MILTON – Lambert girls basketball defeated West Forsyth, 45-36, in a scrappy affair Wednesday at Milton High School to advance to the Region 5-7A championship game.
The top-seeded Lady Longhorns (22-3) will play third-seeded North Forsyth on Friday at 7 p.m.
Lambert has been known for its defense all season. The Lady Longhorns are among the few teams in the region that utilize a full-court press for extended stretches of games.
“We run many different defenses to keep other teams on their heels,” Lambert head coach Jaime Fisher said. “But we run full-court press a lot, and it’s what we are most comfortable in.”
It was up to West seniors Abby Quincy, Carsen Parker and Kalie Schlegel to step up.
Early on, they did. In the first quarter, Schlegel scored six of West’s eight points and finished with five rebounds. Parker extended plays with precision passes.
But that wasn’t enough. Lambert’s defense was too strong, forcing 12 steals and deflecting more throughout the game. M.E. Carven led Lambert with five steals.
“West came to play and we didn’t,” Fisher said. “Thankfully, we were able to get some steals and turn those steals into points.”
It took West almost 20 minutes to find a groove. The Lady Wolverines scored more points in the third quarter then did in the whole first half. Quincy and sophomore Ella Madson combined for eight points in the quarter.
In the fourth quarter, West cut Lambert’s lead to single digits for the first time since the game was tied 8-8 at the end of the first quarter.
But once that happened, Fisher brought her starters back in to close the game. After making the move Lambert maintained control of the ball and the clock to close the game and secure a win.
“We wanted to have a lineup in there that would do what we wanted them to do, so we had to make some subs and moves to do that,” Fisher said.