By MacKenzie Bates
For the Forsyth County News
Devin McGlockton’s eyes were as big as the ocean.
The South Forsyth sophomore forward had 17 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks on Friday, and his back-to-back buckets midway through the fourth quarter helped the War Eagles fend off North Forsyth 49-43.
“We finally got some open looks that we’d been getting,” McGlockton said. “We took advantage of those opportunities and this was a good win for us.”
With the War Eagles clinging to a four-point lead at 42-38 after leading by 17 in the second half, McGlockton darted down the lane, receiving a pass by Jefferson Stepp for a layup. On the next possession, Kohl Harris found him down low again to extend the lead to eight with 3:12 left in the game.
“(North) did a good job of defending him,” South coach Scott Givens said. “We really had to work to get him the ball … We were a little anxious because we started so fast.”
The War Eagles (8-6) hit seven of their first 10 shots, capped off by a Nate Hammond three-point basket to take a 17-6 lead. The lead ballooned to 26-9 midway through the second quarter.
North (3-6) had nine turnovers in the first half. Coach David Sokol challenged his team to take care of the basketball. They responded with just two miscues in the final 16 minutes, giving the Raiders an opportunity to climb back in the game.
“We did not play well in the first half,” Sokol said. “Our defense wasn’t good, we didn’t close out on their shooters and we turned the ball over. We just challenged our kids in the second half, and we battled and showed some heart.”
After falling behind 31-17, the Raiders started making some shots. A three-point basket by Braden Collins started things. Buckets by Cory Seitz, back to back three-point scores by Wil Graham and two free throws from Jonathan Pefanis brought North within four points, at 40-36, after three quarters.
Sokol said the combination of not hitting shots down the stretch and the transition baskets to McGlockton is something they need to correct as the season moves forward.
“They’re a good team, and we just need to play better and continue to work hard every day,” Sokol said.
“Their physicality kind of bothered us tonight and that helped them get back in the game,” Givens said. “We’ve got to win the battle when the shot goes up in the air, and we did not do that do a good job of that.”
Pefanis led North with 14 points. Collins finished with 12 points.
Hammond finished with 13 points for the War Eagles, while Ethan Underwood and Stepp each had eight points.
North Forsyth girls 49, South Forsyth 23
North Forsyth’s Caroline Martin scored 18 points and Ansley Allen added 15 as the Raiders overcame a slow start to defeat South Forsyth 49-23 Friday night.
Leading at just 5-2 after one quarter and then trailing 11-10 midway through the second quarter, the Raiders (7-2, 2-0) ended the first half on a 14-0 run to take control of the game.
“I thought, after our cold shooting start that our pressure wore them down,” North coach Eric Herrick said. “That allowed us to get a lot of transition opportunities. We shot the ball better in the second half and our defensive effort was fantastic.”
South Forsyth (5-6, 1-1) had trouble getting the ball to half court during that run. Miscues in the second half gave North high-percentage baskets.
“We played exactly the kind of game we wanted to play for a quarter and a half,” South head coach Keith Gravitt said. “Then they were playing the kind of game they were dictating the rest of the way. They’re very physical, which turned in to turnovers and easy baskets. They’re a great shooting team, and it showed after that.”
Sophie Rosin and Ashely Breindl each had six points for the Lady War Eagles.