South Forsyth fell behind 15-4 in the first quarter Tuesday night, but battled back and eventually cruised to a 60-42 victory over county rival North Forsyth in the girl's version of “The Civil War “ game at Coal Mountain.
Sarah Myers, fresh off a nomination for a McDonalds All-America slot (West Forsyth's Jenna Staiti was also nominated), scored 19 points with most of her production coming in the second half. North's Haley Simpson tried to keep the Lady Raiders in the contest, scoring 17 in an aggressive effort, but South (11-4, 8-0 Region 6-AAAAAA) remained undefeated in league play.
“We didn't make any major adjustments,” South head coach Keith Gravitt said. “We finally made some shots ourself, got a little bit more comfortable, but this is a hard place to play. North Forsyth has proven to be a tough gym to play in for anybody.”
The Lady Raiders (8-6, 4-4), fresh off a tournament win at the Carolina Invitational, looked to still be in their groove after an early offensive barrage, featuring 7 early points from Morgan Grindle, led to an 18-8 lead at the end of the first quarter.
That's when South went on an 18-0 run to take a 29-22 halftime lead.
North head coach Eric Herrick was already looking forward to this weekend's games against Chattahoochee and Johns Creek when the game ended.
“South is better than us right now,” Herrick said. “They're one of the top teams in the state. We t alk all the time about winning the games we are supposed to win and steal a couple here and there. There are things we could have done differently, but Friday and Saturday are more important and we need to take care of business.”
South's Emily Dreslinski added three steals, three assists and 11 points to complement Myers.
“She's no secret to anybody,” Gravitt said. “She plays hard all of the time, and sooner or later for those types of players, good things happen.”
Boys Basketball: South Forsyth 57, North Forsyth 48
Evan Cole was the shot in the arm the War Eagles needed, at least Tuesday night, as South marched to its second victory in region play. Cole, recently returned from being sidelined through the first leg of the season, scored 20 points, including eight field goals, as South improved to 6-8 and 2-5 in Region 6.
North fell to 5-7 (4-3) in the loss, but battled back after trailing by 12. Nick Cunningham knocked down two treys with under two minutes to go to cut the score to 51-45, then Chad Bureau made it 53-48 after going to the line and hitting two-of-three free throws. A steal by South's Joe Brandon and his ensuing bucket iced the game.
South head coach Scott Givens was noticably relieved to have Cole back on the floor, but made a point to emphasize how the entire team works better around him.
“When (Evan Cole) wasn't in there we were so small, and it was dictated by making shots and taking care of the ball. Now we have an inside presence,” Givens said. “Every time we threw it in the post they made him work for everything, but that opens things for other guys and gives us balance. It makes things easier for our perimeter players when you have him.”
Santhosh Saravanan scored six points on three field goals, Brandon had seven, Tyler Elliot added three 3-pointers and Sebastian Mallory scored six off the bench to pace the score.
North was led by Bureau, who scored 27 points in the losing effort, including hitting 8-of-9 free throws and three contested 3-pointers. Bureau came off the bench shortly after the game began, but wasn't facing a major disciplinary infraction.
“He just missed a practice,” North head coach Brian Moon said. “Not really a disciplinary thing. He was great for us tonight. We just didn't play very well. That's how the game goes sometimes, but it was more about them. We will get better.”