The South Forsyth boys are starting to get comfortable winning close games, and that’s music to head coach Manson Hill’s ears.
South let a big lead slip on Saturday but recovered just in time to beat West, and the War Eagles did exactly that again Tuesday evening. Hill’s team led North Forsyth by eight early in the fourth quarter before the Raiders’ Nick Cunningham hit back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers, but Evan Cole’s lay-in with 1:38 left gave South the lead back for good.
Matt McCorkle scored 14 and Cole added 11 to help the War Eagles overcome North, 45-42, despite Dakota Holtzclaw’s 22 for North.
“With our group this year, every win we can get is huge for us, because we haven’t done enough of that,” Hill said. “We’ve won three straight — the first time in their careers that they’ve won three straight. That’s got to do a lot for our psyche.”
Tuesday probably won’t be the last time South finds itself in a one-possession game late on; games with Chattahoochee and rematches against West and North remain. With so many players still feeling their way through varsity action — Cole and Chandler Strall are, for the first time, major contributors, and Austin Childress scored his first varsity points Tuesday on a 3-pointer to open the final quarter — the War Eagles now know they can stay poised late on.
“There are going to be a lot of games like that one in the region,” Hill said. “We continue to think we can win. It’s a matter of who can grow the most in the next four weeks.”
South held North point guard Chad Bureau scoreless; only four Raiders scored. Bureau’s long three-point attempt for the tie as time expired was way off the mark.
The War Eagles, meanwhile, got seven points and a number of tough rebounds from Thomas McClellan, five points from Zach Sewing and eight more from Childress, Strall and Aaron Schmitz combined.
South Forsyth boys 45, North Forsyth 42
North Forsyth 12 10 6 14_42
South Forsyth 9 11 13 12_45
North Forsyth: Holtzclaw 22, Cunningham 12, Koch 6, Stephenson 2.
South Forsyth: McCorkle 14, Cole 11, McClellan 7, Sewing 5, Childress 3, Strall 3, Schmitz 2.