West Forsyth’s boys basketball season ends with early NCHSAA Class 4-A playoffs loss

Published 9:31 pm Saturday, March 2, 2024

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By Jay Spivey

For the Clemmons Courier

CLEMMONS — For most of the teams who reach a tournament, most of them are going to go home unhappy.  

Unfortunately, for the West Forsyth boys basketball team that happened much earlier than it would’ve liked. 

West Forsyth was named the No. 13 seed in the West and played host to No. 20 Mooresville Tuesday night in the first round. However, the lower-seeded team won, ending West Forsyth’s season after a 66-62 loss Tuesday night. 

“I didn’t think we played well,” said Marlon Brim of the Titans (20-8). “We played well in spurts. So, for me we were able to develop an eight-point lead and we squandered it. So, I thought after that we was kind of up and down.” 

It was a tale of two halves. 

“I thought we took the momentum early. We gave it back to ‘em,” Brim said. “So, it’s a little disappointing how we played Tuesday night.” 

The Titans didn’t stretch the lead once they got it. 

“I just think we got complacent,” Brim said. “You know, we got the lead and then and some things didn’t go our way and we didn’t do some things that we usually do. But that’s just part of basketball. Basketball is a game of runs. We (weren’t) able to maintain the runs to really put, I’m (going) to say, put Mooresville in a tougher position.” 

It was close for most of the second half, and West Forsyth took a lead late after Jacari Brim, Marlon’s Brim’s son, hit a 3-pointer. 

“You know, just a couple times we wasn’t able to get a loose ball or a rebound and they were able to score,” Marlon Brim said. “So, those things that we were pretty good at throughout the year, we didn’t do well Tuesday night.” 

Jacari Brim led the Titans with 25 points and Cam White finished with 16. 

“We (weren’t) having four guys score,” Marlon Brim said. “Tuesday night, we didn’t have that. We had two kids to score in double figures. Everybody else was kind of low on the scoring pole. And that had a little bit to do with Mooresville, but that had to do with us missing shots.” 

Marlon Brim said practice went well on Monday in preparation for Tuesday’s game. 

“We went over the game plan and tried to execute it during practice,” Marlon Brim said. “And I thought we did a great job. It’s just that Tuesday night some things didn’t go our way and that kind of put us in a different situation. But I thought we were prepared.” 

Had West Forsyth won on Tuesday night it would’ve traveled to face No. 4 seed Mount Tabor, a team it had faced three times this season in the regular season and Central Piedmont 4-A tournament. Mount Tabor defeated Mooresville 71-57 Friday to advance to Tuesday’s third round.  

“I thought it was a building block from last year,” Marlon Brim said. “Last year we surprised some people last year by the way we finished. But this year some expectations, not just from us, but fans and other coaches around the area, knowing what we had coming back. So, I thought expectations, and we met most of those expectations. We just didn’t finish the deal like we thought.”  

Brim just finished his second season as the head coach at West Forsyth after coming over from Atkins.  

“We were young, so getting better some games we were really good and some games we were inconsistent,” Marlon Brim said. “And so, to be honest with you, our inconsistency showed on Tuesday. And the games that we lost is the games where our young kids didn’t show up.” 

The team took a big stride this season after finishing 15-11 last season.  

“We’re building something great at West,” Marlon Brim said. “Our young kids took a step. My three seniors also led, and Jacari took a step this year. So, another step in leadership and I think our younger kids kind of followed the guys. And think that will continue throughout the summer and throughout next season. So, I think we’ll be even better next year.” 

The three seniors are Anthony Jordan, White and Christian Alexander. Those losses will be felt next season.  

“You can’t replace Cam and what he did for us,” Marlon Brim said. “Same thing with Ant (Jordan) on the one year. Christian was just a great positive teammate and when he got his opportunity, he helped us. But I think we have some kids who can fill those shoes. 

“Now, how do we fill them? It might be a two-person filling Cameron and Ant’s shoes. It may be one person.” 

Other than Jacari Brim, who will be a senior next season, the cupboard is certainly not bare for the Titans.  

“I think Jordan Tate took a big step for us as a sophomore,” Marlon Brim said. “I thought Mike Siedlecki had a couple games where he took a step, so we have some young kids who can fill those spots. We just have to continue to develop and grow as they get better.” 

Even with the losses because of graduation West Forsyth should be able to build off this season’s success. 

“I think we’ll be better next year.” Marlon Brim said. “I think Jordan Jones, who had great moments for us this year will be more consistent and be more of a leader. So, you have Jacari returning. So, you have Grant (Burns), who didn’t play a whole lot, but we’re expecting him to get better and contribute.  

“So, we have eight guys who played last year. So, we expect those eight guys to continue to get better like Max Skillman, Brayden Adams, a freshman and a sophomore, and Jordan Tate to help fill those shoes. So, those eight guys we’re really counting on because they have varsity-playing experience.” 

One other thing that’s like not going to change next season is the level of play in the Central Piedmont 4-A. Six of the eight teams – Mount Tabor, Davie County, West Forsyth, East Forsyth, Reagan and Parkland – made the field of the field in the NCHSAA 4-A West Region. The only two teams that didn’t make it were Reynolds, which barely missed a berth, and Glenn, which struggled this season at 7-18 overall and 1-13 in the conference. 

“I think it made us better,” Marlon Brim said. “I mean I think our kids rose to the challenge. But some games we didn’t finish the game like we thought, but I think our guys rose to the challenge, they accepted the challenge, and they knew, especially the older guys, the gauntlet of the conference.  

“The young guys kind of went through it and saw it. So, now I think they’ll be better prepared for the year in the conference. So, yes, the conference is just as strong or stronger than any conference in the state of North Carolina.”