Lambert’s student section, quiet (on purpose) until the Longhorns scored their 10th point, exploded when Artese Gatlin’s steal-and-layup put them up 10-9. South Forsyth threw the ball away and out of bounds seconds later, prompting War Eagles coach Manson Hill to call timeout, but Lambert was off to the races.
Ross Morkem scored 27 and grabbed 11 rebounds in three quarters of action for Lambert, which pulled away in a dominant second quarter and eased past South, 67-40, for a fifth straight region win.
Thomas McClellan and Aaron Schmitz had 10 points apiece for South. The War Eagles lost guard Zach Sewing to what looked an arm injury after just 30 seconds of Friday’s contest.
"We came out and played steady," Lambert (14-3 overall, 9-1 Region 6-AAAAAA) coach Scott Bracco said. "We didn’t have a fast start, but it wasn’t slow. It was a great atmosphere. I told the guys, play under control, and we gained momentum as the game went on."
South (4-10, 4-5) had the better of the early exchanges, but the War Eagles couldn’t push their lead any bigger than four points, even as Lambert missed its first five shots from the field.
After Gatlin’s layup gave Lambert its first lead at 10-9, it was as if the Horns’ switch had been flipped. Morkem caught an alley-oop pass from Tanner Hall for a layup, Andrew Melms hit a floater and later a 3-pointer, and Morkem then capped what was a 28-6 run with an offensive rebound and putback for a 33-15 Lambert lead.
"I think as a whole we do a great job crashing the boards," Bracco said. "We expect every game to do that collectively and it got us going tonight."
The Longhorns forced 12 South turnovers in the first half and 23 overall, though Lambert starters sat most of the fourth quarter—nearly a mirror image of the girls game earlier Friday evening, except, of course, with different winners.
Twelve different players scored for Lambert, and the Horns cruised despite quiet scoring nights from starters Tanner Hall, Connor Mannion and Jake Morris.
Lambert boys 67, South Forsyth 40
South Forsyth 9 8 12 11_40
Lambert 13 24 19 11_67
South Forsyth: McClellan 10, Schmitz 10, McCorkle 6, Smith 6, Strall 5, Cole 3.
Lambert: Morkem 27, Bell 6, Craven 6, Gatlin 6, Melms 5, Noble 4, Lancaster 3, Ganote 2, Hall 2, Mannion 2, McSwain 2, Morris 2.