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Basketball: East Forsyth collects first-ever home victories
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East Forsyth freshman Caroline Castleberry shoots a 3-pointer Tuesday during the Broncos' 66-10 win against Johnson-Gainesville. - photo by David Roberts

With 1:57 remaining in the second quarter, East Forsyth held a 47-3 lead over Johnson.

Yet, with the ball loose, three different Broncos were diving for it, and head coach Mike Hedrick sprinted toward the referee screaming for a timeout.

That play sums up what kind of game their 66-10 victory was in Broncos first-ever home game. The girls got their first win in program history on Saturday when they beat Lanier 46-24.

For Hedrick, that win was something to build from, not something to be satisfied with.

“We wanted to make sure we were better than we were Saturday against Lanier,” Hedrick said. “And one of the things we thought was we got up on Lanier, but then we stopped playing. So, it was important for us that we showed a little dog tonight and to keep on pushing the envelope. And I felt that we did that. If you watched us, in the third quarter our intensity was there just like the start of the game. We were still looking to do the right thing. We were able to get a lot out of tonight, and I’m proud of our girls pushing that way.”

East led 21-0 at the end of the first quarter and 47-3 at halftime before winning the game 66-10. Winning the way they have in their first two games in program history is quite the accomplishment, but the Broncos have their sights set much higher.

“We’re a brand-new school, but our expectations are not modest,” Hedrick said. “Our expectations are to be a high-level program out the gate. We’re just trying to do that, and today was a step in that direction.”

Every player played hard for the Broncos, which showed not just in the final score, but in their ability to force turnovers and create easy buckets for themselves.

“Alison Hiddema was very unselfish,” Hedrick said. “She’s normally a shooter for us, and she turned into an assist, driver, deflection, rebounder; and if she’s willing to do that, that’s going to take us to a whole other level. Ella Holbrook stands out. Hannah Kermicle, nobody will notice on the stat sheet, and she blew some layups, but she is always in the right spot defensively. From a team perspective, that helps us so much.”

Adeline Rosebush led all scorers with 18 points, and Holbrook added 14 points and five steals. Hiddema finished with eight points, 11 rebounds, five assists, and four steals, while Kermicle had five assists and six steals.

In the second game, the boys handled the Johnson Knights in large part because of their first-half shooting.

They moved the ball well and hit eight 3-pointers in the first half, as they led 49-15 at halftime and finished with a 75-42 victory.

Head coach Scott Bracco loved the way his team stepped up and got the job done in the first game in program history.

“I was extremely impressed and proud of my team tonight,” Bracco said. “I challenged them to play with passion and enthusiasm, and they accepted my challenge.”

With this being the first two varsity basketball games to be played at East Forsyth, it was an exciting time for the Broncos to lay a foundation for the program in front of a lot of fans.

“It was pretty special for the school and the student section and the parents and the players,” Bracco said. “We’ve been looking forward to this day since the summer, and we’re just lucky to come out of this with a victory tonight.”

Bryce Bracco stuffed the stat sheet with 14 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, and three steals. Ryan Sander had a game-high 18 points, and Davey Hyams added 16 points. Still, Scott Bracco was more proud of the way they played as a team than any individual performance.

“I was impressed with the 18 assists we had as a team,” Bracco said. “That’s the biggest thing that stands out to me. I felt like we shot the ball pretty well. We’ve got to become a little bit more disciplined on the defensive end, and we’re looking to get better for the next game.”

The girls moved to 2-0 and the boys are now 1-0 on the season. The girls have another home game at 5:30 p.m. Saturday against Etowah, and the boys will be back in action at 4:30 p.m. Monday against Sonoraville.