Parker Biederer had 17 points and eight rebounds but it wasn’t enough as Forsyth Central boys’ basketball fell victim to a fourth-quarter onslaught by Sequoyah in a 62-50 loss in the Region 7-AAAAA Tournament on Wednesday at home.
Sequoyah advances to the region semifinals Friday, while Central ends its season at 12-16.
The Bulldogs faced long odds against the Chiefs, the top team from 7-AAAAA, Div. A, but Central also had hope; the Bulldogs played the Chiefs close in a 78-69 loss Nov. 28.
Sequoyah led comfortably for two-and-a-half quarters, pushing its lead to 38-24 with just over four minutes left in the third quarter. But Central responded, going on an 8-2 run to cut the Chiefs’ lead to 40-32 at the end of the third quarter.
It all felt apart from there. Within 30 seconds of the fourth quarter starting, Sequoyah’s Hunter Gaddis (22 points, six rebounds, five blocks) made a backdoor layup and junior standout Jordan Usher (12 points) hit a deep 3.
Central head coach Greg Dirst called a timeout, but to no avail. Usher promptly got a steal and finished on the other end with an emphatic one-handed dunk. A transition layup by Jake Sunday gave Sequoyah its largest lead of the game at 49-32 and seemed to sink Central’s hopes.
“That’s not the start we wanted in the fourth quarter,” Dirst said. “We didn’t play well. They played well. We didn’t shoot the ball extremely well. Got to give them credit. They were a physical team. We were kind of just hanging around. I was hoping we could cut into it at the beginning of the fourth quarter. They went on whatever it was. We just couldn’t match them.”
The loss meant to end for seniors Braden Ragsdale, Cale Jackson, Monty Kurtz (10 points), Preston Burgess and Jon Richards, and a future in the newly created Class AAAAAAA where the Bulldogs will compete in Region 5 with county foes Lambert, North Forsyth, South Forsyth and West Forsyth.
“I told them 12 wins is a lot,” Dirst said. “It’s the most we’ve had here in a while. Down the stretch we played for third place in our side. … We needed a season like this where we played a game like this on our home floor. It helps those younger guys. Hopefully they can work, and we go into that AAAAAAA next year, which I think is going to be a blast.”