The South Forsyth boys basketball ended its regular season with its biggest win of the year, beating West Forsyth, team that was 7-2 in the region, by a 72-62 margin. The War Eagles saw tight defense, clean ball movement and strong shooting come together in that game, and it was a glimpse of the headache South, which was 9-16 at the time, could give better teams.
But on Tuesday, in the first game of the Region 5-7A tournament on its home court, South faced the possibility of that potential being quickly snuffed out, as the War Eagles trailed Forsyth Central 29-25 at halftime and had yet to run their offense at more than a sputter.
South showed that its breakthrough wasn't done, though, outscoring the Bulldogs 17-5 in the third quarter and holding back a Central charge in the fourth quarter to win 57-52 and grab a spot in the state playoffs for the third straight season.
"Third quarters were a bugaboo for us for a long time," South head coach Scott Givens said. "But we've done a better job of coming out in the third quarter and really making good runs here recently. We needed it."
Senior guard Santhosh Saravanan gave South (10-16) a jolt shortly after halftime, scoring six points in less than two minutes, including the bucket that gave the War Eagles their first lead of the game, and his 16 total points led the team. Freshman forward Devin McGlockton was also key in the third quarter, putting in eight points.
The War Eagles will face Lambert, the No. 1 seed in the region, on Wednesday night. South had lost twice to the Longhorns, but the first loss was by a narrow 61-57 score. Central ended its season at 7-19.