Defending champion West Forsyth is the No. 1 seed for this year’s Lash-Chronicle Holiday Classic which tips off on Saturday at Carver High School. The opening round of this annual junior varsity basketball showcase will feature six games.
West Forsyth and No. 2 seed Forsyth Country Day get first-round byes and will begin tournament play in the quarterfinals on Dec. 20 at Carver. Two more quarterfinal games are set for Dec. 20 at Winston-Salem Prep. Carver is the site for the semifinal round on Dec. 21 and the championship game on Dec. 23.
“For this year’s team, the potential is great,” said Coach Jeffrey Williams. “Yes, we are the top seed. But does that mean we’re the best junior varsity basketball team in Forsyth County? The answer is … not yet. Will we prove to be the best by season’s end? We hope to be.”
A year ago, West Forsyth pulled off a surprising tournament run as the No. 6 seed. The Titans got superb play from their supporting cast in defeating top-seeded Winston-Salem Prep 63-58 in the final.
West Forsyth seized control of the title game with a six-point spurt at the start of the fourth quarter. The Titans put the clamps on Prep by using a trapping 1-2-2 defense which caused several turnovers at crucial times coming down the stretch. The Phoenix stayed in contention, but it was West Forsyth’s clutch free-throw shooting in the closing minutes that helped to secure the victory.
Unfortunately for West Forsyth, winning the Lash-Chronicle title did not serve as a carryover for the remainder of the regular season. After the Christmas holiday break ended, the Titans nosedived in major-league fashion and they finished next-to-last in the six-team Central Piedmont 4-A Conference.
This year, West Forsyth has more depth and Williams takes full advantage. In the Titans scheme, everybody on the 14-player roster gets playing time every night.
“It’s a collective effort,” said Williams. “We’re so deep that we don’t have to rely on one or two people to get the job done in every game. Everybody contributes.”