Late in the fourth quarter Tuesday night, South Forsyth briefly lost its lead against North Gwinnett.
After a player got past Devin McGlockton to lay the basketball up, McGlockton turned around and swiftly blocked the ball off the backboard. Then, on South’s next offensive possession, the War Eagles took the lead back and kept in for the rest of the game, winning 53-50 in a big non-region matchup against the Bulldogs.
“It’s always good to get a win,” South head coach Scott Givens said. “We faced an outstanding team that is very well coached. I think they’ve played the hardest schedule in 7A. It was a great defensive effort. I challenged [Harris] and [McGlockton] to guard their two best players and they came out. We knew we were gonna have to play hard and play well.”
McGlockton led the team with 14 points and eight rebounds. Brandon Stoudamire and Kohl Harris both scored 13 points individually, with Harris leading the offense with four assists as well.
“[Harris] always shows up defensively, but he had a great offensive night,” Givens said. “He needed a great night.”
Harris made the last two free throws of the game with just 6.4 seconds left on the clock to push the War Eagles’ lead to three points. Before the last two, Harris was 0 for 3 from the free-throw line.
“For him to hit three 3s and those two clutch free throws at the end is huge for our team,” Givens said.
The War Eagles made all five of their free throw attempts in the fourth quarter, but were only 2 for 9 going into the fourth quarter from the charity stripe. This is an outlier compared to the rest of South’s season, but Givens assured that the team would continue to practice free throws before their next game.
However, Givens said the team listened and played exceptional basketball as a team against a North Gwinnett opponent that had been ranked as high as No. 8 in Class 7A this season.
“Off a timeout, we called a set play,” Givens said. “We ran it perfectly and got a bucket. That just shows the growth of this team and how far we’ve come.”
The win came on senior night, which Givens said happened early just in case COVID-19 forces GHSA to postpone or cancel the remainder of the basketball season. Ten War Eagle seniors were celebrated before the game.
“We tell them all the time how special it is,” Givens said. “Our entire basketball program has really good seniors with good heads on their shoulders. They’re special.”
The War Eagles (12-3, 3-1 Region 6-7A) will resume region play Friday at Gainesville (10-5, 2-1 region 6-7A). South currently sits on the top of the region standings with Gainesville tied in second with Denmark and Lambert.
“The win is big,” Givens said. “It gives us confidence. We just need to keep building momentum. I told our team that we had a big four-game test. After our win at Pope, we’ve passed our first two tests. Now, on to the next two.”