WINSTON-SALEM — It won’t matter much in the grand scheme of things, but the third time was a charm for the Forbush girls’ basketball team in the championship game of the Western Piedmont 2-A Tournament on Friday night.
The Lady Hounds were seeking a perfect 12-0 run through the WP2A regular season and tournament, but a strong first half from regular-season runner-up Forbush gave the Lady Falcons a 55-42 victory and the league tournament title.
As the outright regular-season champion, North Surry (18-8) will remain the top overall seed from the conference and will open the 2-A state playoffs at home on Tuesday night against a to-be-determined opponent.
Forbush, which improved to 20-6 on the season, retains the No. 2 playoff seed that it already held, but picks up some new hardware for the school’s trophy case. The Lady Falcons have won two tournaments this season, having claimed the Grayson National Bank Holiday Classic title back in December.
Forbush, despite coming off a hard-fought win over Surry Central the night before, had the edge for most of the championship game played at Carver High School. The Lady Falcons led 9-8 after a quarter and carried a 22-14 lead into intermission. North Surry’s efforts to rally in the second half were all blunted.
The Lady Hounds’ inability to finish near the basket and make free throws was damaging to the team’s hopes. North Surry made just 10 of 30 shots in the paint and was a poor 7-for-17 from the free-throw line. The poor shooting doomed North Surry even though the team outrebounded Forbush (22-20), blocked seven shots to the Lady Falcons’ one, and had an 18-7 edge in deflections.
Mikaela Johnson had a double-double for the Lady Hounds, with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Tiana Shuff and Maggie Hawks each scored 10, Jessy Nichols six, Taylor Duncan three and Abby Andrews two. Hawks was all over Forbush on the defensive end, with six steals and eight deflections.
Forbush seniors Kala Doub and Calyn Davis had 24 and 26 points. Doub was named co-conference Player of the Year, while Davis was named Tournament MVP.
John Cate may be reached on Twitter @johncate73.