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Girls Basketball Roundup: War Eagles secure region's top seed; Broncos throttle Knights
South Forsyth's Maggie Thompson looks to make a pass during a Region 6-7A matchup Tuesday at Lambert. (Photo by Nicholas Sullivan)

South Forsyth used the one-two punch of Clara Morris and Sharon Tolliver to clinch the No. 1 seed in the Region 6-7A tournament with two regular-season games to go.

The senior guards scored 19 and 18 points, respectively, in leading the War Eagles to a 64-48 victory Tuesday at Lambert.

South Forsyth's Sharon Tolliver looks to get past Lambert's Mackenzie Weyer. (Photo by Nicholas Sullivan)
Morris provided a steady presence throughout the contest, scoring successfully at all three levels. That being said, she particularly shined during the middle two quarters — scoring seven points in each — when South Forsyth held a decisive 41-28 scoring edge.

“She hit some big 3s, got to the basket and knocked down some shots in the paint,” War Eagles head coach Keith Gravitt said of Morris. “She showed the multiple weapons that I think she has.”

Meanwhile, Tolliver scored all of her points for South Forsyth from beyond the arc. She buried five shots from distance in the first half, including four in the second quarter to help the War Eagles counter a Longhorns team that also shot the ball well from distance.

“She kept us in the game, kept things going for us,” Gravitt said of Tolliver. “They hit five 3s in the first half, as well. They were on fire in their place, and we know they have great shooters. We didn’t do a great job of covering, and they did a great job of getting open looks.”

After holding a slender 14-12 lead after one quarter, Tolliver started to heat up early in the second. She hit back-to-back treys for a 22-15 advantage less than two minutes into the period.

Tolliver connected twice more from distance in the stanza to send the War Eagles into the locker room up 37-30.

“She can be streaky like that,” Gravitt said of Tolliver. “We know she’s capable of that. She knows she’s got the green light. It doesn’t matter what the situation is. She’s earned that right.

“I’m happy to see her being able to answer in a situation like that where we needed her so big.”

The third quarter wound up being the only one in which Tolliver didn't drill a 3-pointer. However, it ended up being the most important one, due to South Forsyth's stingy defense.

Until the finale minute, the War Eagles held the Longhorns down in building a 55-34 lead.

Lambert's Briley Elder knocked down two late 3s to cut into the deficit. The late barrage pushed the senior past the 1,000 career points mark, making her the first girls basketball player in program history to reach that threshold.

Elder paced the Longhorns with 11 points, while Annarose Tyre and Mackenzie Weyer added 10 points each.

A win by Lambert (17-6, 6-2) would have forced a tie atop the region standings. Instead, eighth-ranked South Forsyth (20-3, 8-0) reiterated its claim as overwhelming region favorites.

The two teams could very well meet again in the final of the region tournament. Gravitt, though, isn't looking past the end of the regular season, even with the top seed secured.

“We’ve still got games to play, and every game is important,” he said. “Obviously, you want to take care of those things and control the controllables, as much as you can. …

“The business end of the season is coming up, and our girls want to put themselves in the best position they can going into that. We’ve got a couple of games ahead of us before we get there. It’s exciting to see what we’ve got ahead of us.”

East Forsyth 70, Johnson (Hall) 9

East Forsyth continued its impressive 2023 with a blowout win over Johnson (Hall) Tuesday at home.

The Broncos held a 33-0 scoring edge in the first quarter en route to a dominant 70-9 triumph in Region 8-4A action.

Now 7-2 in the calendar year, East Forsyth (12-11 overall, 6-3 in North Subregion) will take aim at sweeping No. 9 North Hall Feb. 3 at home.

Milton 50, West Forsyth 48

West Forsyth couldn't make an eight-point halftime lead hold up in a 50-48 Region 6-7A defeat Tuesday at Milton.

The Wolverines led 13-8 after one quarter and extended their advantage to 32-24 by halftime. However, the Eagles rallied to tie the score at 42-apiece entering the final period before pulling out the narrow win.

West Forsyth (12-11, 4-4) remains third in the region standings, but Milton (10-11, 3-5) could force a tie down the stretch. Denmark (3-5 region) could, as well, although the Wolverines have swept the Danes to earn the tiebreaker in that scenario.