In a loaded region where a mental mishap could change the trajectory of a teams season, it's always good to get a gut check win, and that's exactly what Gainesville did Tuesday night. The Red Elephants held on for a 59-52 win over West Forsyth, who refused to go away.
“That was a good region gut check win,” Gainesville coach Chuck Graham said. “I thought a few times we had a chance to put the game away and they did a good job every time we were about to make that run.”
Gainesville (13-6, 5-2) was in control the entire game, but the Wolverines kept clawing back until the very end. West Forsyth (7-9, 2-5) cut into the lead, 52-50, late in the fourth quarter on a Max Smith four-point play.
The Wolverines had the momentum before senior Robert Riesman stole the ball for an easy layup. He finished with a game-high 25 points. Teammate Eli Pitts chipped in with 15 points. Ced Nicely contributed with six points.
West Forsyth lost focus down the stretch allowing Gainesville to seal the game at the free throw line.
“A team like that you can’t make any mental mistakes,” Wolverines coach Fredrick Hurt said. “We had some good fight from some guys.”
Joe Wortman and Russell Miller finished with 12 points apiece respectively. Caleb Lesch had nine points.
WEST FORSYTH GIRLS 63, GAINESVILLE 25: West Forsyth’s game plan was pretty simple: keep the Lady Red Elephants off the boards. The Lady Wolverines did just that Tuesday evening in their dominating victory over Gainesville.
“I thought we did a good job with our energy,” West Forsyth girls coach David May said. “We kept them off the boards. Our girls came out ready to play.”
The energy was on full throttle for the Lady Wolverines. Junior guards Cayla Cowart and Calie Thrower scored 19 and 11 points, respectively, but it was their energy and pace that set the tone. Lauren Teasley and Alexis Austin finished with 7 points apiece to lead the Lady Red Elephants. Keke Jones added 5 points.
West Forsyth (11-6, 1-6) took control of the game with its full court pressure. It forced the Lady Red Elephants to not only play fast but also turn the ball over on a number of occasions, especially since Gainesville (10-8, 1-6) was playing without starting point guard, Zaria Williams.
West Forsyth took complete advantage of the Lady Red Elephants looking for a floor general on the fly. The Lady Wolverines jumped out to a 28-4 lead after the first quarter and never looked back.
“Trying to play against a really good press and identifying roles hurt us,” Gainesville girls coach Alan Griffin said. “We played a really good team that plays fast.”
Gainesville managed some successful moments with the press in spurts of the game but it wasn’t enough to overcome the lack of second shots and the huge first quarter deficit.