West Stanly faces Forest Hills with top RRC seed, home playoff game at stake

Published 11:48 pm Friday, February 19, 2021

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With each team winning a game this season, determining whether West Stanly or Forest Hills would earn the number-one seed from the Rocky River Conference into the 2A men’s basketball state playoffs required a third game Friday at a neutral site.

Playing on the Piedmont High School court, a 7-0 run by the Colts gave West the lead early and for the remainder of the game as the Colts secured a home game in the first round of the playoffs with a 63-54 win over the Jackets.

Austin Medlin led West (11-1) with 21 points while Trevor Kelly added 17, including a deep 3-pointer in the third quarter after blocking a shot on the defensive end the possession before.

“That was a huge momentum swing,” West head coach John Thompson said.

Trailing 5-2 early in the first quarter, West went on a 7-0 run capped by an old-fashioned three-point play from Jake Bartell. The Colts led after one quarter, 19-12, and at halftime, 33-23.

West led by as much as 13 in the game at the midway point of the third period, but Forest Hills cut into the Colts’ advantage with a late third-quarter run, trailing West after three quarters, 49-43.

Medlin opened the fourth with a highlight-reel play, slicing between two defenders and spinning a reverse layup off the glass and in.

Thompson said Medlin “was the best player on the floor all night.”

With the win, West gets the top seed from the RRC and likely a first-round home game this week when the brackets are announced Sunday.

“I couldn’t be prouder of this entire tam. After losing to Forest Hills Tuesday, we came out and had a great practice Wednesday and executed very well tonight,” Thompson said.

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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