South Forsyth's girls basketball team finished a comeback victory Tuesday against Gainesville to win 49-44 after being down by seven points at halftime.
Clara Morris was instrumental in bringing South back. She led the team with 18 points and six assists. Ava McGlockton recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, adding on five blocks. Jaden Kniceley added 13 points off the bench.
South got plenty of good looks at the basket in the beginning of the game, but struggled to get the ball into the basket. Combined with Sharon Tolliver sitting out the majority of the first half in foul trouble, the game looked more than shaky at half.
“[Tolliver] is definitely a very important part of our offense, and she’s so athletic,” War Eagles head coach Keith Gravitt said. “Defensively, she does a lot in our half-courts and traps that are very valuable to our team. So when she’s out, that changes the dynamics of our team a little bit.”
However, Gravitt changed his game plan at halftime to work the ball more in the post to his forwards like McGlockton and Kniceley. Morris scored 13 of her points in the second half, with eight of them coming off layups.
“If you look at our shot chart,” Gravitt said, “I believe that around 80% of our shots were in the paint. We had to find another way to win tonight. In these situations, great teams have to find a different way to win.”
At the end of the third quarter, South had the score tied at 34. Morris began feeding the ball to McGlockton in the paint. McGlockton had seven points in just the fourth quarter and spent a lot of time at the charity stripe.
The War Eagles led by as many as 12 points in the fourth, but did not shoot great at the free-throw line in the fourth.
South once again played tough defense, combining for 15 steals as a team. Maggie Thompson led the team with seven takeaways and Morris had four of her own.
Gravitt said his team wants to be a transition-style offense and needs steals to play with such speed to get easy, open shots.
“Unfortunately, we did not make a lot of those layups tonight,” Gravitt said. “Gainesville is a good team. You can’t take for granted that a game is going to go the way you think in your mind it is going to go. We had to play behind and that changes things.”
With just two region games left in the season, South is in third place in Region 6-7A behind West Forsyth and North Forsyth.
After Tuesday's victory, and with North winning against Denmark, the War Eagles will remain the third seed for the region tournament.
As of now, they would be slated for a rematch against Gainesville.
South (18-4, 7-3 Region 6-7A) plays its final regular-season home game of the season against Forsyth Central at 6 p..m. Monday
“We have not played our best basketball yet,” Gravitt said. “That’s something to be excited about, but to also have a little bit of urgency about it as well. At this point of the season, you need to be more urgent about valuing the basketball and converting the majority of your chances.”