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West Forsyth girls fend off late charge from Johns Creek
WF Bench1 012715 web
West Forsyth coach David May (far left), Jenna Staiti (23), Hayla Seitz (3) and the rest of the Lady Wolverines' bench celebrate in the second half Tuesday night. - photo by Brian Paglia

West Forsyth wasn’t expecting much of a game from the Johns Creek girls Tuesday night. They couldn’t have; the Lady Wolverines won by 23 at Johns Creek on Dec. 13.

You probably know where this is going: Johns Creek gave West all it could handle. The Lady Wolverines never could pull away — their largest second half lead was just six points — but David May’s team eked out a 48-45 win over the Lady Gladiators on Tuesday.

“It’s good to have games like that,” May said. “You get to see what you’re made of. We didn’t play maybe as well as we would like but we grinded it out.”

Junior center Jenna Staiti sat for a majority of the second half, even as Johns Creek took its first lead with six minutes remaining. May wanted to rest his leading scorer, probably a wise move with the region tournament in two weeks.

Still, Staiti led all scorers with 20 points and added seven rebounds and four blocks. Jasmine Rodriguez finished with 11, including a layup with 3:12 left that gave West (18-4 overall, 13-2 Region 6-AAAAAA) a 45-43 lead.

Conner Parker pushed that lead to 48-45 by knocking down one of two free throws with 34.8 ticks remaining. With a three-point lead, West could focus its defensive efforts around the arc and not worry about giving up a layup or easy basket.

Johns Creek (10-12, 5-10) had shot well from from deep (6-of-14 on the night), and the Lady Gladiators had a chance to tie, but a corner three hit off the back rim.

Johns Creek retained possession when a jump ball was called in the ensuing scrum for the rebound; they inbounded with 11.7 seconds to go, but failed to get a shot off. Staiti hedged on a screen at the top of the key and took the ball away as time expired.

“Johns Creek shot the ball well. They’ve been playing much better lately, playing teams close and winning some close games,” May said. “It was good to get that one.”

West Forsyth girls 48, Johns Creek 45

Johns Creek    12   14   10    9_45
West Forsyth   17  13    9     9_48

Johns Creek: Tanguilig 13; Colavito 10; Hobbs 7; Tremble 7; Majkowski 4; Poole 4.

West Forsyth: Staiti 20; Rodriguez 11; Quincy 6; Co. Parker 4; Ca. Parker 3; Ortlip 2; Schlagel 2.