Rick Adle had never attempted bigger free throws in his career.
Adle, who had only practiced five times prior to the game due to the conclusion of the football season, stepped to the free-throw line with his team down one point with 9.4 seconds left in the fourth quarter, and calmly made both shots to give North Forsyth a one point lead over Creekview.
The Grizzlies moved the ball down the court and took a shot from about 10-feet away, but the ball rattled out of the rim to give the Raiders a 43-42 win on Wednesday at the Roswell Infiniti Classic at Raider Arena. The victory was North’s first of the season and snapped a 17-game losing streak dating back to the 2011-12 season.
Adle, a a 6-foot-3 senior, finished with a game-high 13 points.
"It was cool," Adle said. "I was pretty calm and I tried to gather myself and take it slow. I was a little nervous at first, but when I made the first one I was good."
But the Grizzlies (2-2) made it interesting.
Austin Graham gave Creekview a 42-41 lead when he connected on his first successful 3-pointer in the corner with 1:07 left on the clock.
North (1-2) quickly inbounded the ball and dribbled to the basket for a layup attempt, but Brandon Pressley came from behind and blocked the shot against the backboard with 17 seconds left. A scramble for the loose ball ensued and North retained possession. Adle sealed off his defender in the post and received the pass. He went in for the close-range shot, but was fouled in the act of shooting.
Adle was 1-for-2 prior to his last-second free throws. He scored 10 of his 13 points in the second half while controlling the post.
"I felt like I was in my zone," Adle said. "I was just feeling it. Everything seemed to be going in and I felt like I was able to dominate down low. I felt like once the third quarter started our team was able to lockdown and keep them from making any easy baskets."
Brandon Rapson also finished in double-figures with 10 points, while Creekview’s Beau Blackwell led his team with 10.
Coming off a three-win season, North head coach Brian Moon was proud to pick up an early victory.
"I’m proud of our guys," Moon said. "I needed that, my wife need that, we all needed that.
"[Creekview] can score, so it was a good team effort. We had some guys step up and guarded them really good. The last play [of the game] really worked out for us. We got lucky; our best defender was guarding their guy going to the [basket]."
Creekview was ahead 16-14 after the first quarter and pushed the lead to 31-21 halftime advantage.
The Raiders got back int he game with a 16-5 run in the third quarter that forced two timeouts from Creekview, neither of which stopped North from claiming a 37-36 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Both offenses stalled and scored six points apiece in the final quarter, but it was enough to give North the win.
"We need some more [wins]," Moon said with a cheek-to-cheek grin. "It gives us some confidence. We’ve had a three-win season for [the last two years], so it’s a good [win]. When you win nothing hurts and things are better. We just got to keep plugging away."
North Forsyth (girls) 54, Creekview 45
Lochlain Corliss took over in the fourth quarter.
The North sophomore scored 12 of her game-high 16 points in the final period to give the Lady Raiders a win over Creekview in the Roswell Infiniti Classic on Wednesday at Raider Arena.
"When it’s near the end of the game and the score’s close, I just turn it on," Corliss said. "I know we needed a team win and we have a streak of not losing back-to-back games, and I wasn’t about to let that happen."
North (2-1) hasn’t lost consecutive games since the 2010-11 season, but that streak was in jeopardy following a double overtime loss to Duluth on Tuesday.
The Lady Raiders trailed Creekview 37-33 at the end of the third quarter, but they tied the score at 40 with 5:30 left in regulation and never lost the lead.
The Lady Raiders were a perfect 10-for-10 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter, seven of which came with three minutes or less in regulation.
"We hadn’t been shooting [free throws] well," North head coach Eric Herrick said. "We’ve been really emphasizing [free throws] in practice. We know games for us are going to come down to loose balls, rebounds and free throws … the kids were confident, and stepped up and knocked them down.
"This group believes they are always in the game. We shoot it well, we handle it well and they never get too down … We’ve always been a come-from-behind team. We’re not scared of a little adversity."
Corliss, Caroline Bowns (16) and Kim Blake (11) combined to make up 80 percent of North’s points.
Lauren Johnson (16) and Emma Cook (12) were the only two Lady Grizzlies to reach double-figures.
The Lady Raiders jumped out to a quick 12-6 lead in the first quarter, forcing Creekview into four turnovers and finished the quarter ahead 14-11. North continued its strategy of ball pressure and caused 14 turnovers on the night.
North led 25-13 at the 5:44 mark in the second quarter, but Creekview (1-2) pieced together its own run of 12-2 to come within two points at the end of the half.
"We’re always getting in the huddle and telling each other that it’s our game, and everyone was pushing each other to win," Corliss said. "We had that sense of urgency. We knew that we needed them to turn [the ball] over and needed to get stops."
North’s squads travel to Northview on Tuesday.