LAWRENCEVILLE – Despite West Forsyth posting a season-single record 17 wins this year, the Lady Wolverines were unable to keep their season alive on the road against No. 1-seeded Archer, falling 67-35 on Friday in first round of the Class AAAAAA tournament.
West hung around early in the game but was eventually worn down by the tenacity and athleticism of Archer’s defense. The Lady Tigers forced 30 turnovers which created easy fast-break points and effectively stifled the West offense.
"At this time last year, we had only won eight games," West coach David May said. "This year, we doubled that mark due to the hard work the girls put in during the off-season. We just have to continue improving and eventually we can be where Archer is."
West's Jenna Staiti led the way for her squad with 14 points and protected the paint with authority by blocking three shots. Staiti was a force to be reckoned with and received a great deal of attention from the Lady Tiger defenders.
West kept the contest close through the first portion of the game, trailing by only six points going in to the second quarter. However, Archer began steadily pulling away from the Lady Wolverines as the game went on, nearly doubling their lead at the end of each subsequent quarter.
Archer employed an effective full-court pressure defense for the majority of the game, badgering the West ball-handlers as soon as they began dribbling. Their efforts seemingly paid off as many of West's possessions ended before they could manufacture a quality scoring chance.
Archer's Autumn Newby created problems all game long for the West defense. The Lady Tiger's leading scorer (20 points) continually attacked the basket and kept the Lady Wolverine defenders on their heels.
The Lady Tigers went up by 30 points at the end of the third quarter on a Newby lay-up plus the foul, creating an insurmountable deficit for West.
Despite battling all night long, the Lady Wolverines couldn’t overcome an Archer team is expected to go far in the state playoffs. Despite the loss, coach May made sure to keep the success of 2014 in perspective for his young team.
"Hopefully, our goals will be higher next year than what we achieved this season," May said. "We have a lot of kids coming back who can contribute for us. We talked in the locker room about how the senior girls have done a great job of setting the tone and creating future expectations for this program. Now it's up to our young girls to live up (to those expectations) and take our team to the next level."