(pictured above: Zach Kellum’s (12 points, 11 rebounds and 4 steals) led the Eagles Junior Varsity to the win against their rival, Glenn.)
Up until the late stages of the third quarter, it appeared that East Forsyth would suffer another loss to cross-town rival Glenn. The Eagles had not forgotten how the Bobcats handled them when the two Kernersville schools met in the quarterfinals of the Lash-Chronicle Holiday Classic last month.
This time, it was a different story. East Forsyth finished with a flurry to claim a come-from-behind 68-63 victory last week on the Bobcats’ home floor. D.J. Twitty finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Jaylen Lyles contributed 18 points for the Eagles. Twitty and Lyles got plenty of offensive support from Zach Kellum (12 points, 11 rebounds and 4 steals) and Brandon Tate (11 points).
“The big difference (against Glenn) was that everybody played using our philosophy,” said Coach Charles Thomas. “Defend every man; rebound every ball; share the ball on offense – that’s our approach. We’re a better team now than when we played in the Lash. We know who we are, and we know what we want to do at both ends of the floor.”
East Forsyth (11-2) trailed by as many as seven points in the third quarter, but stayed in contention and eventually tied the game 44-44 at the 2:48 mark. At that point, the Eagles went into overdrive and closed with a 7-2 flurry. Kellum capped the rally with a 3-pointer from the top of the key to give East a 51-46 lead right before the buzzer sounded to end the quarter.
“We’re pushing the ball and playing hard on defense,” said Kellum, a left-handed forward. “Plus, we’re getting the help we need from our bench. As long as everybody continues to do their job, we’ll be all right.”
East Forsyth had several defensive stops during the second half that paved the way for the victory. The game’s momentum began to switch hands when the Eagles started doing a better job of crashing the boards and limiting Glenn to one shot on nearly every offensive possession. East Forsyth’s zone defenses (2-3 and 1-2-2) played a pivotal role in disrupting the Bobcats’ rhythm.
The Bobcats, who led 35-32 at halftime, never allowed East Forsyth to take total control of the contest. In several instances over the final five minutes, Glenn was in position to either tie the game or take the lead, but was not able to close the gap completely. Bobcats combo guard Josh Jenkins hit a runner in the lane to make it a two-point game at 65-63 with 1:02 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Eagles finally put the game away for good in the waning seconds. Twitty hit the front end of a one-and-one and Lyles squeezed past two defenders, drew contact, and banked a short-range shot off the glass with 27.4 seconds left to play.