By Weston Walker
For the Forsyth County News
The West Forsyth boys basketball team’s home opener was spoiled by Woodstock in a 78-75 loss Friday night.
West jumped out to an early double-digit lead behind Terrence Taylor’s shooting. Taylor started off 3-for-3, including one from beyond the arc. Taylor finished with a team-high 25 points.
“I came out ready to play, and ready to score. I know that’s my role on the team,” said Taylor.
Nick Zabetakis added seven points of his own to help out West. He went 3-for-4 in the first half, including an assist and rebound.
Despite Taylor’s hot shooting and Zabetakis’ all-around contributions, Woodstock battled back to take a double-digit lead of their own in the second quarter. Then less than a minute before the half, West forward Andrew Stanton was ejected after a physical play and confrontation against a Woodstock player. This brought the first half to a close with fireworks, and West ended the half down nine.
The second half was also dominated by Taylor and Zabetakis, but this time, it was Nick’s older brother, Michael.
Michael Zabetakis was perfect from the field in the second half, going 4-for-4 for 10 of his 15 points, threw down a momentum-changing dunk, and had several rebounds.
West continued to battle and inch closer to a tie game throughout the third quarter, and as the fourth quarter began, West was down by eight points. While West battled back to make it a tie game, they never regained the lead.
Following the shot that made it a tie game, Woodstock made a free throw and another basket, giving them a 3-point lead.
West had the chance to tie, down by 3, with just over 5 seconds left. The ensuing play saw a low inbounds pass roll off of Taylor’s feet, giving Woodstock the ball back.
“We were trying to get [the ball] to half court and then call another time out,” West head coach Fred Hurt said. “Then we were going to run one of our half court plays to get a shot, to tie it, [but] we just didn’t make the play to get it there.”
Following the botched play, West attempted to foul, but by this point, the game was over. Hurt praised his team for their hustle and grit, regardless of the tough loss.
“We did battle all the way back. Now instead of hoping to win, we have to learn how to win,” Hurt said. “Tough, it’s a tough [loss]. That’s something, though, that we can build on.”
Woodstock 66, West Forsyth girls 34
While West Forsyth’s defense held Woodstock to poor shooting to begin the game, they quickly found their rhythm and ended the first half with a 35-12 lead over West at the half.
The second half featured more lights-out shooting from Woodstock.
“I thought we played hard. We got a lot of good looks, [but] we didn’t shoot the ball well,” West head coach David May said. “It’s just about making shots. Sometimes that’s just what basketball comes down to. We have to do a better job at putting the ball in the basket.”