EAST FORSYTH 20 19 14 23 -- 76 MOUNT AIRY 11 12 25 21 -- 69
EAST FORSYTH (7-2): Shemar Watkins 22, Tyren Hairston 15, Tanis Samuels 11, Mahaffey 7, Brintley 7, Sparrow 6, Nichols 5, AJ Hall 2, Jones 1.
MOUNT AIRY (4-3): Caleb Arrington 26, Donavon Greene 19, Ryan Graham 12, Gregory Greene 8, Isom 2. Hall 2.
East Forsyth held Mount Airy scoreless for almost seven minutes through the middle of a fast-paced first half & was never headed enroute to a 76-69 win in the opening round of upper bracket play in the Frank Spencer Holiday Classic in the Lawrence Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem, NC Tuesday night.
The third-seeded Eagles, now 7-2, smothered the Granite Bears with a variety of pressuring defenses to extend a 16-11 lead with 3:30 left in the first quarter to the 16-point margin (27-11) two minutes into the second quarter. Tyren Hairston scored nine of his 15 points during the stretch & East took the same margin (16) into the locker room at the half (39-23).
The Granite Bears, the defending lower bracket Frank Spencer Champions & a threat again for the North Carolina 1A state title, responded with a strong second-half surge behind 15 points from Caleb Arrington, the game’s leading scorer (26) who hit a trio of three-pointers as Mt. Airy rallied to within four points twice before the Eagles secured the victory with a series of free throws & a timely fast-break steal & lay-in by Savon Brintley to push the margin to nine (72-63) with two minutes left.
Shemar Watkins led another balanced East Forsyth scoring attack with 22 points and added five rebounds. Tanis Samuels (11 points) joined Hairston in double figures for the Eagles & added six rebounds. Donovan Greene added 19 points and a game-high 12 rebounds for Mount Airy, now 4-3 on the season.
East Forsyth advances to the semifinal round of the Frank Spencer Tournament tomorrow night at 830p against the winner of the Mount Tabor-South Stokes late quarterfinal game. Mount Airy plays the loser of that game in a consolation round game at 11a at West Forsyth High School in Clemmons.