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Basketball: Staiti sets pace in West victory
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West’s Nick Staiti dribbles past South’s Douglas Cotter on Friday at West Forsyth. - photo by Autumn Vetter

West Forsyth came out firing and never let up.

Nick Staiti drained three consecutive 3-pointers in the first quarter to help guide the Wolverines to a 49-40 victory South Forsyth on Friday at West Forsyth High School.

Staiti’s shots set the tone for the Wolverines who never trailed and took a 14-5 lead to end the first quarter.

“Those [shots] were huge,” West head coach Jim Cook said. “We’ve been waiting for him to come out of his shooting slump. He’s been working extremely hard on his shot and it’s good to see him come out here in front of his home crowd and knock down some shots.”

West (2-4, 1-2 Region 6B-AAAAAA) was lights-out from 3-point range, shooting 8-for-10, while the War Eagles could never find their groove. South (3-4, 0-3) finished the game shooting 2-for-14 from the 3-point line and turned the ball over nine times in the first half to trail 28-12 at halftime.

“We didn’t come out and play in the first half,” South head coach Manson Hill said. “We had no intensity. We had no fire. I don’t understand. Nobody wanted to play in the first half.

“We showed some intensity in the second half. We got it back to 10 or 11, but you can’t wait that late. At this point, I don’t think anybody on our team has a starting spot.”

Zach Evans paced the Wolverines with 13 points and Staiti finished the game with 12, while South’s Douglas Cotter (14) and Greer Landry (10) combined for 24 points.

West roared to a 43-23 lead to end the third quarter before using its bench players for most of the final period.

“Almost all of the defense we ran was new,” Evans said. “We just put in a new half-court trap early this week because we didn’t think they could handle the pressure. We knew it would get in their head and we need something to get us started.

“This [win] means a lot. This is a step forward for us. I think we can be good, but we have to go out and fight.”

West was scheduled to play host to Pickens on Saturday before traveling to Dawson County on Thursday, while South will play Forsyth Central on Monday at the D.B. Carroll Complex.