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Unbeaten Titans down Tabor in early CPC showdown

It lacked the build up and hype of recent years, but the first West Forsyth-Mount Tabor girls high school basketball game of the 2013-14 season was loaded with importance.

In addition to establishing early control of the Central Piedmont Conference standings, the winner also received a momentum boost heading into this week’s Mary Garber Holiday Tipoff Classic.

Thankfully for Titan fans, West walked away with the victory and both rewards.

Assuming command from the outset, the unbeaten Titans led throughout before securing the final 53-41 decision.

“It was a little weird playing them this early in the season,” noted West coach Laquanda Quick. “But now that it’s over, it was definitely a rewarding experience for us. We got out to a good start in conference play and increased our level of confidence for the Garber this week.”

West enters second-round Garber play on Wednesday night against Surry Central. They knocked off Parkland in round one on Saturday. They also beat the Mustangs in their CPC opener last week.

Against the Spartans, West seized control early, getting inside scoring from Jazmine and Jessica Jones along with several key outside baskets from Christina Rogers. Dumebi Egbuna also aided the early surge by playing strong inside.

Down by two at the break, the Spartans stayed close throughout the third quarter. But in the fourth quarter, foul trouble and clutch outside shooting by West guard Carly Endean ultimately sealed the outcome.

“They (Tabor) don’t have the depth they’ve had in the past and the fouls started to add up,” Quick said. “They were forced to bring in some players off the bench and use them in spots that they don’t normally play. Carly’s shots were the final nails in the coffin.”

Offensively, Jazmine Jones and Jessica Jones paced the West offense with 16 and 13 points respectively. They also controlled the boards. Rogers followed with nine points while Endean added eight.

The win was West’s sixth in a row. The Titans added win number seven one day later in the opening round of the Garber tournament.

Seeded second, the Titans coasted past the Mustangs and advanced to round two. They will now meet Surry Central on Wednesday night at 6 p.m. That game will be played at Glenn High School. The winner will meet the Atkins-Mount Tabor winner on Friday night in the semifinals. That game will be held at Atkins.

West has not won the Garber tournament since 1996.

“Winning it is certainly a goal for us this year,” Quick added. “We have been close in the past. But for whatever reason, we haven’t been able to win the whole thing. We’re looking to change that this week.”

Reynolds is the top seed in the tournament this year. Tabor is seeded third and Atkins is a four seed.