Late-game heroics propel West Forsyth past Reagan

Late-game heroics propel West Forsyth past Reagan
February 11
00:00 2016
Kelvin Johnson scores on a put back basket for West Forsyth.



The West Forsyth-Reagan JV match-up had all the elements you could ask for in a fiercely-contested basketball game. The pendulum of emotions for both teams swung back and forth in frenzied fashion over the final three minutes. Spectators got caught up in the intense suspense of a game that featured multiple ties and multiple lead changes. With 12 seconds remaining, Reagan tied the game at 52 on Ryan Ayers’ 3-pointer from the left corner. The resilient Titans, though, found a way to sidestep defeat. Darius Hill got the ball no the right baseline, took two dribbles to the basket and hit a tear-drop shot to give his team a pulsating 54-52 victory in front of a stunned Raiders home crowd.

“This game could have gone the other way,” said coach Jefferey Williams of West Forsyth. “Tonight, some of our players who normally step up weren’t as good as they usually are. Even so, there were others who stepped up to the opportunity and they shined –especially in the last quarter.”

With JaQuan McMillian operating on all cylinders, West Forsyth was able to stay

within striking distance. The lefty point guard provided timely offense, scoring on perimeter jumpers and double-clutch drives in heavy traffic. McMillian finished with 18 points and was the only Titans player to reach double digits in scoring. Hill and Thomas Laws chipped in with nine points each.

“I’m pleased with our production and everybody contributed,” said Williams. “At the end, we were very unselfish and that really paid off. We spread them out and attacked with dribble drives because we felt like we could find some openings against their defense. On those drives, if we got cut off, we were willing to make the pass to an open teammate.”

West Forsyth (14-4, 7-2) found itself playing catch-up for most of the night. But when it came time to make a decisive run, the Titans were ready and able. At the end of three quarters, Reagan had played well enough to repel all of the Titans challenges up to that point. Entering the fourth quarter, the Raiders had built a 40-33 working margin.

The Titans methodically chipped away at the deficit. In a five-minute stretch, they put together a 16-7 run on McMillian’s drive, which put them in the lead for the first With 60 seconds showing on the game clock, Pascual missed the front end of a 1-and-1 free throw and the Titans got the rebound. Laws fired away from 25 feet to give West Forsyth a three-point lead with 31.5 seconds to go. The Raiders returned the favor when Ayers drilled a 3-ball, which set the stage for Hill’s game-winner. Pascual was the prime offensive producer for Reagan with 16 points and Ayers added 10. Brandon Hannah scored nine points and had eight rebounds. “The kids are upset, but I’m proud of them,” said coach Jeff Noe of Reagan, whose team fell to 11-8 overall and 4-4 in conference play. “The way we played, we felt like we deserved to win. You hate to lose games like this, but that’s part of life. There’s still another week of basketball left and we’ve got to finish strong.”

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Craig Greenlee

Craig Greenlee

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