West Forsyth boys, girls basketball teams pick up wins against Parkland in Central Piedmont 4-A conference openers

Published 5:03 pm Sunday, December 17, 2023

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By Jay Spivey

For the Clemmons Courier

CLEMMONS — Each school in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System is out the next 2.5 weeks for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, but that doesn’t mean that high school sports will be taking a pause.

This past Friday was the final day of school before returning on Jan. 3, but both the West Forsyth boys and girls basketball teams played their first Central Piedmont 4-A games, as well as their first home games of the season this past Friday night against Parkland.

The West Forsyth boys rolled to a 70-51 win, led by 37 points by Jacari Brim, and the West Forsyth girls squeaked by for 53-49 win.

Brim’s point total was a career high.

“I always preach to him about being consistent, and even taking another level as a point guard and as a scorer,” Coach Marlon Brim, Jacari’s father, said. “(Friday night), I thought he was really feeling it. I thought he shot the ball with great confidence. And not only did he score, but he did have, he had eight assists.

“So, to me that’s the balance that he needs. We don’t have to have to have 37 every night, but at the end of the day, if it’s going like that then you keep riding the wave.”

Marlon Brim is happy with how the scoring played out.

“I think any coach would be OK with that because he’s a very unselfish player,” Marlon Brim said of his son. “So, a lot of it, you have 37 points and eight assists. You’re still sharing the basketball. So, I liked the balance that he had (Friday night). I just want him to be consistent in the same way every game.”

In addition to Jacari Brim, Max Skillman scored 10 points against Parkland. Jordan Jones chipped in with eight points.

“We were not balanced tonight,” Marlon Brim said. “We had two in double figures and everybody else was like six, eight points.”

“I thought we started the first quarter really strong. I think it gave us an extra kick (to play at home). The student section was packed as usual. The fans were there, so it gave us a little extra juice, and I think our guys were ready for that extra juice. We came out pretty good.”

Brim said that he had seen Parkland play this past Friday’s game.

“I thought we matched up pretty well,” he said. “One thing about Parkland kids is they’re always (liked), they play hard, tough kids, and they’re not going to back down from a challenge. So, I always like Parkland kids. I’ve always thought Parkland kids were just tough kids. You can’t have a night off against them or they’ll physically beat you and mentally do the same. That’s how you can win ballgames.”

The Titans took a commanding lead in the first half.

“I thought we started well. You know, we had some unforced turnovers,” Brim said. “And then we kind of got it going back in the second half. But overall, I thought we played pretty well.”

The second half was more of a seesaw game.

“I thought we finished well in the fourth quarter,” Marlon Brim said. “But the third quarter was OK. They went zone to slow us down. So, I think we made the adjustment and made some shots, got some rebounds and got out in transition. We did some good things in transition.”

It’s rare that a team’s first home game is also a conference game.

“No, I haven’t seen it and what’s different for us this year is that we play in the Frank Spencer (Holiday Classic this coming week) and then we play in a Christmas tournament in Tennessee (the week after Christmas), so that’s the unnorm for us this year is playing in two Christmas tournaments.

“So, that’s why the first conference game was (Friday night). So, I’ve never been a part of something like that, but (Friday night) was pretty good.”

Although it’s only one conference game, West Forsyth is tied with Mount Tabor, Reagan and Davie County in first place in the conference.

“I just think we’ve got to be consistent, and we’ve got to get our scoring back to what we had the first three games,” Marlon Brim said. “And a lot of it is just playing. We had a whole week off (since last week’s win against Atkins), so we’ll be back-to-back-to-back games (at the Spencer). So, that should give us some basketball rhythm.”

The West Forsyth boys are the No. 2 seed in the Frank Spencer Holiday Classic’s Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Bracket. West Forsyth is scheduled to open play at 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday at Mount Tabor against No. 7 Northwest Guilford. If it defeats Northwest Guilford, it will play the winner of No. 6 East Forsyth against No. 3 South Stokes in Wednesday’s semifinals at 7:15 p.m. at Mount Tabor.

Regardless of whether West Forsyth wins or loses, each team is guaranteed three games in the Frank Spencer Holiday Classic. West Forsyth is also scheduled to play in a tournament Dec. 27-29 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

“Going in the Spencer, playing Tuesday, then playing again on Wednesday and Thursday, now we get into some basketball games and not just basketball practice,” Marlon Brim said. “I think we’re starting to get some consistency to it because we looked a little rusty at times and it’s just because we haven’t played in (seven) days.”

As for the West Forsyth girls, they defeated Parkland 53-49. The girls aren’t playing in a pre- or post-Christmas tournament, so they’re off until Jan. 3, when they are scheduled to play host to Glenn in a Central Piedmont 4-A game.

According to MaxPreps.com, Marissa Vernon is leading the Titans at 10 points per game. Brooklynn King is the leader with 10.8 rebounds per game, and Hallie Kramer is the leader in assists at four per game.