South Forsyth’s girls changed the game with a defensive shakeup.
The Lady War Eagles took a 23-22 lead into halftime against Lambert, but stretched it to 42-34 going into the fourth quarter, all due to their full-court pressure. South forced nine turnovers in the third period and pulled away for a 56-38 victory over Lambert in the Region 6B-AAAAAA opener — their first-ever win against the Lady Longhorns — on Friday at Lambert High School.
"We made a little adjustment with our defense and the girls really liked that," South head coach Keith Gravitt said. "We were just able to capitalize on some of the opportunities [Lambert] presented to us."
Sasha Tejada knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers with about two minutes left in the third quarter to give South (3-1, 1-0 region) a 38-29 advantage.
The Lady War Eagles kept their foot on the gas in the fourth quarter and finished the game on a 14-4 run. The ending looked much like the start of the game, when South led 16-7 after the first quarter.
The Lady Longhorns (2-3, 0-1) had a difficult time getting shots to fall, shooting 5-of-23 from the 3-point line and 5-of-26 from inside the arc in the second half.
"We’ve got to learn to finish games and be competitive in the region," Lambert head coach Seth Thompson said. "We had some mental mistakes in the second half, but we’re a young team and we’ll get there. We’ve got to keep our head up. … We’ve got to keep shooting shots and keep improving, but we got to score more than this.
"We got a little tired [in the third quarter] and my bench didn’t come in ready to play. We’ve got to do a better job of being prepared."
Rachel Myers scored 12 of her game-high 17 points in the second half for South, while teammate Kenyata Storms finished the game in double-figures with 10. Peyton Card (13) and Corrie Baker (11) led the Lady Longhorns.
"I feel like I’m able to change the game with my fast-breaks," Myers said. "My teammates picked me as a captain and they see a lot in me. I think when they see me be successful, they want to follow that.
"You can see a lot of more fast-paced games and a lot more competition than the last three years we’ve had at South. We’re just a good group and play together as a team and we’ll win games."
Lambert was scheduled to face Walton at home on Saturday and will travel to West Forsyth on Tuesday. South faced a Saturday meeting with Grayson before hosting North Forsyth on Tuesday.