South Forsyth’s boys basketball team secured a state playoff berth and advanced to the semifinal round of the Region 5-7A tournament on Tuesday, outlasting North Forsyth for a 66-54 victory.
“We advanced to the state tournament, so that's a goal we have every year,” South boys coach Scott Givens said. “Step one today was taking care of business and we did that. Devin McGlockton and Ethan Underwood, our two all-region players, carried us. I'm really excited for our team, really excited for the opportunity to get to play Lambert tomorrow.”
Each team’s post player made their presence known early. McGlockton kept the War Eagles in an even pace with the Raiders, with 14 points in the opening period, while North senior Cory Seitz chipped in six. McGlockton was the game’s top scorer, ending his game with 31 points, while Seitz had 20.
The game remained close until halftime, with South holding a 16-15 lead after one and a 29-22 edge at the break. In the third, though, the War Eagles began to pull away behind their pressure defense, with an 8-0 run to end the period.
“We extended our pressure, got some steals, got some deflections,” Givens said. “Khol Harris played a big role in that. He makes a lot of plays — he does some things that don't show up on the stat sheet, at least the scorebook; getting deflections, getting steals. He made some free throws, too. Khol and Nate Hammond, specifically, when those guys get going defensively and make some plays, we kind of feed off that.”
Underwood, who finished with 18 points for South, helped his team close out the win, along with Harris, who connected on five of his seven fourth-quarter free-throw attempts. North did make an attempt at a comeback, though, going on a late 9-2 run behind two threes from Cannon Jackson. Givens wasn’t thrilled with the way the game ended, but nevertheless feels good about where his team is as a whole.
“I just want us to finish games better,” Givens said. “You always want to finish games better than what we did tonight. I'm not going to take it for granted — I understand we started the year very strong, and then we had a six-game lull and now we're back to being ourselves. We had some guys offensively that were out of sync tonight.
“They're going to be fine tomorrow night. Ethan and Devin are going to bring it and Khol's going to bring it defensively, so we're looking forward to it.”