Lambert basketball combined to beat Forsyth Central at home by 77 points on Tuesday night. Lambert girls started the night with a 63-21 routing, and the boys closed the night with a defensive clinic on the way to an 82-47.
The Lambert boys have never been focused on one player dominating the game. Even when the team had big-time recruits, they played under head coach Scott Bracco’s system. The system is focused around spreading the ball and swarming the opposition as soon as they inbound the ball.
This could not have been more true on Tuesday night. From the jump, Lambert utilized their full-court press defense to create havoc and easy points. Within five minutes, the defense forced Central to call three timeouts as Lambert went out to a 22-9 lead after the first quarter.
One of Central’s leading scorers, C.J. Smith, has been incredibly efficient with the basketball this season. Lambert recognized that and denied ball entry to the guard all game long. They held Smith to just nine points and two rebounds.
“We are playing defense collectively,” said Bracco, “and I think that’s why were successful tonight.”
Coming out of the half, Lambert led 39-20, and they quickly expanded the lead and put the game away. Austin Deckard and Jordan McIlwain came out of the locker room on fire, as they combined for 19 points in the second half. By the end of the third quarter, Lambert grabbed a 30-point lead, and the win was sealed.
Lambert’s offense finished the game with 23 assists and 12 players scoring points. McIlwain finished with 19 points, three rebounds, three assists and one block.
“Our guys came out and played hard tonight,” said Bracco. “It was a great team effort on both ends.”
Lambert’s girls set the tone for the ‘team win’ theme when they began the night looking absolutely dominant. The girls, much like the boys’ team, utilize a full court press to jump out to early leads. After a slow shooting start for both teams, Lambert finally found its stroke and ended the first quarter with a 16-4 lead.
Central struggled to keep possession of the ball. Turnovers riddled the offense, never allowing for any real comeback.
“We executed some things with our defense,” Lambert girls coach Jamie Fisher said, “and we were able to force some turnovers and convert on the offensive end.”
The offensive end took a page out of the boys’ playbook. The girls had 14 assists, many of them coming on fast breaks off of turnovers.
Molly Williams led the way for Lambert with 12 points, and joining her were 10 other teammates who found the bottom of the basket.