By McClain Baxley
For the Forsyth County News
In South Forsyth’s first action in a week, the War Eagles hosted a Walton team they played earlier in the season. The game in November ended with a 56-43 win on the road for South.
Friday night’s game had the same outcome as the matchup from a month before, but head coach Keith Gravitt was able to breathe a little easier as he rested his starters for much of the fourth quarter while South ran away with the 77-43 victory.
“You want to measure where you are compared to where you were,” Gravitt said. “That’s what we charged the team with. Are we better? We feel like we are and we fixed some of those things we were focused on cleaning up.”
The Lady War Eagles certainly had improved, but they took until the second quarter to start showing those improvements.
Both teams were having good offensive possessions, but weren’t able to capitalize with points. With the game tied at nine, Walton called a timeout.
Out of the timeout, South went on a 6-0 run and held a seven-point lead at the break. In the second quarter, the home team came to and started playing with the energy Gravitt wanted.
“I thought that’s where our players picked up their pace on the court,” he said. “It worked for us on the offensive and defensive ends, which led to some easy shots.”
The transition was there all night for the Lady War Eagles, but a few times in the first quarter, they moved too fast and turned it over. The mistakes went away in the second quarter as the home team stretched their way to a 34-17 halftime lead.
South was able to create turnovers and then press down the court to score before Walton knew what hit them.
“That’s the style of team we want to be,” Gravitt said of the fast-paced offense. “Our girls embrace that style of play and it’s obviously fun to watch and fun to play if you’re able to do that.”
After the Lady War Eagles had a comfortable lead, Gravitt pulled starters one by one and replaced them with younger girls.
On the bench, the energy and command that seniors Sophie Rosin, Ryane Williams and Ashley Breindl played with on the court did not get shut down. Instead, the captains celebrated every shot made, screaming and jumping as they cheered on their teammates.
Gravitt said the companionship and support between the players has been preached by the leaders and its led to success.
“You want your players to want everyone on the team to contribute,” he said. “And you want everyone in the game to be in the game, whether they’re on the court or sitting over there. That’s what is so fun about this sport for me.”