Last time North Forsyth and South Forsyth met on Dec. 10, North crushed South, handing the previously unbeaten Lady War Eagles a startling wake up call.
Tuesday night, South returned the favor.
After North suffered its first loss of the season on Saturday, the Lady Raiders came out with a lot of energy. However, South was simply the better team this time around.
The Lady War Eagles won 55-47, out-performing North in just about every facet of the game and giving the Lady Raiders their first losing streak of 2013-14.
“Emotionally, we were all part of that game, from the bench to the floor,” said junior Ally Welch. “We knew it would be a tough battle out there, and we came out with the energy we needed from the beginning.
“It’s a sweet revenge, but we also know a lot of girls on that team and they played a great game.”
South’s strong start was crucial. In the previous meeting, North stormed out to a 26-8 lead after the first eight minutes in route to a 72-35 victory.
Tuesday was different. Both teams were evenly matched through most of the first quarter, but a late change in momentum set the course for the rest of the game.
South guard Mari Jonassen hit a buzzer-beater at the end of the first quarter, which went down as arguably the biggest play of the night. This staked the Lady War Eagles to a 16-12 lead—giving them the push they needed to go on a 14-9 run in the second quarter.
“That was big,” South head coach Keith Gravitt said of Jonassen’s shot. “It gave us momentum and to come [into the second] off that high was big, because we knew they were going to come and respond.
“It’s important with a team as good as they are to not let them come out and get a lead on you. Our girls understood that.”
Sophomore Sarah Myers paved the way for South with 20 points, and Welch chipped in 19.
While Welch didn’t lead her team in scoring, she was certainly the Lady War Eagles’ most valuable player, as her buckets came at the most opportune times.
“She hit some huge shots for us,” Gravitt said of Welch. “She was big on the boards, too … she just had a great, great night.
“That [performance] ranks up there pretty high for her. It’s in the top two of her career.”