The North Forsyth boys basketball team completed the season sweep over Jackson County with a 63-25 win Friday night at home.
“We talked about effort before the game,” Raiders head coach David Sokol said. "We had some success against them last time in certain defenses, so we tried to do the same thing and we got some turnovers [and] deflections.”
The Panthers won the tip-off, and it took a while for the offense to get in sync. With four seconds left on the shot clock, Jackson County threw up a 3 but missed.
However, the visitors grabbed the offensive rebound, but North Forsyth’s block leader Cole Kirouac was there to swat it away.
The Raiders took no time to get on the board after that with Kal-El Delgadillo hitting his defender with a fadeaway mid-range shot.
The Raiders started to full-court press the Panthers, and Braden Mullis was able to jump in the passing lane for a steal. He tried to hammer a dunk home but was met at the rim, which resulted in a foul.
The Raiders continued to dominate and stopped the Panthers nine straight possessions, which led to an 18-0 run.
It wasn’t until 2:33 left that the Panthers finally got their first points with Channing Marciano passing it to Jaiden Holmes. Despite that, the Raiders came with a 3-pointer of their own on Brogen Casey’s shot.
Kirouac was inserting his paint presence early. On one possession, Kirouac was being triple-teamed after grabbing the offensive rebound. It was his height advantage that gave him a clear look at the rim for the bucket to cash in the second-chance points.
It was the final minute of the first quarter when Sokol put in a whole new lineup. Their ability to follow the ball didn’t let the Panthers get the last shot, as they trailed 26-5 at the end of the first quarter.
The play that hyped up the crowd in the second quarter was when Brayden Turner had a clear cut to the rim and did a one-hand tomahawk dunk for a 31-7 lead.
Marciano finally broke the cold slump for the Panthers with a mid-range shot.
After a fast start of scoring 28 points in the first quarter, the Raiders offense slowed a bit but still outscored the Panthers by an 11-6 margin heading to halftime.
Panther Logan Tullis finished at the rim with ease to open the second half.
After making a defensive stop, they aimed to score again, but Kirouac blocked two Panthers. On the other end, despite the double-team, he banked in a layup.
Mullis was the one to get the next dunk in the game, stealing the ball and dunking it with authority on a fast-break transition.
Temidayo Akinrinmade replaced Kirouac to protect the paint, and he didn’t disappoint by getting two blocks on back-to-back possessions.
The fourth quarter wasn’t much different from the last three for the Raiders, as the second and third units kept giving the Panthers a tough time scoring the ball.
Kirouac led the Raiders in scoring with 12, and Mullis along with Will Sokol scored 11 points, respectively.
Girls: North Forsyth 81, Jackson County 13
The North Forsyth girls showed how dominant they are in Region 8-6A in an 81-13 win against Jackson County Friday night at home, completing the season sweep.
“The defense did a great job," Raiders head coach Brad Kudlas said. "One of the hardest things to do is keep up the intensity on the defense, and the girls did a great job on that.”
Not only did the Raiders score a season-high in points but also they improved to 9-1 at home.
“They play for each other,” Kudlas said on what makes the Raiders dominant at home. "You see it on the scorebook we shared the ball. The girls are doing a great job of the ‘One more pass.’ Very unselfish basketball, and it's awesome to see."
With an 11-0 run to open the game, the Raiders took control and never looked back. As the first quarter came to an end, the home team had a 14-2 lead.
It was careless mistakes by Jackson County that fed the Raiders' momentum. The full-court pressure definitely took a toll on the visitors' offense. The Raiders were quick to get to the ball whether it was crashing the boards or putting consistent pressure on the ball-handlers.
Hanna Mahoney gave the Panthers some offensive power by scoring on back-to-back possessions.
The Raiders began the first possession with Meredith Franklin making a 3 at the top of the key. The Panthers tried to respond back with a mid-range shot wby Chandler Y. Blake, but it hit the backboard, starting a fast break for the Raiders.
As the Raiders scored 20 points, the Panthers were held scoreless in the third quarter — although in the fourth they scored seven.
Emma Rose, Abby Tarver, Gabbie Gliatta and Sophia Parks each contributed to scoring for the Raiders.
Erin Whalen had her way, scoring a team-high in points with 18, and Lindsey Pirkle, along with Gliatta, had 10 points.
Girls: North Forsyth 79, Shiloh 25
North Forsyth continued its march towards the No. 1 seed in Region 8-6A with a blowout win over Shiloh Saturday in Gwinnett County.
The Raiders improved to 8-1 in the region and 16-6 overall with a 79-25 romp past the Generals.
London Weaver recorded 18 points. Erin Whalen posted 16 points, and Josie Cheatham added a dozen.
Boys: Shiloh 67, North Forsyth 53
The North Forsyth boys couldn't complete the season sweep of Shiloh, dropping a 67-53 decision Saturday on the road.
Brayden Turner paced the Raiders with 12 points. Will Sokol chipped in 11 points, and Cole Kirouac finished with 10 points.
With the loss, North Forsyth fell to 13-9 overall and 5-4 in Region 8-6A.