EAST BEND - For the third-straight game, a cold second half doomed the Lady Falcons against a Northwest Conference power.
Forbush trailed by just four at 25-21 at halftime but only managed 13 second-half points and dropped their home opener 58-34 Friday night to a tough West Stokes side.
“We put it together the last three games for two or three quarters but then, I don’t want to say we fall apart, but we run out of gas,” head coach Bradley Shores said. “We go from being in the game a couples baskets back to double digits. And right now, we’re not explosive enough offensively to make that comeback.
“We just have to keep doing the things we’re doing and put together four quarters, instead of two or three. A lot of that comes from us being a new squad together and a lot of youth. We can’t always use that as an excuse; we just have to execute better,” he added.
In a back and forth first half, Forbush opened strong, grabbing an 8-2 lead early on. But the Wildcats clawed back and took a 15-11 advantage into the second quarter.
West pushed its lead out to 21-14 midway through the frame and 25-16 late before returning all-conference performer Savannah Hill gave the Falcons momentum heading into the locker room.
Hill scored five points in the final 30 seconds of the half, including a three-point play with 7.9 ticks left to bring Forbush within four at 25-21 at the break.
Coming out in the second half, the Falcons “ran out of gas” and only scored four points in the quarter as West pushed its lead out to 10 at 35-25.
The Wildcats exploded in the final frame for 23 points to put the game out of reach, coasting to the 58-34 victory.
“It’s just continuing,” Shore said. “We worked a lot on defense but West Stokes got more patient in the second half on offense and we didn’t. After they ran 10 or 12 seconds of the clock, we always had somebody get lost.
“We’re good for a short period of time on defense and in the game in general, we just need to stick with that and be able to maintain that. Offensively, it’s just patience and consistency,” he continued. “It’ll come, but we’ve had a tough non-conference schedule. It’s good for us and we can see we can hang with these teams.”
Hill paced Forbush offensively with nine points, but was held scoreless in the second half. Starmount transfer Brittany Moose recorded seven first-half points, while Jessica Funk scored seven of her nine points on the night after halftime.
While the final score of the past three games (62-42 vs East Surry, 63-44 vs Mt. Airy and 58-34 vs West Stokes) indicate a blowout, Shore said the team is close and doesn’t feel like “we’re getting creamed.”
“We’ve really competed well these past three games where it has gone from single digits in the second half to losing by double digits, like tonight,” he explained. “The final score makes it look like we’re getting creamed, but I don’t feel like we’re getting creamed. We’re right there for a large part of the game.”
The Falcons open Mountain Valley Conference play Tuesday night against East Wilkes in Ronda.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or email@example.com.