Facing a tied game heading into the final quarter, West Forsyth peeled off an 8-0 run to secure a 48-43 victory against Forsyth Central and pick up a critical region victory.
By the end of the game, it seemed whichever team had the hot hand on offense was going to win.
West started the game on an 11-0 run that Central rallied to erase. The Bulldogs started the second quarter with an 8-0 run of their own to narrow the deficit to only three points at halftime, but could not keep pace with West’s 3-point shooting.
“I feel like we just missed some big opportunities,” Central head coach Angela Hurt said. “When our shots are not falling, we miss opportunities. We also missed opportunities inside. We didn’t attack the rim.”
Only four Wolverines scored in the game, but they scored in bunches. Calie Thrower led West with 19 points, 15 of them coming from behind the 3-point arc.
Her sister, Kalie Thrower, added two 3-pointers of her own. Cayla Cowart also converted a 3, giving West a final tally of eight 3-pointers in the game.
Cowart was everywhere for the Wolverines. She notched a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds. She was just a handful of assists away from a triple-double, with a team-leading seven assists.
“Cayla has done this for us all year,” West head coach David May said. “She’s just all over the place. She’s really grown into a leadership position this year, not just vocally but with her play out on the floor.”
West totaled 15 steals on defense. Five of them came late in the fourth quarter, killing any and all momentum that Central had to potentially send the game to overtime or win.
May said that he thought at times that his team’s energy was solid, but that they need to be more consistent with their energy on the court.
“I just think our energy levels were up and down throughout the game,” May said. “There were some times that we didn’t play with great energy and other times that we did. When we do play with great energy, we make some really good things happen. We’re just having too many mental lapses to put together a solid four quarters of basketball.”
Christina Ajorgbor recorded a double-double for Central, with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Elizabeth Pruitt led the Bulldogs with 14 points.
Hurt said the Pruitt rolled her ankle last Friday against Lambert, but played through the injury.
Pruett and three other seniors were recognized after the game in celebration of Central’s senior night.
Four-year-starter Carson Cloud and Brenna Hehir were all celebrated and played hard throughout the game. UMass commit Aisha Dabo was also recognized, but is not able to play right now due to a right leg injury.
Central has had a tough time getting started this season. Dabo sustained her injury three games into the season, sidelining her for the remainder of the season. Six games later, the team had to be quarantined due to exposure of COVID-19, causing the team to not play for over a month.
“We are still crawling out of our hole,” Hurt said. “You can see us start to come back together. I feel like tonight was our best showing all year long. We’ve just faced so much adversity that it feels like we’ve had a carpet ripped out from under us twice this season. If anything, we have started to build back and see some of the good things we can do, even without Dabo.”
West will travels to Denmark at 6 p.m. Friday, while Central will face non-region opponent Blessed Trinity on Saturday.