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West Stanly loss at Forest Hills sets up potential tiebreaking scenario

The West Stanly men’s basketball team had one regular-season game left, facing a Forest Hills team right behind the Colts for first place in the Rocky River Conference.

West Stanly fell behind early and fell 68-51 on the road to the Jackets, setting up a potential tie-breaking scenario for the conference title and the automatic bid into the 2A state playoffs.

If the Jackets were to win Thursday at Anson County, they and the Colts would be tied for first place. Both teams only played Mount Pleasant one time before the Tigers were forced to go into quarantine because of COVID-19 protocols, so the Colts and Jackets may have to play a third time to break the tie Friday.

Austin Medlin led West Stanly (10-1, 8-1 RRC) with 22 points while Caleb Ferree and Tayshawn Haygood both just missed double figures in points scoring nine each.

Forest Hills (9-1, 7-1) had three in double figures led by Mashad Hester with 21 points. Jamylan Blakeney and Zach Barbour each added 10 points.

The loss ended West’s 10-game win streak to start the season, the longest for the team to start a season since the Colts won eight in a row in the 2016-17 season.

West went down 8-2 early and got as close as two points seconds later, but an 8-0 run helped the Jackets pull away in the first quarter, building a 21-11 lead. The Colts shot 1-of-6 to start the game while Forest Hills was 6-of-9 early in the first period.

The Colts cut the lead to six midway through the second, but the Jackets opened the lead up to 16 at halftime, 37-21. West could not get closer than 16 points the rest of the way as Forest Hills went on to the win.

“We gave up some transition and penetration baskets in the first half that let (Forest Hills) go on a couple of runs,” West head coach John Thompson said.

“I thought Forest Hills’ defense was really aggressive, and we did not react to that well.”

Thompson also said the Jackets beat the Colts in rebounding throughout the game.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio was the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press from 1999-2001 and has currently served in the same capacity since 2008. 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 been honored twice by the North Carolina Press Association.

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