West sees plenty of building blocks for Titans boys’ basketball

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 28, 2019

By Marc Pruitt
For the Clemmons Courier

The season didn’t go quite as well as Coach Howard West expected in his first year with the West Forsyth boys’ basketball team, but he came away with plenty of positives and several building blocks for the future.

The Titans finished 4-20 and missed the NCHSAA 4-A playoffs but held their own in the second half of the season, which West said was encouraging.

Two of the team’s four wins came in the final four games of the season. The first win came against West Stokes in the Frank Spencer tournament after Christmas, and win No.2 came on Jan. 25 at Reagan, one of West’s previous coaching stints.

“I’m very disappointed in our record because we played a lot of close games and games where we had leads in the second half, especially later in the season,” West said. “We started to do the things we needed to be successful, but once we got caught, we got caught. I’d say we improved a great deal in the last three to four weeks of the season. I think we all learned a lot and we have plenty to build on for next year.”

The Titans’ season ended with a 69-67 loss against Davie County in the Central Piedmont 4-A Conference tournament, the team that won the regular season championship.

“I think it took us a while to create an environment that made our team more comfortable on and off the court in a way that we could maximize their talents,” West said. “But once we got some things figured out, we began to share the ball more, and that seemed to maximize the effort and performance of our team.”

The Titans will say goodbye to four seniors — Ray Mitchell, Ryan Ayers, Alex Reid, and Jaylon McMillon — but welcome back a solid nucleus and will add several members of a junior varsity team that won close to 20 games and the David Lash JV tournament.

“One of our guards, Jay Mitchell, was playing some of his best basketball down the stretch for us and I think he was averaging about 20 points at game the last couple of weeks,” West said. “We’ll have some pieces coming back, and I’ll have a whole spring with them this year to get them ready for summer, and the summer to get them ready for the fall and then the season. We’ll be really busy leading up to next season, that’s for sure. The earlier we can mesh the talent and chemistry, we are going to be fine.”