On Friday, the East Forsyth girls basketball team hosted a Region 8-4A matchup against North Hall. Just like their first meeting, it was a thrilling game that was decided on the final possession that East had.
Senior Adeline Rosebush got the space she needed to knock down a mid-range shot, but the ball fell short as North Hall won 58-55 and split the season series.
North Hall began its night with a long possession but couldn’t come up with a basket. However, a traveling violation gave North Hall the ball right back. Yet, the Trojans still couldn't get in the groove to score.
It wasn’t until senior Rylee Thompson’s triple that the Trojans finally got on the board with an open 3-pointer
The paint was cluttered with multiple Trojans looking for a stop. The Broncos made it work when Hannah Kermicle passed to Hailey Hiddema who finished the play in traffic. Then after East Forsyth made a defensive stop, North Hall forgot how lethal Ella Holbrook could be from beyond the arc, as she drilled a 3-pointer.
Ayla Heard sparked an 8-0 run. She was able to pick a North Hall player's pocket, and once Heard got the ball to Holbrook, the senior immediately fired away another 3. North Hall immediately called a timeout.
The timeout indeed helped get points on the board. Freshman center Genesis Satterfield got fouled while trying to put the ball in the hoop after grabbing an offensive rebound. Her free throws ended the scoring slump.
In the final 10 seconds of the first quarter, North Hall got a 3-pointer to fall thanks to Amelia Shoemaker’s assist. Although, Heard scored quickly to beat the buzzer to end the first quarter with a 16-11 advantage.
To start the second quarter, Nora Swafford forced a turnover by recording a steal. The fast break ended with Hiddema feeding Heard for another 3-pointer and again North Hall called a timeout.
What the Broncos did not know was that the timeout changed the tone of the second quarter, with North Hall going on an 11-0 run, including 3s from Lexi Jarrard and Thompson.
Rosebush snapped the cold streak with a layup despite being double-teamed.
However, North Hall outscored the Broncos 23-11 in the quarter and went into halftime up 34-26.
Hiddema and Heard were the key and engine for the Broncos, as they carried the load in the third quarter. After North Hall scored for a 10-point cushion, Heard resumed her 3-point attack with a trey to cut the deficit right back to single digits.
Then after making another stop, the offense settled and fed the ball Heard’s way, and she didn’t disappoint. Despite how well the Trojans defense was following the ball, the Broncos ran a play that freed her up for her third 3-pointer of the contest.
Later, Heard drove to the hoop but opted to kick the ball to the corner to Hiddema, who amped up the home crowd with a made 3 to retake the lead 38-37.
In a short time span, Jarrard kept the North Hall offense alive by grabbing the offensive rebound. The ball landed in Thompson’s hands, and she scored on a floater for another lead change.
Rosebush scored in the paint, and then Holbrook showed off her vertical by leaping in the air for a steal before finishing the fast break with ease.
The Broncos could not find their groove in the fourth quarter from deep. On one possession, they launched three 3s and still couldn’t cash in.
The last 30 seconds of the ballgame was determined by who could make the most free throws. The Trojans were already doing a fantastic job throughout the game from the line, but Holbrook's free throws tied the game at 55.
The Broncos had a chance to take the lead in the closing seconds, but Holbrook couldn’t get the floater to go due to being short.
The Trojans knew all they had to do was hit free throws and the game was theirs. It was their ability to knock free throws that prevented East Forsyth from making a bigger comeback, as they made 9 out of 10 free throws.
Jarrard scored the most with 16 points, right behind her was Satterfield with 15 points. Also, Thompson chipped in 13 points.
For East, Hiddema, Holbrook and Rosebush each contributed 11 points.
Boys: North Hall 76, East Forsyth 57
East Forsyth's boys basketball team was unable to earn a home victory against North Hall in a Region 8-4A matchup on Friday night, as they lost 76-57. The Broncos now drop to 5-6 at home.
Matthew Ray missed his first 3-point attempt on the opening possession, but after the Trojans prevented the Broncos from scoring, the ball landed in Ray’s again. This time, he was able to drill from the corner.
Louie Koulouvaris tried his luck from 3 after being left wide open and cashed in to tie it up.
As both teams traded baskets, neither team could draw a big enough separation. it was a turnover by the Broncos that gave Sam Gailey a clear cut to the rim and the Trojans a five-point cushion to end the quarter with a 19-14 lead.
After Cole Hulsey got by his defender to score, Cannon Hunter navigated his way into the paint. That’s where he encountered two Trojans, so he decided to score with a floater. Yet, the Broncos couldn’t stop the Trojans from scoring on their next possession, as Gailey scored again but on a wide-open 3-pointer.
It wasn’t too long before Gailey made a play on the ball, recording a steal that started a fast break and ended with Luke Sanders drilling his second 3-pointer.
Gailey posted the first and-1 of the game on his drive to the basket. Despite shooting free throws in front of the East Forsyth student section, he was able to knock them down to bump the lead to 30-22.
Only Matthew Rouse and Hunter were able to get their baskets to go into the hoop for the Broncos, who scored 12 points in the period compared to the Trojans’ 14. As such, North Hall had a 33-26 advantage going into halftime.
It was a tough third quarter for the Broncos, as they struggled to get by the Trojans defense. Korbyn Sosebee used his strength down low to get a good look at the rim, and once it opened, he laid the ball in for a 10-point advantage — the Trojans' biggest lead to that point.
Then after not scoring for two minutes, Gailey showcased his flashy moves with a behind-the-back pass to J.T. Chester. Rouse responded back by using his speed to slip by his defender for a layup.
The defense was having its way in the contest. Micah Jimerson drilled a wide-open 3, then Hulsey stole the ball away from Hunter and jogged his way to the rim for a 48-32 lead.
In the fourth quarter, the Broncos finally got out of the cold slump and exploded for 23 points.
Rouse was doing everything to power his team for a comeback, scoring nine of his 23 points in the fourth. Tyler Lesch came off the bench to give the Broncos some light from deep by making three 3-pointers.
However, it was North Hall's active hands and their ability to grab rebounds at crucial moments in the game that helped them make sure the Broncos did not get back into the game.