West Forsyth boys, girls basketball teams have strong performances this past week in holiday tournaments

Published 7:04 pm Saturday, December 30, 2023

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By Jay Spivey

For the Clemmons Courier

Schools in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System have been out for the past two weeks because of Christmas break, but that hasn’t stopped both the West Forsyth boys and girls basketball teams from playing in tournaments. 

Last week, the Titans’ boys played in the Frank Spencer Holiday Classic, finishing 2-1 in the Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Bracket. This week, the boys played in the Smoky Mountain Winter Classic in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and finished in third place. The Titans’ girls didn’t play last week, but they did play in the Sheetz Holiday Christmas Classic in High Point. The girls lost the first game, but rebounded to win the next two to finish fifth.  

The boys played their first-round game in Gatlinburg this past Wednesday and defeated Elizabethton (Tenn.) 57-23.  

“I thought it went farily well for us,” Coach Marlon Brim of West Forsyth said. “I thought we played hard. Just a different atmosphere. It was kind of like an AAU tournament. So, we adjusted, and we played well in the first game.” 

Jacari Brim, Marlon Brim’s son, had 11 points six assists and five rebounds against Elizabethton, and Christian Alexander added 11 points and four rebounds.  

“It was a low-scoring game, but we were up 30-something at one point,” Marlon Brim said. “Jacari didn’t play much in the second half, so some of the starters didn’t play a lot.” 

Marlon Brim thought the tournament was a way to get in some basketball games during the break, while experiencing something as a team. 

“I thought the tournament overall was pretty good,” he said. “It’s just a different atmosphere, different location, sleeping in a hotel, not in your own bed.” 

The West Forsyth boys advanced to the semifinals on Thursday and lost to DuPont Manual (Ky.) 71-45.  

“They were pretty good, but we didn’t play well at all,” Marlon Brim said. “I don’t know if it was the back-to-back, or just playing in a different gym, not a lot of fans…” 

In the loss against DuPont Manual, West Forsyth was led by Jacari Brim with 16 points. He also had four assists and four rebounds.  

“I think DuPont played better than we did,” Marlon Brim said. “DuPont has more athletes (than Elizabethton), and they were better than Elizabethton. So, for us, it was like an inner-city matchup for us. I thought we would’ve been ready for them, but they came out and were ready for us.” 

Anthony Jordan chipped in with 11 points, two assists and two rebounds.  

“We’ve got to do better,” Marlon Brim said. “Even Elizabethton knew who Jacari was. So, to me, I told the guys (Thursday) night we’ve got to have other guys step up because (Jacari) is going to get that night-in and night-out. And he’s not going to take a lot of shots, or force shots, so he’s going to try and rely on some of his guys =, his teammates to make plays and score the ball, too. So, they’ve got to do a better job of stepping up.” 

After winning on Wednesday, the Titans didn’t respond on Thursday. 

“I was surprised at how slow we came out,” Marlon Brim said. “That was the frustrating part was – the first half was the frustrating part. We made a run, but we couldn’t get a stop when we needed it.” 

In the third-place game on Friday, the West Forsyth boys defeated Dawson County (Ga.) 72-50.  

“They were OK,” Marlon Brim said. “I think DuPont was the best team. Us and DuPont was the two best teams in our brackets. But (Dawson) was fundamentally sound, shot the ball pretty decent, but athleticism and all that, I think we overmatched them.” 

Against Dawson County, Jacari Brim had 18 points, eight assists and five rebounds, and Cam White chipped in with 16 points, four rebounds and three assists.  

“I thought it was an overall good experience,” Marlon Brim said. “You know, 99% of our kids or parents haven’t been to Gatlinburg, Tennessee before, so seeing a different state, the mountains, you know, just a different gym, different everything. I thought the guys needed to see stuff like that, to see basketball outside of North Carolina. 

“But overall, a good experience, did some traveling, traveled well. And some parents went, so I think we had a good time. I wish we would’ve had another day to maybe do a little bit more sightseeing, some other stuff, but we go for a basketball tournament, we came up and we played well, but we didn’t play our best, so we’ve just got to get better.” 

And although the West Forsyth boys finished in third place, there was a silver lining. 

“I’m OK with it,” Marlon Brim said. “Like we said as a staff though, it’s better to finish third than to finish last, or in that pack. But I was pleased the way we bounced back (Friday). Anytime you lose you always think what you could’ve done different and how will the kids respond their next game? I thought the guys responded well.” 

School is out this week on Monday and Tuesday for New Year’s, but practice will take place both days. West Forsyth (8-2, 1-0) is scheduled to play host to Glenn on Wednesday and Reagan on Friday in Central Piedmont 4-A games.  

“We’ve got two tough conference opponents, so I think we’ll be ready though,” Marlon Brim said.  

As for the West Forsyth girls, they were off the week before Christmas, but they returned this past Wednesday at the Sheetz tournament.  

Southwest Guilford, the host school, defeated West Forsyth 37-31 in the first round. In a consolation game on Thursday, West Forsyth pummeled High Point Central 84-0.  

On Friday, the West Forsyth girls returned for the fifth-place game and upended Southern Pines Pinecrest 48-27.  

The West Forsyth girls (6-3, 1-0) also return to Central Piedmont 4-A play on Wednesday night at home against Glenn, followed by another game conference game Friday night against Reagan.