ALPHARETTA — No. 8 seed West Forsyth almost pulled off the biggest upset of the Region 6-AAAAAA basketball tournament.
The Wolverines controlled the pace of the game for the first two quarters and led 28-20 at the break, but couldn’t withstand 20 second half points from No. 1 seed Chattahoochee’s Markus Terry and lost 47-42 in the first round on Wednesday at Alpharetta High School.
West’s season is now finished.
"They didn’t do anything we didn’t expect," West head coach Jim Cook said. "We knew they were going to make a run. They’re the No. 1 team in the region for a reason, but that’s basketball, and when it happens you got to make sure you stay within the game and take high percentage shots and make defensive stops. We did that and made the game close all the way down to the wire."
With the No. 1 seed Cougars down by eight going into halftime, they came out on fire to start the third quarter.
Terry drove the lane for much of the period and scored 11 consecutive points to give his team a 31-28 lead, their first since the score was 13-12 to end the first quarter.
West’s Zach Evans stopped the run with a jumper and teammate John Conway tied the game at 32-32 to end the third quarter.
The Cougars took a 41-35 lead with 2:54 left in the fourth quarter and called timeout after Terry made both free throws.
West made its last push to reclaim the lead and closed the gap to one following five consecutive points from Staiti with 53 seconds left in the game.
Terry then took over for the Cougars (20-6) and scored their final six points. The senior guard knocked down two sets of free throws to make the score 45-40 with under 30 seconds to play.
Jimmy Staiti cut the score to three for West (6-21) with a shot in the lane with 8.8 seconds remaining. The Wolverines immediately tried to foul on the inbounds play, but Terry ran past the defenders and dunked the ball to seal the game.
Terry led all scorers with 30 points, while West’s Nick Staiti (14) and Jimmy Staiti (10) combined for 24.
"It seemed like when we got down there in the tight ballgame, we just kind of went away from the game plan a little bit," Cook said.
"It’s very hard to stop [Terry]. Not many guys in this area can do that. He’s just a great player and great leader on that team. It’s difficult to contain him.
"I hope this is a statement for the [West players] that if you do the things you’re supposed to do and put the time in and execute the way you’re supposed to that you can give yourselves a chance to win any ballgame."