By MacKenzie Bates
For the Forsyth County News
South Forsyth boys basketball head coach Scott Givens said on Monday that his team needed to get out to a fast start.
They didn't – at least not immediately. But after trailing 2-0 against Forsyth Central at the start of Monday night’s game, the War Eagles jumped out on a 17-0 run to help defeat the Bulldogs 60-39.
“We’re just a different team when we make shots,” Givens said.
Nate Hammond’s three and another basket on the next possession started the flurry of points for the War Eagles' Devin McGlockton, who established himself inside early getting two quick baskets midway through the run.
It was part of a 20-of-45 shooting night for the War Eagles (12-13, 4-5 Region 5-7A). Givens was happy with the shot selection after the Bulldogs let be known they were going to defend around the rim.
“Teams are double and triple-teaming Devin,” Givens said. “When they’re not doing that, they’re in there shading and congesting the lane and he does a good job of seeing where the pressure is coming from. We’ve got to make the extra pass to take those good shots.”
Monday’s game was moved up due to the pending inclement weather heading across the state. Despite not getting an extra 24 hours to prepare, Givens was happy to see his team ready to play.
“It seemed to benefit us,” Givens said. “Depending on what the weather does, the county policy says if we don’t have school, we can’t practice.”
“Hopefully we’ll have Wednesday and Thursday to prepare for our next game.”
Forsyth Central (6-18, 2-7) cut the lead to single digits in the third quarter on a pair of free throws by Brandon Sherer at 24-32. McGlockton went back to work on the inside with a basket. A 3-point field goal by Thomas Stocks helped push the lead back to 13.
A few possessions later, Corey Hereford and Nate Hammond connected on threes of their own to extend South’s lead 44-28 after three quarters.
Central head coach Greg Dirst was happy to see his team battle back after the snowball effect forced his team to take a lot of shots to try and get back in to the game.
“We just weren’t ready to play,” Dirst said. “(South) had passion and energy and we didn’t have either one of those. That’s on me. I have to do a better job of coaching.”
Stocks scored a game-high 14 points for the War Eagles. McGlockton and Hammond each scored 12 points for South.
Central got a balanced scoring out of their team. Giovanni Joseph, the hero from Friday night’s 61-58 win over North Forsyth had a team-high nine points.
South Forsyth girls 50, Forsyth Central 46
Don’t look now, but South Forsyth’s girl’s basketball team is getting hot at the right time.
Olivia Woodison scored a team-high 12 points as South (13-11, 5-4) won for the fifth time in six games.
After trailing 40-31, The Bulldogs (14-11, 5-4) went on a quick 7-0 run to cut lead to two points. On the next possession, Woodison hit a 3-point basket to push the lead back to five points.
“It stopped their momentum,” War Eagle head coach Keith Gravitt said of Woodison’s shot. “That was a huge shot and it was inside-out on the catch and shoot, and that’s where she’s at her best.”
Central got a game-high 14 points from Jillian Bretz, all in the second half. Elizabeth Pruitt added nine for the Bulldogs
“We just weren’t ready to play,” Central head coach Angela Hurt said. “We gave them too many opportunities to score when we weren’t boxing out. That’s got to change before Friday and next week. I told the girls that they have a chance to write the story on Forsyth Central and I hope it’s a new one because time is running out.”
After West Forsyth’s girls defeated Milton on Monday night, there is a chance the No. 2 seed in next week’s Regional Tournament will be on the line.
“There’s a lot for us to play for and we have to stay hungry,” Gravitt said. “West is playing great right now, and we’ll need to play much better if we want to get another win heading in to the postseason.”