It’s hard to win a varsity basketball game with just 46 points, but that is exactly what West Forsyth did Tuesday night.
In fact, after their 76-43 loss against South Forsyth earlier this season, West head coach Frederick Hurt said that it was next to impossible to win a game scoring in the 40s.
He said after Tuesday’s 46-37 region win against North that it's the last time he would like to accomplish that feat.
“For us to make any kind of run in the region tournament, we have to be able to put the ball in the basket,” Hurt said. “That’s the defensive energy we need, but we shoot the ball way better than we did tonight. We’ve got guys that can shoot the 3.”
It was back-and-forth between the two teams all night.
The Wolverines led every quarter by one point, until the fourth when the Raiders had to start fouling late.
North head coach David Sokol said it was not just one moment in the game that was the deciding factor, but little things throughout the entire game that his team needs to clean up.
“Turnovers down the stretch, offensive rebounds off of free throws,” Sokol said. “I thought we did a really good job defensively and did what we were trying to accomplish. The effort was there, we just need to execute on offense. We had some good looks, we just didn’t make the shots.”
North’s Aidan Kudlas and Jackson Olson led all scorers in the game with 12 points. Matthew Rouse also played well for the Raiders, scoring seven points and recording a game-high four assists.
“Matthew is a big part of our team.” Sokol said. “He’s got a lot of potential and plays with a lot of passion.”
No offensive player scored more 10 points in the game for West, but eight players scored in the winning effort. Jake Mooney led the Wolverines with nine points off the bench and Cooper Watts scored eight. Grant Moore also scored eight points and had a game-high eight rebounds.
North did not have an answer for the size difference between their team and West. The Wolverines out-rebounded the Raiders 36 to 24.
“We were more engaged defensively,” Hurt said. “If you take away a few possessions, we did a really good job on the boards and tagged their best offensive player really well.”
The Wolverines got their second region win of the season without their starting point guard. Joe Wortman missed the game having to quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure. Hurt said he was proud of how point guard Mark Daly played in response.
“Mark Daly played way more minutes than usual and was a warrior tonight,” Hurt said. “He guarded their best player and was running the court for us on offense.”
West (9-12, 3-6 Region 6-7A) has just three region games left in the season. Currently the sixth seed in the region, they are just a game behind Forsyth Central. Their next game is 7:30 p.m. Friday at Lambert.
North (4-16, 0-7 Region 6-7A) has struggled up to this point, but are hoping to cause some chaos in the region standings before the region tournament. The Raiders will host Forsyth Central at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
“We want to focus on finishing down the stretch,” Sokol said. “We’ve got a young team and we just need to emphasize the end of the game. It starts with practice. We’ve got to give ourselves a chance.”