The first time South Forsyth and Lambert met this season, the Lady Longhorns staged an inspiring third quarter comeback that ultimately fell short, but South head coach Keith Gravitt remembered.
This time around, the Lady War Eagles made sure no such comeback would take place.
South took down Lambert 70-38 on Friday in a Region 6-AAAAAA game on the road — a dominating the game from start to finish.
"I’m proud of our girls; proud of the effort and intensity they brought tonight for 32 minutes," said Gravitt. "They have a great coach over there and those players played really hard, and we were fortunate to shoot the ball really well tonight."
Sophomore guard Sarah Myers shot the ball better than anyone else on the court, tallying 22 points —11 of which came in the first quarter. Fellow guard K.K. Storms chipped in 11 points, and Ally Welch had eight.
All in all it was a strong, well-rounded effort from the Lady War Eagles (16-2, 7-1).
"It was a great team win," Gravitt said. "We had a lot of contributions on both ends of the court. If one of our girls wasn’t contributing offensively, she was contributing on defense."
"I knew we had to come out there and be authoritative and show them that we’re the greater team," said Myers. "I had to rally my team too to give them confidence in the beginning, and I think that really helped us throughout the rest of the game."
South was especially strong on defense, out-rebounding Lambert throughout the contest. Six-foot forward Leah Cote hauled in 11 rebounds for the Lady Longhorns, but she received little help from her teammates.
"From what we saw, it seemed like we were able to win the battle down low," Gravitt said. "They have some nice size on that team, and they try to control the boards and tempo, and our girls did a good job establishing the type of game they wanted to play out there."
Beating Lambert (5-12, 1-7), easily South’s biggest rival within the region, was an added bonus for the Lady War Eagles, who have now swept the season series against the Lady Longhorns.
"It means a lot to beat them.," said Myers. "Getting that win for our school is emotional."
"There’s definitely a lot of emotion among the students of these two schools," said Gravitt. "They’re all region games, and that’s what we’re counted them as."
Up by more than 30 points after the third quarter, South had the luxury of pulling its starters in favor of some of its younger girls. While this stalled the pace of the game a bit — each team scored only four points in the fourth quarter — it provided invaluable experience to players who could be the future of the program in the coming years.
"Having those girls out there who are going to be out there for the next few seasons, it’s important for them to get that experience early," Myers said. "For us to go out there and play hard to give them that chance is big for us and is going to be important down the road."
The loss kept Lambert head coach Tony Watkins one win shy of 600 for his career. The Lady Longhorns have dropped eight straight since giving him his 599th. He had a chance to reach the milestone on Saturday against McIntosh, a game that finished too late for this edition.