By Mackenzie Bates
For the Forsyth County News
Forsyth Central senior forward Dominic Patterson remembered the last time the Bulldogs faced North Forsyth.
“We didn’t come ready to play and they lit us up from three,” Patterson said. “Our ball pressure was terrible.”
That game, a 54-42 loss on Jan. 5 is a distant memory with a 55-40 win over their rivals to the North Tuesday night in Cumming.
“When we watched game film (Tuesday), we made a big emphasis on ball pressure and getting up to the shooters.”
The Dawg’s preparation paid off as North (5-14) was limited to just five points in the third quarter to propel Central (6-14) to their first home win of the season. Central had been 0-9 going in to last night’s contest.
“I thought we were really engaged defensively and communication was really good,” Bulldogs coach Greg Dirst said. “(North Forsyth) has some really good shooters and to hold them to just five points in the third quarter, to me, that was the difference in the game.”
As well as Central played defensively, Patterson’s offensive game played a role as well. He scored a game-high 18 points including 12 in the second half.
“He played a great game,” Dirst said of his senior. “His shot selection since the first game has really improved and he’s a master communicator out there. He makes sure everyone’s on the same page.”
Jackson Leak was right behind Patterson with 17 points, including a critical basket and the foul in the fourth quarter to squander a Raider run.
Central raced out to a 24-17 lead at halftime. Buckets by Patterson and Gray Bowline were part of a quick 8-0 run to push the lead to 15.
North Forsyth’s Braden Collins hit three straight three-point baskets that bled over in to the fourth quarter but some missed opportunities on the offensive end doomed the Raiders.
“We don’t have enough offense right now,” North coach Brian Moon said. “We forced a lot of stuff… we’re not going to win many games scoring 40 points.”
Collins finished with 12 points. Kellson Gravitt had 11 points.
North girls 65, Central 27
It’s not how you start but how you finish.
North Forsyth’s girls basketball team did not score a basket for the first four minutes of the game. From then on, it was all Lady Raiders as they defeated Forsyth Central 65-27 on Tuesday.
Lady Raiders coach Eric Herrick saw the opportunities to knock down shots were there, it was just a matter of staying patient.
“We needed a bucket to get in to our pressure and after Cat (Shope) hit some free throws and it allowed to set up our press.”
“We got a lot easy scoring chances after that.”
North (19-2) crashed the offensive boards, grabbing 21 “50-50” balls for 25 second-chance points.
“We’ve talked a lot to our team about getting extra possessions,” Herrick said. “Even kids that aren’t filling up the stat sheet with points, we tell them they can always get us some extra possessions.”
“The focus was getting offensive rebounds.”
Grabbing rebounds is something Forsyth Central coach Angela Hurt is trying to get her team to do.
“That’s been one of our key weak spots in the fact that where sometimes we’re not as athletic as some other teams and so we really have to focus on boxing out and getting in better position.”
Forsyth Central (9-12) did not score a field goal until 6:22 left in the third quarter, a basket from Carson Cloud. The Lady Bulldogs offense got going from there, scoring 19 points to start the second half. They hit four-three point baskets, two by Ansley Carver.
“Whenever the tempo is a little bit slower, we are a little more comfortable in that type of setting and it showed in the third quarter,” Hurt said.
Shope led all scorers with 18 points. Kate Perryman scored 11 points while Caroline Martin chipped in with 10 points.
Carver had six points while Sophie Kurtz and Elizabeth Pruitt each scored five points.