The South Forsyth girls took care of business on Friday night at home to set up a battle of undefeated region teams by beating Centennial 69-39. The boys’ team struggled to slow down the Centennial shooting attack, falling 78-67.
With the win, the Lady Eagles ensured the meeting with West Forsyth will be a game of unbeatens in the region. Both teams were ranked in the top-10 in Class AAAAAA when they meet on Monday night – South (14-4, 11-) at No. 6, West (13-3, 11-0) at No. 10. Both teams have McDonald’s All-American nominees – South with Sarah Myers and West with Jenna Staiti.
The game has high stakes when it comes time for the region tournament, but South head coach Keith Gravitt plans to downplay the magnitude.
“We want to treat it like any other region game,” Gravitt said, “We are going to come ready to play, and we know they’re going to come ready to play.”
Centennial (8-11, 5-7) pushed the South girls early in the game, grabbing a six point lead with 3:31 in the second quarter. After a timeout, South rallied back behind two big three-point shots from Mari Jonassen, regaining a 25-21 lead at halftime.
“They came out and played very well,” Gravitt said, “They rushed us into some early shots, and that’s a credit to their defense.”
South was able to break the game open in the third quarter by opening on an 11-to-6 run. Myers, who started the game 1-for-10 from the field, turned it around during the run by scoring seven points on 3-for-6 shooting. Once South’s offense began to click, nothing Centennial tried defensively worked as South went on to outscore Centennial 44 to 18 in the second half.
Meyers ended the game with 23 points and four rebounds. South saw other big contributions from KK Storm (7 points and 13 rebounds) and Jonassen (11 points and four rebounds.)
South’s boys team (7-11, 3-8) couldn’t contain the efficient shooting of Centennial (11-8, 9-3) on its way to a 78-67 loss. The game was tied at the end of the first quarter, but Centennial dominated the second and third quarters, ending the third quarter with a 67-42 lead.
“They shot the heck out of it,” head coach Scott Givens said, “They made a lot of tough shots tonight. Give them credit.”
South began to utilize a press defense in the fourth quarter that caused havoc and shrunk the Centennial lead to as little as nine points. Evan Cole led the fourth quarter charge with 10 of his 26 points coming inside the fourth.
Ultimately the late push was too little, too late.
“We just scrambled some things up and tried to make things happen,” Givens said.