The North Forsyth Lady Raiders entered the night winless in region play, but they left West Forsyth with a dominant 61-35 win and no longer at the bottom of Region 5-7AAAAAAA
North Forsyth (13-4, 1-2) started the season on a tear. They ranked in the top 10 in Class-7A early in the season, and it appeared they were ready to take the crown as the next dominant girls basketball team from Forsyth County. But region losses to Lambert and South Forsyth threw adversity into the talented team’s season early on.
West Forsyth (9-6, 1-2) is coming off of their most successful season ever behind former star Jenna Staiti. This season, they were searching for a new identity, and they started to find it with a solid nine-win start.
From the initial buzzer, the North girls attacked the basket. The first play of the game was a shot and a foul for Cassie Markie, setting the tone for a physical battle. Late in the first quarter, North started to hit the three point shot, a weapon they used to keep West trailing for the entire game.
North ended up hitting six three pointers on the night while West did not hit any. The three pointers kept a cushioned lead, but easy jump shots and efficiency driving the basket made it a blowout.
“Our offense shoots a lot of 3s,” said interim coach Brad Kudlas, “but the biggest thing tonight was that we hit our two pointers. We finished plays, and that’s what we’ve been trying to work on all season.”
West made mental mistakes all night. When West would begin to cut the lead, they would return with a couple of self-imposed turnovers or missed shots. These turnovers lead to those easy two point baskets for North. North’s biggest lead of the night came in the fourth quarter when they went up 55-28 and breezed to a victory.
“If we played together as a team, we were going to come here and get done what needed to get done,” said Kudlas. “All credit goes to the girls.”
Leading the way for North were Markie, who finished with 13 points and three rebounds, and Amber Jones who ended the night with 11 points and two rebounds.