Anything North Forsyth’s Caroline Bowns could do, South’s Sarah Myers could do better. Anything Myers could do, Bowns could do better.
On and on this went in a see-saw second half of Tuesday’s Region 6-AAAAAA title game rematch at South. Myers and Bowns combined to score the final 21 points of the third quarter, and still the two sides could find no separation.
In front of Maryland associate head coach Tina Langley, though, it was Myers and South who pulled one more play out of the bag to earn a 52-50 win over the Lady Raiders and at least a measure of retribution for the region championship game loss.
South coach Keith Gravitt said the Lady War Eagles downplayed any motivation Tuesday beyond beating a rival and staying undefeated in region play.
“It’s a regular season game and it’s a long season,” he said. “It’s an inter-county game which is probably what brings most of the excitement. I think the girls on both sides are just thinking it’s going to be a tough, 32-minute game and they had to get after it.”
An hour after the final buzzer, North coach Eric Herrick was already looking forward to the rematch in Coal Mountain on Feb. 6, the final game of the regular season.
“I love big games like that. It was fun,” Herrick said. “They hit some free throws late and we couldn’t make some shots late. We made some crucial mistakes putting [Myers] on the line on two late possessions, and Caroline got unlucky with the charge call on a made shot, but hats off to South.”
Myers scored a game-high 29 for South, including 20 of the Lady War Eagles’ 25 in the second half. The Maryland commit drilled a straight-on 3-pointer with four seconds left in the third quarter to equalize at 40, then gave South the lead for good (50-49) at 2:03 of the fourth with two free throws. Her left-handed layup with 20 seconds remaining pushed that lead to three, too much for North to overcome.
Bowns finished with 16 for North. North’s career scoring leader had 14 in a row for the Lady Raiders during a stretch spanning the third and fourth quarters, but two offensive fouls called on the Campbell signee inside the closing minutes were too much for North to overcome.
“Caroline has a green light every possession,” Herrick said. “If she goes out and takes 40 shots next game, I’m perfectly fine with that...With the game on the line, I want the ball in that kid’s hands.”
South did what it could to keep Bowns from getting to the rim, so the senior took what was there — mid-range jump shots, two 3-pointers, a baseline floater — to keep North within striking distance.
Lochlain Corliss added 15 for the Lady Raiders and Okwunne Ogbogu had 10. Mari Jonassen was South’s second-leading scorer with six points, including a three at the halftime buzzer that buoyed the Lady War Eagles.
North, inbounding just over half court with 3.2 seconds left, had a chance to win or tie, but the Lady Raiders couldn’t get a shot off in time.
South Forsyth girls 52, North Forsyth 50
North Forsyth 8 17 15 10_50
South Forsyth 9 18 13 12_52
North Forsyth: Bowns 16, Corliss 15, Ogbogu 10, Pefanis 4, Jones 3, Palmer 2.
South Forsyth: Myers 29, Jonassen 6, Storms 5, Dreslinski 4, Threlkeld 4, Welch 4.
2-pt FG: North 17-37, South 15-32.
3-pt FG: North 4-13, South 4-15.
Free Throws: North 4-9, South 10-12.
Rebounds: North 29, South 27.
Turnovers: North 10, South 14.