EAST BEND— Nothing came easy for Forbush or East Surry in Friday night’s hotly-contested Foothills 2A Conference girls basketball tilt.
But when it was all said and done, the Falcons scored a big 43-36 win over the Cardinals and avenged their second conference loss in the past three games.
Forbush, which improved to 16-6 overall and 7-3 in league play, avenged an earlier loss to conference leader North Surry last Friday.
The win also created a logjam for second place in the league as the Falcons, Cardinals and North Wilkes (which defeated Surry Central 58-42 on Friday) are all tied with two games to play. The top two teams earn automatic bids for the upcoming North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2A playoffs.
On the other side, East Surry (16-4, 7-3) struggled offensively in the second half and it prevented them from giving itself a potential one-game cushion over the Falcons and Vikings.
Tied 26-26 at halftime, both teams struggled to put up points out of the break; they combined for just seven points in the third quarter, but the Cardinals still held a 30-29 advantage.
Forbush battled back to the tie game 32-32 on the first of two Natalie Scott 3-pointers that the sophomore hit in the quarter.
The two teams then traded the lead; Scott responded again with a stop and pop triple from the top of the key to retake the advantage for good (36-34).
Katie Furno connected on just a single basket in the game but the freshman certainly made it count as she hit a runner and then drew a key foul on East Surry’s Addie Phipps. The freshman hit both free throws to make it a two-possession game with around three minutes to play.
Compounding matters, Phipps, who finished with eight points (all in the first half), fouled out of the game.
After Izzy Cline missed the front end of a one-and-one, the Falcons used a pair of clock-draining possessions; however, the Cardinals were still within striking distance with less than a minute to play.
Merry Parker Boaz had a chance to make it a one-possession game when she collected a steal at midcourt. But the sophomore couldn’t convert and the put back was no good, forcing the Cardinals to foul.
From there, Carrie Vestal and Scott iced with the game with a trio of free throws.
In a game with four ties and nine lead changes, the Falcons stormed out of the gates, scoring the game’s first seven points. But the Cardinals responded with a 12-0 run, punctuated with a Boaz three-point play.
Forbush used a key 11-0 run, highlighted by 3-pointers from Vestal and Emily Barnes to help the Falcons build the biggest lead by either team at 24-17.
Vestal paced Forbush, which hosted North Wilkes on Tuesday night (and face Wilkes Central in the regular-season finale) with 10 points and Scott finished with nine. Mallory Chapman added seven points.
The Cardinals, which hosted West Wilkes on Tuesday night, were led by 10 points from Brooklyn Gammons and eight from Boaz.
Forbush 43, East Surry 36
East Surry 15 11 4 6 — 36
Forbush 13 13 3 14 — 43
EAST SURRY: Merry Parker Boaz 3 2-3 8; Grace Phillips 0 0-0 0; Khloe Bennett 2 0-2 4; Brooklyn Gammons 3 2-3 10; Addie Phipps 3 0-0 8; Maggy Sechrist 1 0-0 2; Izzy Cline 1 2-3 4. Team Totals: 13 6-11 36.
FORBUSH: Brooke Davis 2 0-0 4; Natalie Scott 3 1-3 9; Mallory Chapman 2 3-3 7; Mariah Livingston 1 1-2 3; Carrie Vestal 3 2-2 10; Katie Furno 1 2-2 4; Katelyn Eads 0 0-0 0; Seanna Armstrong 0 0-0 0; Emily Eads 1 0-1 2; Emily Beavers 1 0-0 3. Team Totals: 14 9-13 43.
THREE-POINTERS: East Surry: Phipps 2, Gammons 2. Forbush: Scott 2, Vestal 2, Beavers.
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