ALPHARETTA – Deep under the Chattahoochee High School gymnasium, the South Forsyth Lady War Eagles basketball team brooded over a 15-point victory that earned it a spot in the state playoffs.
Indeed, South head coach Keith Gravitt had more to say about Forsyth County sweeping all four state playoff berths out of Region 6-AAAAAA than about his team’s performance in a 68-53 victory against Northview on Tuesday.
“I’m pleased for our girls,” Gravitt said. “They worked hard, and I’m happy for them. But I think it’s very impressive that four schools from Forsyth County are going to the state playoffs from one region.”
South (22-4) was the last of the county’s schools to secure its spot in the Class AAAAAA playoffs on Tuesday, following West Forsyth, Lambert and North Forsyth earlier in the day. The War Eagles advanced to the region semifinals Friday when it will face county rival Lambert, a 51-48 winner over Centennial.
Sarah Myers led South with 23 points to go along with four rebounds and three steals. Ally Welch had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Mari Jonassen added 13 points.
But at halftime, the Lady War Eagles weren’t pleased with its 38-30 lead over the Lady Titans (8-19). This was a Northview team that South had led 29-8 at halftime on Jan. 27 and 34-12 at the half on Dec. 13.
On Tuesday, South led just 18-17 after the first quarter. When Lindsey Moon banked a driving jump shot to start the second quarter, Northview took a 19-18 lead. Myers promptly drove for a layup to take back the lead, and South used an 11-2 run to establish some measure of comfort.
Still, Gravitt’s message at halftime was clear.
“Defense was not acceptable,” Gravitt said. “We were not pleased [and] they were not pleased with their defense at halftime.”
“We really needed to capitalize and play like we always do,” Welch said, “because we really have been lacking in the last couple of games defensively.”
And so South cracked down and held Northview to just six points in the third quarter. Meanwhile, Myers drove for a basket, Jonassen hit a baseline jumper and Shelby Threlkeld (seven points, eight rebounds) stroked a short jump shot off an inbounds pass to build a 44-30 lead coming out of halftime.
Just like that, order was restored.
“I thought the third quarter was much better,” Gravitt said.
South Forsyth 68, Northview 53
Northview 17 13 6 17_53
South Forsyth 18 20 13 17_68
Northview: Babadele 18, M. Muench 10, Titus, 8, Moon 7, Neser 5, L. Muench 2.
South Forsyth: Myers 23, Welch 15, Jonassen 13, Threlkeld 7, Dreslinski 5, Storms 5.