West Forsyth’s boys basketball team faced an 11-point halftime deficit Friday night against Archer. It wasn’t ideal, but it was manageable.
Then it grew to 13. Then 15. Before the Wolverines knew it, their opponents had begun the second half with a 10-4 run. Fredrick Hurt called three timeouts in the first few minutes of the third quarter to settle his squad down.
“It didn’t help,” he lamented.
Despite a mostly competitive first half, West will continue to search for its elusive first win of 2018, as the visiting Tigers outrebounded and pressured the Wolverines effectively on their way to handing West a 79-51 defeat, its seventh of the season.
“We’ve had a rough start, that’s for sure,” Hurt said. “Things haven’t gone like we had hoped, like we had worked for, like we had planned. We’ve got an uphill climb right now, but we’re going to figure out which ones are willing to do it. We’re going to keep working and keep plugging.”
West started the game with a 4-0 lead and extended it to 7-2 with 4:51 after a Jack Bock three-pointer. Archer quickly caught up, though, and connected on a three to take their first lead of the game with 1:50 left in the opening quarter. Nick Zabetakis quickly responded with a layup to retake the lead with 1:02 left, and heading into the second, the Wolverines held a slim 13-10 advantage.
That lead was quickly extinguished, though, with the Tigers connecting on a three to tie the game again at 13. West’s Broc Bidwell made a three to knot things up again at 16, but eventually, Archer began to pull away, with the Wolverines missing key opportunities at the free throw line.
A three-point play for Tyler Lane narrowed the gap with 1:20 left until the break, but Archer still went into the locker room with a 35-24 advantage.
In the third, the Tigers’ strong start propelled them to a 50-31 lead after Lane connected on a three to break an ill-timed scoring drought. Archer was dominating West on the boards, and got plenty of second chances at points. With a 57-34 lead at the end of three, Archer had the cushion it needed to coast to the win.
“Their pressure really bothered us as the game went on,” Hurt said. “They sped us up. We felt like we had some fight early in the game, but as it started getting bad, (it’s) every man for himself-type stuff.”
West’s loss to Archer was only its second loss by 20 points or more, with their matchup with North Gwinnett on Nov. 19 being the other. The other five have been close. That, and the fact that West hasn’t had its full team on the court early in the season, is a silver lining that things can turn around.
“We’re not bad — it seems like we’re bad from that game but we’re really not,” junior guard Zack Zabetakis said. “We’ve had close games and we just can’t finish them yet. We’ve just got to get more disciplined. Everyone on the team is hungry for it. We’ll get it tomorrow.”
Bidwell led the Wolverines with 14 points. Nick Zabetakis finished with 12.
Archer girls 54, West Forsyth 40
West's girls had a solid start against the Tigers, as they jumped out to a 23-15 lead after the first quarter with three three-pointers from Calie Thrower leading the way.
But from the second quarter on, the points became harder to come by. The Wolverines couldn’t find open shots and were turnover prone. Archer outscored West 13-3 in the second quarter, and took its first lead at 28-26 with 15 seconds left before halftime.
The Wolverines’ offensive woes continued in the third quarter, with a Kassidy Kimbo three accounting for West’s only field goal in the period. Even after scoring just five points in the third, West was still in it at 37-31. However, Archer kept its lead in the fourth and took the win.
Thrower finished with a team-leading 11 points for West. Maggie Quincy ended her night with nine.