Titans hope to finish regular season strong

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 2, 2023

By Jay Spivey

End-of-semester exam breaks always seem to fall at awkward times for high school basketball teams in the area.
Last week, with less than three weeks left in the regular season, schools from all 12 Winston-Salem/Forsyth County high schools had exams.
It was even harder to overcome for the West Forsyth boys basketball team, which had just lost to Walkertown the previous Saturday.
After having that unsavory taste in its mouth all weekend and most of last week, West Forsyth returned to action last Friday at home against Glenn in a Central Piedmont 4-A game. West Forsyth shook off some of the rust and defeated Glenn 78-55.
Senior A.J. Baskerville led the Titans with 20 points, junior Cam White had 13, sophomore Jacari Brim had 12 points and eight assists, and sophomore Kenneth Bartlett scored 10.
“I thought it went well,” Coach Marlon Brim of the Titans said. “We came and we played well. So, I liked the way we came out (this past Friday).
“We were kind of consistent and balanced in our play.”
Last Friday’s win against Glenn was in stark contrast to the way West Forsyth played against Walkertown in its previous game.
“The way we played against Glenn is the way we should come out and play all of the time,” Marlon Brim said. “And we had a little moment where we got a little down, but most of the game we played the way we’re supposed to play.”
West Forsyth swept Glenn during conference play, winning the first game on Dec. 16 in Kernersville 68-55.
West Forsyth played Reagan at home on Tuesday, played at East Forsyth in a makeup game on Wednesday, and will play at Davie County on Friday.
“I think our guys will be ready,” Marlon Brim said. “We’ve got a tough week ahead of us, but that’s conference basketball. You’re going to maybe have two or three games where you’ve got to play tough conference opponents either at home or on the road.
Three games in four days this week is a precursor to what is ahead.
“I think it gets us ready for tournament atmosphere,” Marlon Brim said. “But it also gives them a chance to see what it’s like to play three games in five days or four days. It also gives them a sense of how important conference play is. You don’t have those two breaks.
“Now, you’ve got to play one game after another, and then that Thursday you’ve got practice, and then that Friday you’ve got a road game, so it hopefully prepares us mentally to be stronger this week.”
In addition to the three games scheduled this week, West Forsyth is scheduled to close the regular season with a game at Reynolds on Feb. 7 and a home game on Feb. 10 against East Forsyth.
“I think that hopefully we can start the maturing and see that being consistent makes us better,” Marlon Brim said. “And with two weeks left in the season that’s all you’ve got left. Hopefully, with that and going to the conference tournament playing well, and then hopefully you get into the state playoffs playing even better.
“So, that’s what we’re trying to build on, is being consistent where you start playing better as the regular season goes toward the end and the playoffs.”
Before Tuesday’s scheduled games, Mount Tabor (19-1, 10-0) had a stranglehold on the conference in first place. Reagan (13-7, 7-3) is currently second, followed by West Forsyth (11-8, 6-3) and East Forsyth (13-5, 6-3). Davie County (15-5, 5-5) is fifth, Glenn (9-11, 3-7) is sixth, Reynolds (6-14, 2-8) is seventh, and Parkland 5-14, 0-10) is in last place.
“I’m not going to say we’re at the top,” Marlon Brim said. “I think that the way the conference is mixed that anybody can be in that second or that third spot. It’s just up to us to find that consistency and find that will and that grit to win and take that second spot. That’s how I look at it.”
The West Forsyth girls (10-9, 4-5) last played on Jan. 20 and lost to Parkland 61-54. So, they had the same bad taste in their mouth when they played Glenn last Friday.
Jeanna Baskerville scored 19 points on 7 of 13 shooting to help West Forsyth defeat the Bobcats 43-30.
Emma Staples added eight points, and Abby Hunter and Brooklynn King chipped in with six points apiece.
The girls also have three games on the schedule this week — Tuesday against Reagan, Wednesday at East Forsyth, and Friday at Davie County.
East Forsyth (12-5, 7-2) entered the week in first place in the Central Piedmont 4-A, followed by Reynolds (14-6, 7-3), Parkland (15-4, 7-3), Davie County (12-8, 6-4), Reagan (9-9, 5-5), West Forsyth (10-9, 4-5), Mount Tabor (9-9, 3-7), and Glenn (3-16, 0-10).