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Basketball: Broncos falter late in home loss to Titans
East Forsyth's Bryce Bracco drives through the lane under pressure from North Oconee defenders during a Region 8-4A matchup Tuesday at home. (Photo by Nicholas Sullivan)

The East Forsyth boys basketball team trailed through most of the first three quarters but hung around enough to enter the final period on even terms with North Oconee Tuesday at home.

In the Region 8-4A battle, the visiting Titans scored the first six points of the fourth quarter before the Broncos reeled off an 8-0 run to set up a back-and-forth final three minutes.

Despite holding a one-point lead and having possession, East Forsyth couldn't hold off North Oconee in a 43-40 loss that saw the Broncos miss a game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Matthew Rouse, who finished with 18 points and five rebounds, scored all of East Forsyth's points in the first quarter, when North Oconee held a 14-6 advantage. Rouse went scoreless in the second quarter, but 3s by Tyler Lesch and Bryce Bracco — the latter a buzzer-beater — kept the Broncos within 20-14 at halftime.

Davey Hyams, who posted seven boards, carried the offensive load in the third quarter, scoring all 10 of his points in the period. Hyams' contribution, combined with four points by Rouse, allowed East Forsyth (4-6, 1-3) to tie the game at 28-all.

Rouse went 8-for-8 at the foul line in the final stanza, with the final two of those free throws giving the Broncos a 40-39 lead with 1:36 remaining.

From there, it was all Titans.

North Oconee took the lead on a layup with 30 seconds to go and tacked on two free throws with 10.9 ticks left.

East Forsyth had a chance to send the game to overtime, but an uncontested trey from the right corner wouldn't fall.