Rare is the team that can shake off a sleepy start and a second-quarter deficit with an air of studied nonchalance, as if to say, ‘ah, we’ll get around to it eventually.’ Rarer still is the team that can do so, and still win by 29.
To wit: the Lambert boys’ trip to North Forsyth on Tuesday evening. The Longhorns scored just nine points in the first quarter and trailed by as many as eight in the second quarter after Nick Cunningham’s deep 3-pointer for North.
And yet, within minutes, the Raiders found themselves down by double-digits — and counting. Thirty second-quarter points later, Lambert was up 13 at half. The Longhorns improved to 15-3 overall and 10-1 in Region 6-AAAAAA with a 73-44 win in Coal Mountain.
“We decided in the second quarter to play harder, with more intensity, and we got better results,” Lambert coach Scott Bracco said.
Sophomore guard Andrew Melms and junior Tanner Hall each scored 15 points for the Horns, and Patrick Noble added 14. Hall scored 11 in a row, including back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers, during an 18-2 second-quarter run.
Dakota Holtzclaw led North with 11 points, though he sat out much of the fourth quarter; Cunningham finished with 10 and Chad Bureau tallied eight points.
Lambert’s second unit — Artese Gatlin, Tre Bell, even Noble — jolted the Horns’ press to life, Bracco said. The Longhorns dominated on the glass, too, to the tune of a 42-22 advantage.
Will Craven punctuated Lambert’s win with a fourth-quarter dunk, drawing maybe the loudest whoops of the night from the Horns’ bench.
Lambert boys 73, North Forsyth 44
Lambert 9 30 22 12_73
North Forsyth 12 14 10 8_44
Lambert: Melms 15, Hall 15, Noble 14, Morris 7, Morkem 6, Bell 5, McSwain 4, Ganote 3, Craven 2, Gatlin 2.
North Forsyth: Holtzclaw 11, Cunningham 10, Bureau 8.