Boys Varsity Basketball
Game Summaries & Headlines.
The Eagles took to the road on Friday night and landed at North Stafford High School for the traditional county double header. The Forge took both contests with the girls opening up with a dominating 61-22 win. While the boys completed the sweep in the nightcap coming from behind to top the home squad 59-55.
North Stafford 22
The Eagles opened the night with a never a doubt win over Wolverines. This was the first meeting of these two schools this season, and if you are a Forge fan, you highly anticipate the rematch on Courthouse Road on the last regular season game of the year.
It was the sixth straight win for the Eagles and they raised their district mark to 5-1 and an overall record of 12-5 on the year. This one was in the W column early as even with both teams turning the ball over, and missing shots early the Forge was in control the entire contest.
The home team opened up the scoring in the first minute on a jumper by North Stafford’s Desiree Roy, but then were unable to score again until the final minute of the opening stanza, on a couple of free throws from Jazmyne DeShields. The problem was the Eagles did not exactly light up any bulbs on the scoreboard either. The Eagles led after the first quarter by a score of 9-4 and looked for more output moving to quarter 2.
In the second, the Forge started to find a rhythm and the bottom of the net starting with a jumper by Alex Sullivan to give the “good gals” an 11-4 lead. Brayla Bogier was a force inside for the Eagle she scored on the next trip down the floor and the Forge extended their lead nine. The Wolverines would respond on their next two possessions on buckets by Roy causing Eagles bench boss Lashaun Cook to get a timeout to talk it over with 5:56 left in the opening half.
The home team would only score 3 points the rest of the first half while the Forge went inside and got production from Senior Tenia Brown who scored a couple of bank shots from the block to make it 20-11 with 2:27 left. Forge closed out the half on a three-point “BULLS-EYE” from Alex Sullivan and a put back by Raja Anderson and headed to the locker room with a 25-11 lead.
In the third quarter, the Forge bench got their opportunity to step up. While Bogier was controlling the paint, Sophomore Jenna Grey scored 15 points in the third quarter and the Eagle offense was unleashed. Grey had struggled in the first half missing multiple shots from the corner, but in the third, she found the top of the key more to her liking and made the Wolverines pay. The Forge outscored North Stafford 25-6 in the third quarter and the Eagles went to “winning time” with a 50-17 lead.
Forge kept the pedal to the metal on the offensive end, while holding down the Wolverines on the defensive end. Midway through the final frame, the Forge extended their lead to 53-19 on a jumper by Zoe Alhanati and then a “BULLS-EYE” and a two-point bucket from Cameren Downs and the Eagles were coasting 58-21 with 2:34 left in the game. From there Bogier took it home in the paint and the Eagles closed out another Commonwealth District win.
North Stafford 54
The Forge captured their fourth district win of the year with a come from behind 59-54 victory over North Stafford in the nightcap of Friday night’s double dip on Garrisonville Road. The Eagles district mark now stands at 4-2 while they improved to 7-9 overall.
The “good guys” came out in the opening quarter like it was the second night of a back to back, and their offensive game was left on the bus. The Wolverines took an early lead and while they weren’t exactly perfect themselves. Senior Josh Sarratt who scored 11 of the first 15 points scored by the Forge as they trailed 17-15 after the opening stanza held the Eagles in the game early. “What got us through this basketball game was how we played on the defensive end said Forge Head Coach Anthony Mills post game. “North Stafford played hard, it was a very very good basketball game, and they are a very good basketball team.”
The home team opened the second quarter with a 5-0 run getting a jumper from Holt Eagan and a hoop and the harm from Javon Swinton and the Wolverines jumped out to a 22-15 lead with 7:14 left until halftime. The Eagles would respond as Martin Kawa and Josiah Jones cut the lead to 24-19 with 6:31 left. North Stafford was called for a silly 3-point foul a minute later sending Sarratt to the free throw line for the trifecta. Unfortunately for “Cheese” he was only able to hit one of the trio and the Forge paid as Swinton came down on the next North possession and buried a 3-pointer from beyond the arc giving the Wolverines a 29-20 lead with 5:07 left.
The quarter got sloppy for both clubs in the next few minutes. When North’s Elisha Brown came down and buried a bomb from 3-point range the Wolverines had a 31-22 lead with 2:17 left. The Eagles were undaunted however as they went on a key run late with Jones and Josh Osakwe kept the team in it. Jones with a jumper with 1:26 left and Osakwe got lay ups in consecutive possessions and just like that the Forge was headed to the locker room trailing only 31-29. “That was a great lift,” said Mills. “To be able to make that run was good going into the half.”
The third quarter was a physical back and forth affair with long stretches without scoring from either side. With the Forge trailing 33-29, Kawa buried a “BULLS-EYE” from long range to cut the North lead to 33-32 with 6:36 left. The Wolverines Kellen Egan hit a jumper but Kawa was not to be outdone and came down and buried another bomb to tie the game at 35-35 with 4:41 left in the third quarter.
The Eagles Osakwe gave his club the first lead of the game hitting a scoop from the left block to put the “good guys” on top 37-35, the two teams went back and forth with multiple lead changes but in the final two minutes of the frame, the play turned into a missed shot and turnover fest. Both teams were cold from the perimeter and it was almost justifiable that the teams headed to “winning time” with the score tied at 43-43.
Two free throws by Jones opened the final frame for the Eagles and Osakwe hit a runner in the late to extend the Forge lead, but Brown had one more bomb from long range in his holster and he cut the Eagles lead to 47-46 with 6:52 remaining in the game. The Eagles defense was getting more aggressive and the Forge was turning turnovers into point’s midway through the quarter. The Eagles had a 49-48 lead when Sarratt hit a jumper and then on the next possession got fouled taking it to the tin and hit 1 of 2 from the stripe to give Forge a 52-48 lead with 5:01 left.
North had an answer and his name as Swinton as he hit a free throw and a jumper to give the Wolverines the lead back at 53-52 with 3:44 left and the game was coming down to the wire. The crowd was hanging on every possession and it was the GREEN clad section of the stands that went CRAZY in the final minute.
The Eagles swung the ball on the offensive end and the rock came to Senior Nick Ellington at the top of the arc. He took a look, and let it fly banking the go ahead basket for the Eagles into the twine with 43.1 seconds left, giving the Forge a 55-53 lead. “Coaches used to tell me, THE BANK IS ALWAYS OPEN” said Mills with a wide grin. “That was just a basketball play and he made a big play”. North turned the ball over on their possession, and Mills took a timeout with 23.1 left to set up his offense. Sadly, the plans were tossed aside when the Forge turned it over coming out of the time out.
North would miss multiple bunnies in the paint and battling for the rebound was Elijah Sarratt who was fouled with 14.7 seconds remaining. Sarratt toed the stripe and buried the two free throws extending the lead to 57-53. Swinton went to the line on Norths next possession but could only hit one of the two free throws with 7.4 left and the Eagles leading 57-54. Josh Osakwe put the lid on this one for the Eagles hitting two free throws with .8 left on the clock and the Forge had a 59-54 district road victory.
The Eagles will now break for the next few days and will get back at it next Friday night as they travel to Brooke Point to take on the Black Hawks in another girls/boys double header. The Eagles lost to the Hawks on their home floor but both teams will remember this one, as Brooke Point almost blew a 30-point lead and were in danger of the Eagles tying the game in the last minute. They held on for a 71-68 road win back before Christmas. “It’s about getting the next win for us,” said Mills when asked if Brooke Point was a revenge game. “I don’t look at any of our losses as we got to get them back. When we get an opportunity, we’ll play and see how it goes from there.”