The West Forsyth and South Forsyth boys basketball teams went back and forth for most of Wednesday night’s Region 5-7A game, but the Wolverines pulled away in the end, winning 69-50 for their eighth consecutive victory.
“Since we had a tough, emotional game (Tuesday) night, we had to really focus on bringing the energy today and not being sluggish,” West’s Michael Zabetakis said. “I thought as the game went on we kept pushing it and being aggressive, and it really wore the other team down.”
After Tuesday night’s thrilling 85-81 win over Lambert, West (12-9, 5-1) started the game strong, moving the ball and knocking down open looks on their way to a 20-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Zabetakis came off the bench and added instant energy to the Wolverines’ offensive attack. The senior led all scorers with 10 first-half points.
“It’s different (coming off the bench),” Zabetakis said. “But I just wanted to go in and help us win however I could. So I wanted to bring the most energy I could and help add some life into the team.”
South (7-15, 2-5) came out of the half with a quick 8-2 run to cut West’s lead to 41-36, but the Wolverines weathered the storm and quickly got the lead back up to double-digits. That was thanks in large part to Terrence Taylor, who scored 9 of his 11 second-half points in the third quarter.
“We hate that we gave up that run to start the second half, because that’s what we were focusing on at halftime,” West head coach Fredrick Hurt said. “We wanted to re-energize and all that stuff. But after that, we were able to get going again.”
After the War Eagles cut the lead to five points, West out-scored South 28-14 in the final 13 minutes of the game.
Taylor and Zabetakis tied for a game-high 18 points. Isaiah Magee was South’s leading scorer with 11 points, while Santhosh Saravanan and Joel Brown each had nine.
South girls 59, West 33
South’s girls overwhelmed West on their way to a 59-33 victory.
“The girls showed a lot of energy,” South head coach Keith Gravitt said. “They got after it right from the beginning of the game. I’m really happy with the effort we got tonight.”
Nine different War Eagles scored, including Zoe Massey and Sara Iris, who led South (15-8, 6-2) with 18 and 12 points, respectively.
It was the War Eagles’ full-court pressure that gave West (4-19, 2-6) so many problems.
“We didn’t do great in our half-court defense. I was a little frustrated with them there,” Gravitt said. “But (the Wolverines) were really well-coached. We had active hands, got some deflections for turnovers that turned into easy baskets off our defense.”