West Stanly basketball ends Forest Hills’ undefeated conference streak

Published 2:04 pm Friday, January 15, 2021

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One team the West Stanly men’s basketball program has had difficulty finding success versus in the previous decade has been Forest Hills.

West’s last win against the Jackets came in the Rocky River Conference tournament Feb. 15, 2011 (70-57), a string of 23 consecutive games including postseason contests.

On Wednesday night, West Stanly ended its losing streak to Forest Hills, earning the first regular-season victory over the Jackets since Jan. 15, 2010, with a 59-54 win.

The win for West handed the first conference loss to Forest Hills (2-1, 0-1 RRC) since the Jackets lost at then-RRC member Parkwood 67-62 on Jan. 10, 2017. For the past three seasons, Forest Hills had gone undefeated in regular-season conference games for the past three seasons.

“I have nothing but respect for the program Coach Sides has built at Forest Hills. This was a huge win for us. I thought we played with tremendous effort and toughness and Forest Hills kept battling and made us work for every bit of this win,” West head coach John Thompson said.

West finished the game without Jake Bartell and Trevor Kelly in the lineup after both fouled out.

Austin Medlin led the Colts (3-0, 1-0 RRC) with 16 points, with Bartell adding 11.

Medlin said he “wanted to win this game really bad being I’ve never beaten Forest Hills in my career.”

Forest Hills led 6-5 early in the first quarter but West outscored the Jackets 18-5 over the final six minutes of the period to lead after one quarter, 24-11.

The Colts led by 10 at halftime, 31-21, and led by as much as 15 points in the third. The Jackets got within three midway through the fourth and in the final minute, but no closer. Lisk and Haygood hit free throws down the stretch.

Thompson also credited Haywood and Jacob Lisk for hitting free throws in the closing moments of the game along with Caleb Ferree, who denied a Jackets’ layup at the rim in the last seconds, knocking the ball loose with a steal.

“It was an absolute team win,” Thompson said.

Medlin added he and his teammates want to “keep the ball rolling and hang a banner.”

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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