West Forsyth is on a roll.
Despite a fourth-quarter push by North Forsyth, West handed the Raiders their first region loss of the season on Tuesday, 47-39, winning its eighth game in a row.
It was a much-improved performance from their first matchup earlier this season, when North stomped West 53-33.
“It feels a lot better than the last time we played them, that’s for sure,” West head coach David May said after the game. “When you play North, everything is a competition. Every loose ball, every lost shot. I thought our girls just did a great job of competing tonight.”
Calie Thrower led the offense with 17 points and six assists. Cayla Cowart was right behind with a double-double, scoring 16 points and a team-high 11 rebounds.
The game was back-and-forth throughout the entire first half. West only led by three points at halftime, but started the second half on a 10-0 run to give them an 11-point lead.
May joked that his halftime message was to just make some shots.
“Making shots hides a lot of things and that’s one thing we haven’t done a lot this year, to be honest with you,” May said. “So to make a couple shots to start the half gave us the separation in the game that we needed to hold on down the stretch.
The Raiders made a run to bring the game within six points with fewer than two minutes left in the game, but West converted all four of its late attempts, all by Thrower.
“A big thing is that we’ve just got to hit the easy ones,” North head coach Brad Kudlas said. “If we’ve got an open girl, we’ve got to knock it down.”
North has combined for only 66 points in the past two games, which includes a 54-27 loss to Norcross on Saturday.
However, the team has continued to play great defense, something Kudlas said is his team’s backbone. On average, the Raiders allow 38 points to their opponents this season.
“We’ve been able to play really good defense all season and hold teams to lower than their average,” he said. “Sometimes we struggle to find some offense. We’ve just got to get in the gym to gain the confidence to finish these layups and open 3s we get.”
Haelim Adle led the offense with 14 points and five assists. Nobody else scored more than five points for the Raiders. Although it was a quiet four-point night for center Maddie Erickson, she still dominated the glass with 11 rebounds and blocked six West shots.
“We’ve got a young team,” Kudlas said. “We’ve hit a lull and we’re gonna have to pick ourselves up. It’s better to have that happen now than from two weeks from now. We wanted to play our best basketball in February, and I think we’ll get there.”
With just four region games left on the schedule, Kudlas said that North would likely have to run the table for a chance to host the Region 6-7A tournament as the top seed.
The Raiders will play to end their two-game losing streak against Forsyth Central at home Friday night.
Having played one more region game than North so far this season, West only has three region games remaining. The Wolverines hope to continue their eight-game wining streak at Lambert on Friday night. West won 55-12 in their last meeting.