David Sokol led South Forsyth’s boys basketball team to its fair share of signature wins during a successful seven-year stint as the War Eagles’ coach.
It seemed somehow fitting, then, that his first victory as coach of the Flowery Branch boys came at the expense of his former program.
Cody Dewing scored a team-high 18 points on Saturday, including 15 in the first half, and the Falcons defeated South Forsyth 59-48 at Flowery Branch High. Taylor Bourdage was also in double figures for the Falcons (1-1) with 11 points.
Sokol, who spent four years at Winder-Barrow in between South Forsyth and Flowery Branch, said one of the biggest keys to the victory was the Falcons’ ability to limit the War Eagles’ shots from outside.
“I thought we did a good job of contesting their perimeter players,” Sokol said. “We knew they could shoot the ball, so we were out there contesting shots. We try to preach all the time to get consecutive stops.”
Flowery Branch built a 15-5 lead in the first quarter and kept the momentum the remainder of the half.
Point guard Jemon Randolph delivered a nice bounce pass to Tyler Kriews for a transition layup that boosted the lead to 12 early in the quarter, and the Falcons remained ahead by a dozen, 33-21, going into the third period.
“Talking about the second quarter, I believe we had a lot of fast breaks and had some easy baskets, so that was big,” Sokol said. “We hit a couple of threes that quarter as well.”
Dewing scored eight points in the second quarter, showing the ability to slam dunk the ball inside and step out to hit the long jumper. Sokol said Dewing is a player the team is going to have to rely on this season to score in many ways and open up the floor for other players.
“Everyone stayed aggressive,” Dewing said. “Even though we don’t have that much experience other than me and Jemon, everyone stepped up and we all rebounded well.
“We had an inside-out approach.”
The War Eagles (0-3) kept the game from getting out of hand primarily behind forward Greer Landry’s ability to score in the post. He scored a game-high 19 points, but it wasn’t enough to take the Falcons’ lead out of the 10-15 point range during the second half.
Bourdage did the cleanup work for Flowery Branch down the stretch, scoring eight points in the fourth quarter to help keep the War Eagles from cutting the lead to single digits.
“Right now we’re just trying to set the tone to give them expectations, whether it’s going over the scouting report or (talking about) how we’re going to play defense,” Sokol said.
“I think it’s just going to be a process the whole year.”
The Falcons will take on Winder-Barrow at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Flowery Branch.
SOUTH FORSYTH GIRLS 60, FLOWERY BRANCH 39: Sophomore Rachel Myers scored a game-high 21 points to lead South Forsyth past the Lady Falcons on Saturday in Flowery Branch.
Ashley Hannan added 13 points for the Lady War Eagles, while Janoah Williams scored a team-high 14 for the Lady Falcons.
Flowery Branch only trailed 22-20 in the second quarter, but South Forsyth closed the half with 15 unanswered points and took a 37-20 lead into halftime.
The Lady Falcons will face Winder-Barrow at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Flowery Branch.