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Basketball: North Forsyth Lady Raiders suffer first loss against talented Archer
North boys keep close with Archer
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Forsyth County News

North Forsyth had all of the momentum early, but couldn’t hold off a talented Archer team in a 55-43 loss at home Tuesday night.

The Lady Raiders (8-1) entered hoping to remain undefeated, which would mean a victory against a team that has contented for a state championship in the past few seasons.

“We wanted that game,” North head coach Eric Herrick said. “We knew coming into this game that we may be undefeated, so this was a big test for us to see where we are as a team. We’ll only learn from it and we hope to see that team again.”

North jumped out to a 16-2 after Amber Jones his her third 3-pointer of the first half. At that point, early in the second quarter, the Lady Raiders looked to be in control, but there was no doubting that the talented Lady Tigers (5-2) would have a run of their own. Archer outscored North 30-9 to take a 32-25 lead into the final period.

Asia McCoy led the way for Archer, scoring 26 points and logging four steals, while center Autumn Newby grabbed 10 rebounds, had five assists and scored nine points.

Archer took its first lead on the first field goal of the third quarter, 19-18, on one of McCoy’s nine field goals.

“I mean, just looking at that team, you would think we wouldn’t stand a chance,” Herrick said. “They had a huge size advantage but we managed to play hard.”

Arguably in hindsight, North’s downfall could have been an 8-of-20 clip at the charity stripe. Those 12 points were the eventual difference in the game.

“We’ve been working on free throws all year, we have been struggling with them,” Herrick said.

Freshman Caroline Martin led the Lady Raiders with 13 points, four rebounds, two steals and an assist, while Jones finished with 12 points and three steals. Maddie Palmer added three rebounds, two assists and two steals, while Cassie Markle grabbed six rebounds but had a modest five points.

The Lady Raiders will return to action on Saturday at 4 p.m. against Roswell at home before playing their first region game of the year, next Friday, at Lambert. 

Archer boys 50, North 34

The Raiders put a scare into the Tigers, but eventually struggled to find the basket for too long of stretches in the second half. 

North trailed just 22-21 at halftime against an Archer team that boasted length and size, despite a 2-5 record coming into the game. North jumped out to an 11-8 lead at the end of the first quarter when Preston Wiggins hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer. Wiggins finished with 10 points, while Connor Stephenson added nine including a 3-pointer of his own.

Sophomore point guard Jonathan Pefanis also showed off moments of brilliance. He scored just four points, but was active with assists, steals and rebounds. 

The Raiders (3-6) fell behind by 10 for the first time with 3:20 in the third quarter, 34-24. They scored ten points in the final period thanks to field goals. 

"Archer has length and made it tough against their zon," North head coach Brian Moon said. "But we've got to make more basketball plays. We've got a long way to go as a team right now."