What: North Forsyth girls basketball at Lambert
When: Friday, 6 p.m., Lambert High School
At this moment last season, South Forsyth and West Forsyth had already asserted themselves as the teams to beat, not only in Forsyth County but in Region 6-6A. Lambert and North Forsyth were left pushing up at a ceiling that wouldn’t budge.
The latter programs are at the top of the ladder this time.
North will visit Lambert tonight in a contest between the early elite in Region 5-7A. The Lady Raiders boast a 9-1 record—the only loss was at home against Archer where they led 16-2 before falling by 12 points. Lambert, which has some glimmer this season while playing for the expecting-mother Jaime Fisher, has not yet lost at 8-0 and is currently ranked No. 2 in Class 7A by MaxPreps.com. Those rankings give a lot of merit to statistical results and may not have a complete grasp on the overall quality of opponents from area to area, but there’s little reason to doubt the Lady Longhorns at this moment.
After all, Fisher’s team looks significantly well-rounded compared to last year’s squad, and the proof is in the scoring margin: Lambert is winning games right now by an average of 21.5 points. It’s coming off a 66-28 win on Tuesday against Centennial and is averaging a healthy 58.75 points per game. That’s 12 points more than last year’s squad through the entirety of its 11-game season.
So what changed?
“We have players really coming into their own and stepping up. All over the court,” Fisher said.
The makeup of last season’s team had a lot to do with the scoring ability of guard Molly Williams, but now more production is coming from players like point guard Summer Edwards, wing M.E. Craven and post Jaleah Greene. Katie Schwind—like her track-star brothers—has added energy and endurance that seeps into the psyche of her teammates.
So far Fisher has gotten exactly what she’s wanted from her crew, but there wasn’t a feeling that it all had to come together that fast before the season. Their hope was that by this time they would be ready for region play. Now there’s somewhat of a recalibration about what this team can do.
“There’s always expectations, but you just never know what’s going to happen,” Fisher said. “I think right now we’re just doing a very good job executing what we want defensively, and that makes things easier for us on the other end.”
North is winning in a much more different manner—the gritty girls from Coal Mountain are winning despite a 46.4 scoring average, with a 8.9-point margin of victory. Four of the team’s wins have come down to six points or less. Most recently they won a 35-27 grinder against Roswell. While the Longhorns are running, the Lady Raiders are slowing things down.
Something will have to give tonight.