West Forsyth boys basketball finishes 2-1 in Frank Spencer Holiday Classic, prepares for tournament in Tennessee next week

Published 9:32 am Saturday, December 23, 2023

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By Jay Spivey

For the Clemmons Courier

CLEMMONS — The West Forsyth boys basketball was selected as the No. 2 seed in this past week’s Frank Spencer Holiday Classic’s Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Bracket at Mount Tabor.  

Although West Forsyth didn’t win the tournament, losing in the semifinals to No. 3 seed and eventual champion South Stokes, it still finished with a 2-1 record, defeating No. 7 Northwest Guilford in the first round and later Walkertown in a consolation game.

“I thought we played well,” said Coach Marlon Brim of the Titans (6-1). “I though the semifinal game (against South Stokes) we was kind of too jacked up, but I thought overall for the three games going to 2-1 was good for us.” 

West Forsyth defeated Northwest Guilford 80-66 in Tuesday’s first round.  

“Coach (Lee) Reavis had his team prepared,” Brim said. “They played well, and I thought we played very well the first game.” 

Jacari Brim, Marlon Brim’s son, led West Forsyth with 26 points, Anthony Jordan had 13, and Jordan Jones chipped in with 12.  

“I thought we got off to a slow start, but I thought we played better as the game went on,” Marlon Brim said. 

West Forsyth didn’t have time to savor the win against Northwest Guilford. It had to prepare for South Stokes in Wednesday’s semifinals. South Stokes defeated West Forsyth 56-48. 

South Stokes (11-0) after defeating top-seeded Mount Tabor 63-58 in Thursday’s championship. In winning the tournament, South Stokes, which is in Class 1-A in the NCHSAA, defeated three Central Piedmont 4-A teams – East Forsyth, West Forsyth and Mount Tabor. 

“I thought our matchup was great,” Marlon Brim said. “I thought we matched up perfect with each other.” 

Despite the loss to South Stokes Jacari Brim led West Forsyth with 12 points.  

“I thought (South Stokes) came out with a little bit more energy and they got to loose balls and we didn’t,” Marlon Brim said. “And I thought that was the key to the game was the 50-50 loose balls. And they hit shots when they needed to.” 

According to Marlon Brim, the Titans didn’t make shots in the second half.  

“That’s the thing with basketball,” Marlon Brim said. “If you’re making shots and getting stops then teams can build a lead. But also I thought we played better as the game went on.” 

Cam White, a 5-foot-10 senior guard, who had been out the last couple weeks because of illness, returned against South Stokes.  

“Our plan was to play him two minutes a quarter to try to get him into the feel of the game,” Marlon Brim said. “And just see as he progressed was he strong enough to finish a game or a quarter, or just play it by ear. We knew going in we had him on minute restrictions, and we didn’t want to go over that. 

“We got the best out of him, but at the end of the night South Stokes played the best game, so I tip my hat off to them.” 

After Wednesday’s loss West Forsyth had a quick turnaround in playing Walkertown in a consolation game early Thursday afternoon. West Forsyth responded and won 85-69. 

“I thought we bounced back well,” Marlon Brim said. “We played well (Thursday). We had a couple lapses, but things didn’t go our way. We didn’t get a couple loose balls, but I thought overall (Thursday) we bounced back and played well.” 

With a tournament next week in Tennessee, Marlon Brim wanted to see how the Titans responded to losing their first game of the season.  

“We’ve got a tournament (in Tennessee) next week and we talked about the bounce-back game and being able to win a game, win another game, win another game,” Marlon Brim said. “But this week, we win a game, we lose a game, bounce back and we win another game to get your confidence back to head into the season.  

West Forsyth also had balanced scoring with Jacari Brim having 20 points and Jordan Tate had 17. It also had four players with nine points. 

“So, our guys was pretty focused on that message and they came out and they executed like they’re supposed to,” Marlon Brim said.  

Also, White extended his play against Walkertown. 

“I thought he had a great game (Thursday),” Marlon Brim said. “I think he finished with about nine (points). So, for him to play and to play this game, and to have eight or nine points for us, was good for him and good for us.” 

The West Forsyth boys are also playing next week in the Smoky Mountain Winter Classic Dec. 27-29 in Gatlinburg, Tenn. The plan was to practice Friday and Saturday, take Sunday and Monday off for Christmas, practice Tuesday, then drive drive to Gatlinburg on Wednesday morning to prepare for the tournament.  

West Forsyth is scheduled to play Elizabethton (Tenn.) at 4 p.m. on Dec. 27. Elizabethton, as of Friday, is 3-6.  

“I think it will be a great tournament for us up there and get to see some different competitions and see some different kids, also see some different talent,” Marlon Brim said.  

The Smoky Mountain Winter Classic runs through Dec. 29. School is scheduled to resume Jan. 3, and West Forsyth is scheduled to return to Central Piedmont 4-A play that night at home against Glenn (6-5), which defeated top-seeded Reynolds 69-56 Thursday in the Frank Spencer Holiday Classic Pepsi Bracket championship at East Forsyth. 

“I kind of reached out,” Marlon Brim said. “They were kind of excited to have us from North Carolina even though they may have another team or two from North Carolina. But I thought it was a good opportunity for our guys to play outside of North Carolina.  

“And to maybe travel a little bit, spend some time on the road together. So, I thought it would be great for us to get that.”