North Forsyth’s girls continue to build a reputation as road warriors.
The Lady Raiders remained unbeaten away from Raider Arena this season as they shook off a sluggish start and earned their seventh consecutive victory by defeating West Forsyth 47-34 on Friday at the Lady Wolverines’ gymnasium. North’s seven-game winning streak is the program’s best stretch in more than eight seasons.
Junior center Avery Scarbrough led North with 14 points, while sophomore forward Caroline Bowns added 11.
"We’re undefeated on the road this year, which is huge for our basketball team," Lady Raiders head coach Eric Herrick said. "Anytime you can go on the road and get a region win you’ll take it."
North (14-2, 5-1 Region 6B-AAAAAA) was held without a field goal and trailed 10-3 until a West turnover resulted in a transition layup by sophomore point guard Lochlain Corliss with 2:17 remaining in the first period. The play sparked a stretch in which the Lady Raiders turned up the defensive pressure and forced turnovers on 10 of 11 West (5-10, 1-5) possessions.
But North often failed to convert the turnovers into points on the other end and the two teams went into halftime tied 18-18.
"We turned them over a lot, I think [West had] 37 turnovers [for the game], but we just didn’t convert," Herrick said. "We were eight for 22 from the free-throw line and I can’t count how many layups we missed. When you turn somebody over you’ve got to take advantage and convert and we just didn’t tonight."
Containing Jenna Staiti, West’s 6-foot-5 freshman center, was also an issue for the Lady Raiders, particularly in the first half. Staiti scored 12 of her game-high 19 points before halftime.
Staiti and teammate Mary Henner (14 points) accounted for all but three of West’s points in the game.
"Our focus was to try to limit her touches and we didn’t do a very good job of that, so we tried to do a much better job, tried to be a little more physical in the second half," Herrick said.
The Lady Raiders finally found some offensive rhythm in the third quarter, when they scored 19 points. North was held to 10 or fewer in each of the other three periods.
"I tried to motivate them a little at halftime," Herrick said. "I tried to let them know that I was not pleased with where we were at, with our effort."
North spread the ball around in the third quarter — no player had more than four points — and headed into the final period with a 37-27 lead, the first double-digit advantage either team had enjoyed during the night.
West never trimmed the gap to fewer than eight points in the fourth quarter.
"I thought we did a good job of being prepared for [North’s pressure] and being ready to go out and compete with those guys ... but we just turned the ball over way too many times," West head coach David May said.
"Their defensive pressure [got] to us, we got a little tired and we just kind of got lazy with some passes and just turned it over way too many times."
The Lady Raiders return home to host Centennial at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, while West travels to Alpharetta.