If you would have asked West Stokes coach Dan Spainhour at the beginning of the season when his team started 0-3 if they would be walking away as the Western Piedmont Athletic 2A Conference champions this year, he would have never believed it. Tuesday night’s 75-57 conference win over Forbush secured the Wildcats fourth conference championship in school history and the first since 2014.
“We will take it,” Spainhour said with a smile. “After our Carver loss at home, I thought we would struggle to find our identity this year, but the kids have come together and learned how to play within the system. Forbush always plays us tough because they have good shooters.”
In the last five minutes of the first quarter, West went on an 18-3 spurt behind sophomore Elan Muniz’s nine points and held a 20-11 advantage.
The Falcons closed the gap to eight points in the second quarter only to see the home team hit another spurt and take their biggest lead of the first half at 34-19. With two minutes left before halftime, West struggled offensively and Forbush began mounting a 38-31 comeback at the break.
“We didn’t have any fire in the first half,” Spainhour said. “Our defense was really bad and we weren’t making game adjustments on their shooters. We had to make that in the locker room during the break. We are at the point of the season where we need to be able to do that, because after Friday, it’s one loss and our season is over.”
Isaac Spainhour scored first for West Stokes to start the second half, but then hit a quiet two minute stretch. The Falcons cut the home team’s edge to six points on three different occasions including the 52-46 score to end the third quarter.
The Wildcats stretched their lead in the fourth period when sophomore Kelin Parsons added nine points in the quarter and Muniz hit his fourth and fifth three-pointers of the game to hold their biggest margin at 73-52 with 2:36 left to play.
Isaac Spainhour led the four Wildcats in double digits on senior night with 21. His brother, Noah, a senior, added 17, while Muniz chipped in 15. Parsons added 13 points and six rebounds off of the bench.
The Wildcats improve to 16-6 overall and 10-1 in conference play. Forbush drops to 6-16 and 2-9. West Stokes will travel to Surry Central on Friday to close out the regular season.
Lady Wildcats lose three straight
After losses to North Surry and Atkins, the Lady Wildcats welcomed first place Forbush to King and the visitors cruised to a 68-44 victory behind Hope Grimes 24 points.
West began the game on an 8-2 run, but Grimes ignited the Falcons with two three-pointers and held a 17-11 advantage after one quarter of play.
Forbush led at the half 32-24, but the third quarter was the difference in the game. The Lady Falcons blew the contest open in the last two minutes and outscored West 14-2 to gain a 57-34 edge.
Freshman Emma Santoro was the only Wildcat in double figures with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Hannah Spainhour tallied nine points and seniors Taylor Cunningham and Rachel Delcamp chipped in eight and seven.
West Stokes falls to 12-7 overall and 5-6 in conference play. Forbush improved to 20-2 and 11-0. The Wildcats will travel to Surry Central on Friday and is in a must-win situation if the team wants to make the NCHSAA State 2A Playoffs this season.
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.