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South Forsyth girls defeat Cherokee in Class AAAAAA first round
SF AWelch web
South Forsyth senior Ally Welch leaps to save a ball from going out of bounds Wednesday in the Lady War Eagles' 46-35 victory against Cherokee in the first round of the Class AAAAAA tournament. - photo by Micah Green

After having their game canceled the night before, due to weather conditions, the South Forsyth Lady War Eagles hosted the Cherokee Lady Warriors in the first round of the Class AAAAAA tournament. Both teams started the game slow, showing that the inability to practice took a toll on their game plan. South Forsyth was able to fight through and win comfortably by a score of 46 – 35.

The Lady War Eagles took the lead on Ally Welch’s layup with a little over 2 minutes in the first quarter and never looked back. While the first half was close and hard fought, Sarah Myers’ nine points in the third quarter gave South a comfortable lead 34-23 going in to the fourth.

The Lady War Eagles will host No. 3-ranked McEachern, an 82-60 winner over Douglas County, in the second round on Friday at home. South looks to knock out McEachern as the Lady Indians beat the Lady War Eagles in last year’s semifinals.

“It was very important to get momentum going, with no school and no practice yesterday it was very important to get it started early,” Myers said.

Cherokee had plans to stop Myers after the teams’ Nov. 24 meeting in the War Eagle Classic. That game Myers had 29 points in South’s 65-52 win. So it was important for South to get other players involved.

Myers led the Lady War Eagles with 18 points to go along with seven rebounds, but KK Storms was brilliant hitting two 3s in the second half on her way to a 12-point night and was had three steals. Shelby Threlkeld was hot early scoring four points in the first few minutes of the game, six points total, and snatching eight rebounds. Ally Welch contributed big on the boards as well, grabbing eight rebounds and adding four points.

“They definitely changed it up a little bit. They packed it in with the zone and last time they played more man so it was important to move the ball more tonight” acknowledged Myers.

South coach Keith Gravitt said it was difficult to stay focused this week. The Lady War Eagles were coming off an emotional region championship. Inclement weather caused Forsyth County Schools to cancel school Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, disrupting the team’s normal schedule.

“I think it showed it our play,” Gravitt said. “It’s been a disjointed last couple of days. When you are playing well, you want to stay on the court, but these girls were cooped up in their houses.”

Havyn Wilson led the Cherokee with nine points, scoring all of them in the second half. Kaila Morgan also played well for the Lady Warriors scoring eight points, as well as grabbing four boards. Freshman Laiken Wade scored all six of her points in the second half.

Cherokee held the Lady War Eagles to 20 points in the first half, but were unable to have the same success in the second half.

“They have a great team and we thought we had a great game plan,” Cherokee coach Matt Cates said. “We just couldn’t execute down the stretch, and they had a lot to do with that.”