West Forsyth pulls away late to defeat North Davidson

E. Vanmeter of North Davidson, No. 44 in black, shoots a runner in the lane while being defended by C.J. Smith, No. 23, and Jalen Ferguson, No. 11.

West Forsyth pulls away late to defeat North Davidson
January 19
06:15 2017

Photo by Timothy Ramsey



Every coach says basketball is a game of runs.  Each time West Forsyth looked to pull away from North Davidson in their game last Friday, the Knights did just that, made a run.  Even though the Titans were cold from outside  most of the night, they pulled out a close one, 54-49 against the Knights.

North Davidson opened the game in a 2-3 zone, which caused a lot of problems for the Titans as they are a streaky outside shooting team.  To counteract the zone the Titans got out in transition early in the first to get easy West buckets.  North Davidson stayed close and only trailed by three points after one.

“The big lesson for us was on a night where you can’t shoot well, defense is key,” said West Forsyth head coach Jeffrey Williams.  “They did a great job playing that 2-3 zone and I don’t think at any point our guys figured it out or shot better, it was that they were able to make stops and then make plays in transition and that ended up being the difference in the game.”

The game stayed close throughout the remainder of the second quarter.  North Davidson’s defense held the Titans scoreless until two minutes left in the half, which allowed them to tie the game at 15. The Knights even took a short-lived lead late in the quarter but quickly surrendered it when Titan point guard Lamont McNeill hit a clutch three-point shot, giving them a slim 23-22 lead at the half.

As the third quarter started, both teams came out playing very aggressively on the defensive end of the floor.  Neither squad was able to consistently mount any offense.  Missed shots by West Forsyth and turnovers from North Davidson contributed to the low scoring quarter.

With the game close to heading into the final frame, the lead switched hands multiple times.  At the five-minute mark, the Titans took the lead for good.  They even went on a run that put the score at 43-34, which seemingly put the game out of reach with less than three minutes to go. North Davidson did not give up and closed to within three at 45-42.

West Forsyth closed out the game by nailing their free throws and converting easy fast break opportunities.  Coach Williams said his team was having such a tough time shooting from the outside all game, their only advantage seemed to be getting out in transition.

“Luckily we have enough guys that can handle the ball and whoever got the rebound was to just look up and go,” Williams continued.

Williams thinks his team has improved steadily throughout the course of the sea-son. He wants to keep the momentum going for the remainder of the year.

North Davidson head coach Rob Creason said his team played hard and had a chance in the end.  He says that’s all he asks of his team.

“I thought we played with good effort but a couple shots did not go our way and that kind of thing happens,” Creason said of the game.  “We wanted to pack it in and force them to shoot it and we definitely hang our hat on defense.”

“We want to play with a winning effort as far as playing hard and doing the little things.  That’s what we preach every day and it gives us a chance to win most games.  We are not the most skilled guys but we play hard.  We will build off of this and try to win the rest of them.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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