By Robert Alfonso Jr.
FCN Regional Staff
FLOWERY BRANCH — East Forsyth's girls basketball team kept pace in an increasingly demanding Region 7-3A race Wednesday with a 56-51 win against Flowery Branch.
Allison Hiddema knocked down a pair of clutch fourth-quarter 3-pointers for the Broncos, who are eyeing a playoff appearance in their inaugural season.
Cherokee Bluff managed to cut its deficit to three points with 3:30 left to play, but that’s when Hiddema knocked down a pair of shots beyond the 3-point line.
Hiddema had a team-high 17 points for the Broncos, while Hailey Hiddens added 12 points.
“To be able to come on the road and win is big,” East Forsyth coach Mike Hedrick said. “We had players make some clutch plays.”
The game, originally scheduled for Tuesday, was pushed back a day because of Sunday’s winter storm.
Timber Gaither led the Bears' late rally, knocking down a few open jumpers and drives to the basket to cut down the double-digit lead at the midway mark of the final quarter.
Gaither finished with a game-high 19 points, while her freshman sister Taliah Gaither added 12 points.
East [13-5, 6-3 Region 7-3A] is currently third in the region race. First-place Lumpkin County, second-place White County and fourth-place North Hall each won their first game this week, making East's road win at Cherokee Bluff all the more imperative.
The Broncos are back in action at 7 p.m. Friday at Dawson County.
CHEROKEE BLUFF BOYS 71, EAST FORSYTH 58
East Forsyth's boys basketball team couldn't complete the season sweep against Cherokee Bluff on Wednesday, falling to the Bears 80-63.
Defensive intensity, mixed with some offensive output helped the Bears split the regular season series against the Broncos. East won 80-63 Dec. 10.
Matthew Rouse led the Broncos with a game-high 18 points.
Five Cherokee Bluff players were in double figures, led by Cade Simmons, who finished with a team-high 14 points. Jhace Justice and Logan Holmes scored 11 points apiece for the Bears. Carlos Marlow and Justyce Sadler each added 10 points.
East [7-12, 3-6 Region 7-3A] will travel to Dawson County at 8:30 p.m. Friday.