West Forsyth boys, girls pick up wins last week at Atkins

Published 11:14 pm Monday, December 4, 2023

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By Jay Spivey 

For the Clemmons Courier

Much has gone well for both the boys and girls basketball teams at West Forsyth the past two weeks.

As of Monday night, the boys are 2-0 following an 82-74 win against Charlotte Mallard Creek, and they also defeated Atkins 86-50 this past Friday night. The girls, also as of Monday night, lost their first two games in the Mary Garber Holiday Tip-Off Classic the week of Thanksgiving, but they bounced back and defeated Parkland 50-48 in the seventh-place game. Also, after over a week off, the girls defeated Atkins 49-33.

Coach Marlon Brim, who is in his second season as the boys coach for the Titans is happy with how the first two games have gone.

“This is year two for me,” Brim said. “It’s the second year of being away from Atkins. It was good to go back. I was happy to see some of the guys that played for me as sophomores and some as freshmen. So, I was a little excited (Friday) morning when I woke up. You know, I was happy to be there even though I was coming in as a visiting team, but I was excited to see some of my old colleagues — Coach (Leslie) Long, the AD (athletic director) and some of the other staff members.”

The memories at Atkins are always there.

“I can always take that we built a great foundation at Atkins for basketball,” Brim said. “(We) won a conference championship in ‘21, first conference championship they’ve ever had. And we did some good things when we were at Atkins. So, I’m always proud to attach my name to Atkins. And I hope Coach (Kishon) Bishop can continue to build Atkins like we had it because before we left Atkins was a special place for us and some of these kids that came through.”

The game against the Camels (0-3) itself went very well. The Titans took a 20-13 lead after the first quarter and led 41-26 at halftime.

“I thought we got off to a slow start a little bit and then about the 5-minute mark in the first quarter we got going and the kids responded well,” Brim said. “…But I thought overall our guys — we locked in and played we’re supposed to play for the rest of the game.”

West Forsyth pushed the lead to 66-38 after the third quarter.

“We just played our normal man-to-man,” Brim said. “We did a little bit of pressing, but our man-to-man defense got better in the second half. Our bench scoring came along in the second quarter and then the third quarter.”

Brim’s son, Jacari, led the Titans with 22 points, Mike Siedlecki had 16 and Cam White scored 11.

“We want to be balanced,” Marlon Brim said. “We don’t want Jacari to have to get 25 or 30 a night. If he gets it that’s a positive, but we’ve got kids on that team who can score. So, you just can’t take Jacari away because we’ve got kids who can shoot it, we’ve got kids who can make plays, and we’ve just got to stay consistent.”

West Forsyth had six days off between the Mallard Creek and Atkins games.

“I think we had four really good days of practice,” Brim said. “(The) kids were really locked in. We did some good stuff in practice, and I think we were consistent all week.

Jacari Brim led West Forsyth with 23 points and eight assists in the win against Mallard Creek, and Kenneth Bartlett added 21 points. White led with 12 rebounds.

“I thought we was very balanced,” Marlon Brim said. “We shared the ball. We distributed it the open man and the open man made shots. If we didn’t we got offensive rebounds. And sometimes we just ahead and got layups. So, I liked the way we shared the ball as a team and the way we shoot the ball.”

Coaches never know what they’re going to see in the first game, no matter how much they practice or scrimmage.

“I thought we had a couple jitters early, but I think we caught our footing and got on pace for the way we wanted to play,” Marlon Brim said. “But I could tell we was a little nervous, not nervous, but we was too excited for the first game.”

West Forsyth led Mallard Creek 22-20 after the first quarter but extended it to 45-35 at halftime.

“I think they calmed theyself down,” Marlon Brim said. “We kind of made a run and I think we kind of took a deep breath, and then I think we calmed ourself down. I didn’t need to take a timeout.”

After Tuesday’s game at Western Guilford (0-3), West Forsyth isn’t scheduled to play another game until Friday, Dec. 15, when it is scheduled to play at home in its Central Piedmont 4-A opener against Parkland.

“I think for us it can be good for us because we can take Monday, really work, and then play Tuesday, and Wednesday through Friday we’ll do work and skill work. So, I think we’re not in the heavy grind yet, so really playing a game here, a game there will give us some legs because two games, then the (Frank) Spencer (Holiday Classic), three games, then we go to Gatlinburg, Tenn., for a tournament.”

The West Forsyth girls also cruised past Atkins last Friday.

West Forsyth led 8-5 after the first quarter, but it extended the lead to 28-14 at halftime. West Forsyth outscored Atkins 13-5 in the third quarter to pull away.

Through the first four games, according to MaxPreps.com, the Titans are led by sophomore Brooklyn King with 13 points and 11.3 rebounds.

The girls also don’t have another scheduled game until they play its conference opener at home on Dec. 15 against Parkland in a rematch of the seventh-place game in the Garber.