Niko Wilson’s 28 points were enough for the Lambert Longhorns boys basketball team to hold off a scoring outburst by the West Forsyth Wolverines to leave Tuesday night with a 73-61 win.
Although the host Wolverines didn’t start with a basket on their first possession, Braden Halloran stole the ball and sank a triple with a grill in his face. Lambert scored shortly after with Cam Bland tipping the ball in for the first of his 17 points.
The West Forsyth defense let Wilson slip away, and the senior knocked down his second 3 of the game.
The Longhorns were getting active on the offensive boards. On one possession, Lambert missed its initial shot, and one of the Longhorns tried to tip it. The shot rolled in and out, and that’s when Bland tipped it in.
Down 18-16, the Wolverines had the ball for the last shot of the first quarter. Sam Maynard cut to the rim and tried to lay the ball in, but the ref blew his whistle. Maynard thought it was a defensive foul, but the ref issued a charging call.
Bland demonstrated his strength in the paint. Instead of dribbling with this mismatch, he decided to post up the Wolverine. After pivoting his foot, he used a spin move to gain the advantage to put the ball in the hoop.
The Longhorns defense came out of the gate firing on all cylinders. They were putting pressure on the off-ball handlers, disrupting West Forsyth’s offensive series. The Longhorns were getting active by crashing the boards and forcing the Wolverines to turn the ball over.
In the second half, the Longhorns pushed their lead past double-digits with James Tyre catching the ball and hitting a triple from the wing for three of his 14 points to grow the lead to 41-30.
The Longhorns kept up with their defensive intensity in the third quarter, which allowed them to outscore the Wolverines 20-11 in the third.
During the fourth quarter, everything went right for the Wolverines. Chase Damerell, Maynard and Lachlan Povenz were trying to will their team to victory by outscoring them 33-17. However with time on Lambert’s side, West Forsyth had dug itself in too deep of a hole to overcome at home.
Maynard paced the Wolverines with 20 points and five rebounds. Damerell finished with 12 points and nine boards.Brandon Goldberger added 11 points, while Povenz contributed 10 points and seven assists.
Lambert (14-7, 4-2 Region 6-7A) will travel to play Milton on Jan. 24, looking to sweep the Eagles. Meanwhile, the Wolverines (7-14, 1-5) will face the Forsyth Central Bulldogs the same night, hoping to avenge a previous defeat and snap a six-game losing skid.