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Basketball: South Forsyth boys withstand late Lambert surge
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South Forsyth senior Josh Muleta drives toward the basket Friday. Photo by Jay Rooney Photography for the Forsyth County News

By Derrick Richemond 

For the Forsyth County News 

South Forsyth prevented Lambert's late comeback Friday to keep their streak alive against the Longhorns, 63-59.

The first quarter was a close, intense game. Neither team could get enough separation to pull away from each other until South's shooting guard Teddy Toth started to roll, knocking down two 3s. 

When the second quarter began, South Forsyth came out the huddle and took it another notch. 

Power forward Gabe Mullis made a big impact, pumped the intensity on defense. 

The defense started clogging up the paint, blocking shots left and right and jumping in front of passes to cause turnovers. Plays were running to perfection and that led to an 18-7 lead. 

The War Eagles went into the locker room with a 15-point lead, 32-17.

The Longhorns knew they had to come up with more plays to get more points on the board after halftime, or this game could ugly.

Lambert's offensive started flowing as Keenan Gagen got in a rhythm, scoring nine points in the third quarter after not scoring a single point in the first half. 

Lambert full-court pressed the War Eagles to try to cut the lead and it worked to their favor.

After being down 15, Lambert shooting guard Jack Whipple hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to single digits. Lambert outscored the War Eagles 23-15 in the third quarter.

Three minutes into the fourth, neither team could get a bucket to go down.

Late in the fourth, point guard James Tyre was trying to wheel his team offensively and ended up cutting the lead to two points. 

Also, power forward Thomas Sinning was a force for the defense, blocking two pivotal shots. Then Lambert went on a cold slump offensively and could not get a shot to drop to take the lead. 

The Eagles took advantage of that and went on a 14-6 run to seal the game. That put an end to Lambert Longhorn's three-game winning streak.

“Tonight was probably one of the best offensive nights. We moved the ball great and got a lot more points in the paint than we usually do and I think that was a game-changer for us," Ethan Underwood said “It’s a rivalry game. It gets competitive and I just love the energy of it. This win streak feels good and helps build our chemistry up” 

“We’re not a young team grade-wise, but we’re a young team with play experience” South Forsyth head coach Scott Givens said. “The key is this: We got stops when we needed to, got rebounds when we needed to.

“We got the best guard in the region in Ethan Underwood. He’s big time. They face guarded him, double-teamed him. They did a great job and he still scored 20. We can’t forget his importance."