Neither team was at full strength, but South Forsyth showed its experience Tuesday night with a 44-31 win over West Forsyth at home.
Emily Dreslinski led the way for South (13-7, 4-1 Region 5-7A) with 13 points, three steals and two assists as she stayed away from her usual position as a wing and attacker under the rim. That was because South lost Mari Jonassen, the team's experienced senior point guard who had five points and an assist, midway through the second quarter.
It was a frightening moment for Jonassen, who missed the first eight games of the season with an injury to the same right knee. A key contributor last season for the Lady War Eagles, she was in full command of the team from her return to the arrival of the new injury. Head coach Keith Gravitt elected not to provide details of the injury, but says he'll simply hope for the best.
"She'll have to get it checked out again here pretty soon and we'll go from there," Gravitt said. "We've played without her before. Obviously she's a great player for us but we'll regroup."
South entered the second half with Dreslinski at point along with Olivia Poff, Sara Idris, Olivia Woodison and Zoe Maisel. The Lady War Eagles were quieter in the second half, scoring just 14 points in the final 16 minutes of play as opposed to the 30-point total taken into the break.
Maisel added nine points and four rebounds, while Idris had two field goals and two assists.
West (9-8, 1-3) has struggled since a strong non-region start. Still, head coach David May liked the way his team continued to compete down the stretch against South, making cleaner passes and attacking the press with more precision.
"In the second half we finally started to execute what we had been working on in practice all week," May said. "We earned a lot of really good looks and felt, what it looked like, more comfortable."
Kalie Schlegel did the most damage for the Lady Wolverines, finishing with 13 points, five rebounds and three blocks.
West was without Abby Quincy and Ella Madson, two of its key players, due to an ankle injury and a required-rest, respectively. Madson was held out after competing in a lacrosse tournament earlier in the week.
South Forsyth boys 79, West Forsyth 46
Junior Andrew Roth had a breakout night for the War Eagles (6-13, 2-3), draining nine 3-pointers to finish with 33 total points in a blowout of West at home.
Roth had what head coach Scott Givens called "the type of game we have been waiting for."
"We were waiting for that five or six 3-point game from him," Givens said. "Obviously nine exceeded that. Just with the way he has practiced, we knew there's potential there. Overall, I think this was one of the most complete games we've played."
Despite a rough start to the season the War Eagles still have their goals in front -- they're still third in the region standings, holding one of the spots necessary to qualify for the state playoffs.
"That's our goal," Givens said. "After getting there last season we set that bar, now everything is still there for us. Hopefully a game like the one we had tonight can give us that boost and that confidence and we can keep it going."
South will visit another upstart team in the county--the Forsyth Central Bulldogs, Friday at home. Central won 55-43 in the previous meeting on Dec. 16.