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Prep Basketball: West Forsyth boys 96, South Rowan 78

By Mike London

Salisbury Post

CLEMMONS — It was a game of horizontal inches.

West Forsyth’s wider shoulders, larger forearms and thicker chests eventually wore out South Rowan’s boys on Tuesday night for a 96-78 CPC victory.

Titans Allan Jones (25 points, 21 rebounds) and Kyle Boardman (25 points, 16 rebounds) aren’t unusually tall, but they are built for football. Both enjoyed monster games and pulverized South’s helpless defense into sawdust in the second half.

“They ain’t the biggest we’ll see, so we’ve got to box out better,” said South’s Chris Charles, who scored a career-high 15 points. “They scored about 100. That means we didn’t play hard enough or play good enough defense.”

The Titans, who also got 20 points from guard Justin Johnson, beat South (6-9, 1-3) for the 39th straight time, and West’s David Laton is now 20-0 in 10 seasons of coaching against the Raiders.

“That streak isn’t something we ever mention because it doesn’t have anything to do with the group of kids we have now,” Laton said. “These kids just needed to win a ballgame because we’ve had our struggles in recent games.”

The Titans (7-9, 2-3) struggled to contain South’s Wesley Honeycutt early. Honeycutt scored 13 consecutive points in a first-quarter spree, but the streak-shooter who is still recovering from a knee injury, finished with 15.

South managed a 39-39 tie at halftime by making seven 3s, but Jones and Boardman took over in the third quarter.

“I was very concerned at halftime,” Laton said. “We haven’t played well in the third quarter all year, but we finally played defense tonight and without a doubt had our best second half all season.”

South kept firing 3s in the third quarter– Charles and Derek Davis drilled two each — but the Titans shot 11-for-18 from the field on point-blank bankers and stick-backs. By the end of the third, West Forsyth led 65-58.

“They shot a better percentage because they took better-percentage shots,” South coach John Davis said. “Basketball games are won inside and by working inside-out. This game was living proof of that.”

South lost Honeycutt to five fouls in the third quarter and his offensive absence was felt in the fourth. The Titans opened the quarter with an outside shot by Travaughn Long, a 3-pointer by Johnson and a layup by Andrew Bodenheimer, and South’s deficit was suddenly a dozen points.

From there, the Titans pulled away, despite two fourth-quarter 3s by Reid Shaver and some nice plays by David Wolford (10 points, seven assists).

The Titans shot 57 percent from the field in the second half and owned a 32-17 edge on the glass, even with Boardman and Long fouling out late.

“It was rugby every time we tried to drive inside,” John Davis said. “But we can’t make our guys taller, so we just have to get feistier and fight harder.”

While Laton isn’t concerned about his school’s streak against South, he is very concerned with another streak.

“This is my 10th year, and we’ve been to the state playoffs every year,” he said. “As far as the state playoffs, this game was very big for us.”

south rowan (78) — Honeycutt 15, Charles 15, Wolford 10, Davis 9, M. Morgan 9, Hagerty 6, Shaver 6, Caldwell 4, Daugherty 3, Morrison 1, Bettis.

west forsyth (96) — Jones 25, Boardman 25, Johnson 20, Bodenheimer 10, Long 9, P. Kostelic 4, D. Morgan 2, Barnes 1, S. Kostelic, Cognetti, McGinley.

S. Rowan 19 20 19 20 — 78

W. Forsyth 21 18 26 31 — 96

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Contact Mike London at 704-797-4259. or mlondon@salisburypost.com.

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