By Josh Holland
For the Forsyth County News
Forsyth Central needed a spark early Tuesday after getting off to a slow, sloppy start against West Forsyth.
Senior Elizabeth Pruitt stepped up and dominated the paint, scoring Central’s first eight points of the game. She went on to finish the game with a double-double, scoring 18 points and logging 16 rebounds.
Central’s clear height advantage helped the Bulldogs spoil West’s senior night, as the Bulldogs won 55-45 as region play winds down.
Central (15-6, 5-2 Region 5-7A) never lost its early lead, despite several attempts at a comeback by the Wolverines. By halftime, Central had a 10-point lead thanks to West’s sloppy play, as they constantly turned the ball over and gave up several offensive rebounds.
In the third quarter, West (17-5, 5-2 Region 5-7A) came alive behind a scoring drive sparked by Calie Thrower’s back-to-back threes. By the beginning of the third quarter, Central’s lead was down to 44-38 and West’s momentum promised a nail-biting finish.
However, Central quickly opened up a comfortable lead in the opening stages of the final quarter and took care of the ball and played solid defense to see out the win.
Forsyth Central head coach Angela Hurt praised her girls' effectiveness at closing out the game.
“We played smarter," she said. "We took care of the ball, which sometimes has caused us the losses we’ve had just like last Tuesday at North. Our goal was just to play smart and take care of the ball and try to limit our turnovers”
Hurt also explained how Pruitt’s dominant performance has been in the making after her recovery from an injury earlier in the season.
“Last time we played them she was coming off of a sprained ankle, and really hadn’t played in a week when we played them," Hurt said, "so we were hoping that her presence inside was going to make a difference.”
With the region playoffs right around the corner, the win keeps Central's destiny in its own hands as the Bulldogs travel to North on Friday to try to keep their chances of being one of the top seeds in the region tournament alive.
West head coach David May explained that his team’s focus ahead of the postseason has to be on the defensive side of the ball.
“Defensively, we’re just really struggling right now," May said. "We’re a step slow all over the place. We’re slow getting over on the backside to help and offensively we broke loose a little in the third quarter, but we just couldn’t put enough stops together to put a run together.”