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Basketball: Bracco, Rouse set pace as East Forsyth buries Bears
East Forsyth sophomore Cannon Hunter puts up a shot in traffic Friday during the Broncos' 80-63 win against Cherokee Bluff. - photo by David Roberts

Bryce Bracco didn't need much time to score. Just the 1.4 seconds that were on the clock. 

It was enough time for a sharp inbounds pass to find Bracco, and it was also enough time for Bracco's 3-point shot to quickly leave his hands and find the bottom of the net, beating the first-quarter buzzer and granting East Forsyth a six-point lead. 

East Forsyth set a pace that was impossible to match Friday in a 80-63 win against Cherokee Bluff. The Broncos nailed five 3-pointers in the first quarter alone and shot 61 percent [11-for-18] from beyond the arc.

Bracco led the team with six 3-pointers on nine attempts, scoring a game-high 29 points. Matthew Rouse shot 60 percent from the field and added a couple of treys of his own to finish with 25 points.

"Bryce and Matthew are both doing a great job," East head coach Scott Bracco said. "They bring great leadership to the team off the court and in the locker room. They've been playing very well with each other and working off each other. I think we have other guards that are playing really well with them, so at times we can be a matchup problem — even though we are lacking some size."

Cherokee Bluff cut East's lead to three points when Jhace Justice drilled a 3-pointer to open the second quarter, but another 3-pointer from Davey Hyams and back-to-back turnovers that led to a pair of Rouse layups pushed the East lead to double digits. 

Rouse finished with 12 points in the quarter, attacking the rim and finding creative ways around the Bears' post players.

"We train our guards to be playmakers," Bracco said. "We put a lot of time into skill work. They were able to make some good plays tonight."

Louie Koulouvaris had five assists, four rebounds and two steals, but his reverse layup in traffic might have been his most impressive play. 

"Louie is a student of the game," Bracco said. "He's really bought in to our style of play. We have some juniors that have really mentored him, and I'm proud of the way that all the guys are working together in that aspect."

East led 40-26 at halftime and grew that lead to 20 points by the end of the third quarter after an 11-0 run that began with a Rouse 3 and ended with a Bracco 3. 

Eight different players logged at least one rebound, led by Gavin Scheu's 12 boards. 

"Gavin's an undersized post player for us," Bracco said. "He works his tail off every night."

East [4-4, 1-1 Region 7-3A] will host Dawson County at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.