Eagles get the best of Vikings with late-game comeback

Eagles get the best of Vikings with late-game comeback
December 10
00:00 2015
Photo by Craig T. Greenlee
Naim Evans of the Vikings had three 3-pointers for a team high 14 points against the Eagles.

If the results of the season opener is any indication, followers of East Forsyth JV basketball are in for a thrilling ride. Down by eight points with 4:38 to go in the game, the Eagles delivered down the stretch to take a 54-46 road win over North Forsyth last week.

Trenton West of East Forsyth converted a pair of free throws to force a 45-45 tie with 1:48 left to play. The Eagles closed out the game with a 9-1 run – all from the foul line – as Tanis Samuels hit 7-of-8 free throws.

The game began to turn in the Eagles favor for good when coach Rodney Minor put his starters back in the game for the final minutes. Earlier in the quarter, Minor yanked his starters who had not played well for a good portion of the second half.

“I took them out so they could watch from the bench and see what was happening,” said Minor. “They didn’t go after loose balls and they didn’t rebound very well. So, I had to change things up with a lineup of mostly freshmen.

“Once the starters returned, they did a better job of grabbing rebounds and they attacked the paint. We started getting second-chance points and we knocked down some free throws. That’s what gave us the victory.”

Samuels topped the Eagles with 15 points, followed by Sayyid Dalton, who contributed 11 points. Bradley Hall finished with 10.

“In the first quarter, we started out good, but then we got lethargic,” said Minor. “We got too comfortable with a 10-point lead and we settled for too many jump shots. At one point, it seemed like North Forsyth just wanted it more than we did.”

The Vikings, with Jordan Oakes, Dawoud Evans, Marquan Matthews and Naim Evans taking turns, regrouped midway through the third quarter. Dawoud Evans hit a free throw to give North Forsyth its first lead of the game (32-31) with 3:30 remaining. Oakes and Naim Evans drilled 3-pointers to give the Vikings some cushion. As things turned out, though, it wasn’t enough.

“We have to learn how to hold a lead,” said coach Jefferey Moore of North Forsyth, whose team fell to 0-3. “In far too many instances, we rushed shots and didn’t make the best decisions. With a lead, there was no need for us to be in a hurry with our offensive possessions. It didn’t help any that we were out of position for a lot of rebounds.

“They got a lot of second and third-chance points and that made a difference. But on the plus side, they didn’t give up. They’re not quitters. We just have to improve on making the right choices in different game situations.”

Naim Evans, who had three 3-pointers, led the Vikings in scoring with 14 points. Oakes contributed 12 points to the cause.

East Forsyth took control of the game from the opening tip and led 16-9 at the end of the first quarter. Over the final minutes of the second quarter, North Forsyth climbed back into contention. Aaron Worthy buried a 3-pointer from the left wing to cut the deficit to 23-22.

The Eagles answered on the final possession of the half. Dalton sank a 30-foot, bank-shot 3-pointer, to give his team a 26-22 lead at intermission.


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Craig Greenlee

Craig Greenlee

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