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Basketball: West Forsyth defense turns up pressure in 65-47 win
Sterling Johnson
West Forsyth senior Sterling Johnson puts up a shot Tuesday during the Wolverines' 65-47 win against Forsyth Central. - photo by David Roberts

By Josh Holland

For the Forsyth County News

Forsyth Central senior Brandon Sherer made a half-court buzzer-beater to take the lead at the end of the first quarter Tuesday, capping off an explosive spell of eight minutes where the Bulldogs appeared to be unable to miss from beyond the arc. 

However, West Forsyth stepped up the defensive pressure during the second quarter, winning their third-straight game comfortably, 65-47.

Central head coach Brandon Hutchins said his team’s lack of effort for the final three quarters made a difference in the game. 

“We got a little flustered and started jacking up bad shots, and you can’t do that against a good team like them," Hutchins said. “It’s just lack of intensity, lack of effort, lack of hustle, lack of wanting to win a basketball game.”

West received a massive boost on senior night from senior Sterling Johnson, who finished the game with 18 points in a versatile big-man role. He constantly attacked the basket, and finished at the rim and the free-throw line, only missing one free throw all game, and making one 3-pointer. 

Senior Zack Zabetakis had 10 points for the Wolverines, including a pair of 3-pointers, while senior Nick Zabetakis added eight points and four assists, senior Jack Bock chipped in seven points and three rebounds, senior Will Leonard had five points and senior Oshen Young finished with five assists.

West head coach Frederick Hurt said that his team’s defense in the second quarter, when he opted to press full-court, was the driving force behind the win.

“They hit the half-court three to end the quarter, and in the first four minutes of the second quarter we stunk," Hurt said, "but we played well enough defensively that stinking on offense didn’t kill us.”

West cruised during the second half, outscoring the Bulldogs 41-25 in the final two quarters, and advanced to 17-5 this season and 5-2 in the region, as Central fell to 8-14 overall and 1-6 in the region.