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Basketball: Denmark's strong 2nd half leads to win over Forsyth Central
02032023 DENMARK GBB
Denmark's Emma Hempker goes up for a shot against Forsyth Central during a Region 6-7A matchup Tuesday at home. (Photo by Jay Rooney Photography)

On Tuesday night, the Denmark Danes girls basketball team took care of Forsyth Central at home to complete the season sweep, 41-27.

Bulldog Emma Barnes got the first points in the region contest. Her spin move allowed her to get her floater to drop. The Danes weren’t making good shot selections due to the Bulldogs defense, resulting in multiple empty possessions. In contrast, the Bulldogs did not take advantage of the empty possessions. 

It wasn’t until the 3:40 mark Denmark got a basket to go in. Off the inbounds pass, Hannah Torralba spotted Mallory Bryk all alone, and she didn’t hesitate to knock down the mid-range jumper. 

Abby Lamm was the force for the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs were able to keep the game from not slipping away due to her ability to grab offensive rebounds. Although double-teamed, she grabbed two boards on one possession and finally banked in the layup on the third attempt.

In the final minute of the first quarter, multiple Bulldogs were trying to protect the paint to avoid an easy score. Naomi Manoj separated herself and launched a 3-pointer thanks to Kaitlyn Counter’s pass.

Both teams started the second quarter not in sync and were trading turnovers.

It started with the Bulldogs trying to run double screens with Lily DeLuca, but the ref blew his whistle and called a moving screen on Lamm. Nonetheless, the Danes turned the ball right over to the Bulldogs with a traveling violation. The turnover saga didn’t stop there. 

It was Emma Hempker’s steal that ended the Danes' offensive struggles. Her acceleration allowed her to outrun the Bulldogs defense and cap off the turnover by finishing at the rim.  

Central’s Hadley O'Hara was determined to attack her defender by aggressively backing her down. She was successful as she got the bucket for the and-1 to tie the game at 13.

In the late stages of the quarter, the Danes got an opportunity to break the tie heading into halftime thanks to Counter's steal, which ignited a fast break. While trying to scan the court, Counter found Bryk in the paint. Two Bulldogs forced a bad shot but ended up fouling. However, her missed free throws kept the game even at 13 entering halftime.

After the break, the Danes were able to score three consecutive buckets to start the second half on a high note. In response, O'Hara burst to the basket for a layup.

The Danes were trying to find their stroke from beyond the arc. After missing back-to-back 3-pointers, Hannah Golden connected from deep for a 22-18 cushion.

With four seconds remaining in the third quarter, the Danes drew up a play that led Bryk to shoot a corner 3 to beat the buzzer. The shot missed, but a foul sent her to the line to shoot three throws.

After a missed 3 from the Bulldogs, the Danes were patient with their shot selection. After swinging the ball around the arc,  Bryk made the final pass to Manoj for her second 3-pointer and extended the lead to 10. 

It didn’t take long for the Bulldogs to get a bucket of their own. DeLuca's drive to the rim drew the double team, and that’s when she bounced a pass to Hailey Berman for an easy layup.

It was a tight game in the fourth quarter with six points separating Denmark from Forsyth Central. However, Hannah Lopez got in a groove late to aid her team in running away with the game

With time on Denmark's side, the Bulldogs didn’t help their cause, as they went scoreless in the final 1:55 left of the quarter.

Denmark (6-17 3-5) will get back on the court on the road Feb. 3 at West Forsyth. Meanwhile, Central (4-18, 0-8) will host Lambert the same night.