a Central shot and taking it uncontested for a dunk.
“It was an adrenaline moment,” Tolbert said. “As I was coming down the court, all I was looking at was the rim.”
Fouls did not help Central either, with the Bulldogs racking up eight by the end of the first quarter to Denmark’s one. Up 24-7 at the end of the quarter, the Danes’ offense was clicking, but that wasn’t where that success stemmed from.
“It really started on the defensive end,” Tolbert said. “We were trying to make sure that we all communicate defensively. We got easy buckets off the transition. Once you wear them out, even if they do come down, you’ve just got to be patient and wait for a chance to get a good bucket.”
Denmark’s Joseph Scott began the second quarter with a 3, beginning an 11-1 run for the Danes to start the period. The shots just weren’t falling for Central, with the Bulldogs getting their first field goal of the quarter with 3:32 left until halftime. Denmark outscored Central 16-3 in the second, and entered the locker room with a very comfortable 42-13 lead.
Jackson Leak gave Central a strong start to the second half by connecting on two jumpers, but the Bulldogs never came close to denting the Danes’ sizable lead down the stretch.
The Danes are not sure if the expectations of their brand-new team have changed with the early-season wins. But at 5-2 overall, their heads are high heading into their first region game against Chestatee next week.
“I think they’re hungry to prove themselves and I think that they understand what we’re trying to do,” Whitlock said. “I don’t think they’re quite there yet, but we’re getting there.”
Sutton Smith led Denmark with 15 points, while Tolbert ended the game with 12. Craft and Leak finished with eight and five points for Central, respectively.
Forsyth Central girls 72, Denmark 25
Central’s girls were bigger and more experienced than their Denmark counterparts, and it showed in nearly every facet of their matchup on Saturday.
Denmark scored the first points, but Central immediately matched their opponents and went on a 13-0 run throughout the first quarter, beginning with a 3 from Jillian Bretz. She led the Bulldogs in scoring in the first half with 15 points.
Central led 42-13 at the halfway point, and Denmark’s fortunes did not get much better in the second half, with the Bulldogs cruising to the win by beating the Danes on the glass and taking advantage of plenty of Denmark turnovers.