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Basketball: Thomas sinks five 3-pointers to help North Forsyth past South
McCall Thomas
North Forsyth senior McCall Thomas follows through on one of her five 3-pointers Wednesday during the Raiders' 74-36 win against the War Eagles. - photo by David Roberts

McCall Thomas kept the same routine ahead of Wednesday's semifinal game against South Forsyth.

North Forsyth's senior guard will typically discuss the gameplan with her teammates, shoot around during warmups — nothing out of the ordinary. 

But Thomas had an extraordinary night for the Raiders in their 74-36 win against the War Eagles, coming off the bench to bury five 3-pointers and help North Forsyth to the Region 5-7A tournament championship game against Forsyth Central.

"She's been doing it pretty quietly all season," North Forsyth head coach Brad Kudlas said. "She's had a couple other games where she's had four or six. Big-time player for us. She's one who would probably be a starter on any other team, and she loves the role of coming in and being that spark plug. 

"She's a huge spark. She can handle the ball, she can handle the offense and I have all the confidence in her, and it shows out there. She's a big-time player."

Thomas finished with 15 points — all on 3-pointers — which was second on the team behind junior Lily Bales' 17 points. Senior Caroline Martin, who signed earlier in the day to play basketball at the University of North Georgia, had 12 points and senior Ansley Allen added 10 points.

North Forsyth (24-2) smothered the War Eagles on defense, holding South Forsyth scoreless until the 4:33 mark in the first quarter, when senior Kayla Casey ended the scoring drought with a 3-pointer.

Ansley Allen
North Forsyth senior Ansley Allen, left, dribbles around South Forsyth freshman Clara Morris during Wednesday's 74-36 win against the War Eagles. - photo by David Roberts
But North Forsyth answered quickly when Thomas knocked down her first 3-pointer on the next possession.

"It was fun being able to shoot like that, but it wasn't really an individual thing," Thomas said. "Our team put everything together, and we've been practicing shooting a lot in practice, so that's really helped."

The Raiders hit 14 3-pointers from eight different players in the win.

"We thought they would play more zone," Kudlas said. "They played a lot of man. We just practice a lot of threes to get ready for the games. If it's there, we'll take it. If it's not, we'll try to drive it in."

Senior Ryane Williams led the War Eagles with eight points, collecting six rebounds and a pair of blocks. 

Williams and freshman Ava McGlockton combined for just two points in the first half, but the two scored 12 of South Forsyth's 19 second-half points as the War Eagles began to get their post players more involved. 

Maggie Thompson
South Forsyth freshman Maggie Thompson, left, drives toward the basket Wednesday during a 74-36 loss to North Forsyth. - photo by David Roberts
But North Forsyth was up to the challenge, as sophomore Maddie Erickson opened the half with a couple of blocks and senior Avery McAllister knocked down a 3-pointer of her own.

"We've been working a lot on our post play," Kudlas said. "Maddie, she's a sophomore and she's really, since the beginning of the season to now, she's grown so much defensively as a physical force in there. Both her and Avery (McAllister) don't get the stats where they're altering shots for the other team. That's not a stat, but they do a lot of that for us. And it helps the guards be a little bit more scrappy out there knowing they have some backside help."

South Forsyth (17-10) will look to increase its Class 7A state tournament seeding when the War Eagles face West Forsyth at 4 p.m. Friday.