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Basketball: Staitis 31 points not enough for West girls
Johns Creek boys ride early lead past Wolverines
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Forsyth County News

West Forsyth’s girls simply couldn’t handle the ball pressure.

Despite a career-high 31 points from freshman center Jenna Staiti, the Lady Wolverines couldn’t overcome 37 turnovers and fell to Johns Creek 53-44 on Friday at West Forsyth High School.

"We just turned the ball over way too many times," West girls head coach David May said. "... You’re not going to beat anyone turning the ball over that many times. That’s kind of what it boiled down to."

Later in the night, West’s boys suffered a 61-43 loss to the Gladiators.

The 6-foot-5 Staiti tallied 10 points in the first quarter to give West a 16-9 advantage, but the Lady Gladiators slowed down her production by double-teaming and held her to five points in the second period.

Johns Creek (7-5, 1-3) eventually took the lead after scoring six unanswered points in the final minute of the second period as Hannah Froats capped off the rally with a jumper at the buzzer for the Lady Gladiators to take a 24-23 lead at the half.

Neither team could string together a run in the third as Staiti scored all nine West points, but Johns Creek led 34-32 to start the fourth quarter.

Turnovers plagued the Lady Wolverines (5-8, 1-3) in the fourth. They gave the ball up nine times in the final period and Johns Creek used a 7-2 run midway through the quarter to pull away.

Froats led the Lady Gladiators with 13 points, while Dani Majkowski and Courtney Colavito added nine apiece. Other than Staiti, no West player finished the game with more than five points.

"[Johns Creek] didn’t have anyone over 5’9, and I don’t think we got it to her enough," May said.

"They didn’t have anyone that could guard her. We’re kind of simple. If they can’t guard you, we need to get the ball to you. We did a good job at times, we’ve just got to take better care of the ball."

Johns Creek (boys) 61, West Forsyth 43

It didn’t take long for Johns Creek’s boys to impose their will.

The Gladiators jumped out to a 16-4 lead with under three minutes to play in the first quarter and never looked back to earn a 61-43 victory on Friday at West Forsyth High School.

"They didn’t miss a shot," West head coach Jim Cook said.

"It could be contributed to some of our defense [or] some of them getting hot. It’s very difficult, when we’re missing shots and they’re making shots, to keep up."

Johns Creek’s Malik Avery (21) and Ryan Lewis (19) combined for 40 points, while Nick Staiti led West (4-8, 0-3) with 14.

The Gladiators (2-6, 0-3) were 14-of-25 from the field, including 6-of-9 from 3-point range in the first half to take a 33-19 lead into halftime.

"It seemed liked we’d get [the score] around 10 and then they’d hit a 3-point shot," Cook said. "It’s almost like a six point swing, it seems like. We don’t get a stop and they get a three. It’s a big momentum thing being above 10, compared to being below 10 and playing from behind. "

Johns Creek continued to score in the third period as Avery scored 11 of his 21 points to give the team a 48-33 lead to start the fourth quarter. The Gladiators then claimed a 27-point lead early in the fourth and cruised to victory.

"[The coaches and I] are going to tell them to forget about this one. ... We’re going to come back out and try to play West basketball where we defend people and execute on the offensive end.

"We have to forget about this one and worry about the next one."

Both West squads were scheduled to play Northview on Saturday before traveling to Chattahoochee on Tuesday.