After No. 6 seed Centennial beat North Forsyth on Wednesday, West Forsyth head coach David May wasn’t going to take the Lady Knights likely. His challenge, if the Lady Wolverines were going to advance to the Region 6-AAAAAA final, was to eliminate dynamic guards Shekinah Guthrie and Brianna Perry. West’s dominant center Jenna Staiti would also face Grace Morrow, a 6-foot-3 center built for the task of making the Maryland signee’s day difficult.
West ended up not having many problems.
Staiti scored 29 points, including three 3-pointers, and Centennial’s guards were bottled up all game as West cruised to a 61-29 semifinal victory. This is the first time in program history the Lady Wolverines made the region championship game.
“We’re excited,” West head coach David May said. “(Getting to the final) has been something we talked about all year. The last two years we had leads in the fourth quarter of the region semifinals and lost both, so to pull this out was really good for our girls and they’re excited for tomorrow’s opportunity.”
West’s theatrics continued to the final whistle, when senior Megan Moore went onto the floor in a mass substitution in the waning moments and knocked down a three-fourths court, throw-in shot that left the team grinning uncontrollably as they walked back to the locker room.
As West’s backups scored down the stretch, May thought his team showed its true colors.
“Our girls like eachother. You saw it at the end when they scored, the bench went crazy. They like playing together,” May said. “Those kids come to practice and work hard too. They made a decision to ride this season through, so it’s good to give them minutes and reward them for their work.”
West trailed Centennial 12-11 after the first quarter, but Staiti recovered from a slow start to end up with 19 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks before halftime. She finished with 13 rebounds and six blocks.
Jane Ortlip and Kalie Schlegal were the only other West players to make more than one field goal, while Brooke Pirkle contributed with four made free throws.
West will play the winner of tonight’s Northview-Chattahoochee game.