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Basketball: 3-point shooting leads Wolverines to victory
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West Forsyth's Lachlan Poventz looks to drive past a North Gwinnett defender Friday at home. (Photo by Jay Rooney Photography)

Chase Damerell had 17 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, and two blocks to help West Forsyth hold off North Gwinnett by a 59-54 margin Friday night at home.

Sam Maynard finished with 16 points and Braden Halloran added 14 points, including four 3s, to mark the Wolverines' third straight win.

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West Forsyth's Braden Halloran takes a shot to the face during a shot attempt Friday at home. (Photo by Jay Rooney Photography)

The first few minutes of the match were filled with back-and-forth action, as both teams launched shots from distance.

In the first half, three shots from beyond the arc were made by Halloran, two by Damerell and one by Lachlan Povenz.

Bulldogs junior Charli Gallagher hits a 3-pointer to beat the shot clock. But with 2.3 seconds left on the clock, West Forsyth put together a great play where Halloran hit a 3-pointer from deep to cut the lead to 23-20.

“I was pleased to see the ball go in the basket for us from 3,” Wolverines head coach Fredrick Hurt said on the 3-point outburst. "That was a good sign from us."

As Damerell scanned the court, he hit Brandon Goldberger with a nice bounce pass in a tight window to cut the lead to 31-29. Then Goldberger scored again on a layup to tie the game in a great sequence by the Wolverines.

The highlight of the night came from Damerell running along the baseline to catch an alley-oop to take a 33-31 lead in style.

Shortly after, Halloran used his speed to accelerate past the defense to finish the fast break at the rim. Damerell shot a 3 in his opponent's grill to advance the score to 38-31. Following that, Sam Carder blocked the Bulldogs' layup, but a traveling violation prevented the Wolverines from capitalizing.

Although the Bulldogs still were knocking down shots from behind the arc, making three 3s, they trailed the Wolverines, 41-36.

It was a struggle to score for both teams after halftime. Neither team reached its highest point total in the contest with 12 points overall. Maynard scored the only points for the Wolverines.

The Bulldogs began the fourth quarter on a 6-0 run. It was Halloran that ended the scoring slump, knocking down his fourth 3-pointer to beat the shot clock.

Off the inbounds pass, North Gwinnett's Caleb Jones-Dicks jumps in front of the passing lane for a steal and takes it to coast to coast, finishing the fast break for the game's first tie since the opening half.

Maynard and Blake Seitz exchanged free throws to tie the game once again at 53-all with 1:49 left.

As Damerell was working on Julian Walker, he got a clean look at the rim and finished it despite being fouled for an and 1.

A roar of excitement was heard from the Wolverines bench as Damerell high-fived his teammate to go to the line. However, he missed the free throw, but the Wolverines stole the ball. It landed in Damerell's hands to knock down the mid-range jumper for a 57-53 lead.

The Bulldogs had possession of the ball with 16.2 seconds left to try to tie the game. Nevertheless, the Wolverines forced another turnover. 

North Gwinnett had no choice but to foul to stop the clock, and Grayson Smith sank two free throws for the final points of the game.