Stockton led by 7 at half
Second-half adjustments by the Forsyth Panthers led them to overcome a seven-point halftime deficit and defeat the Stockton Tigers 51-43 in Mid-Lakes Conference action Friday, Jan. 17, at the SHS gymnasium.
Tight defenses in the first quarter made scoring at a premium as neither squad broke double figures on the scoreboard until the early part of the second quarter. Stockton started to take control when senior Drew Wheeler hit the first of four three-pointers, leading to a Forsyth timeout. The Tigers led 22-15 at the half and seemed to be on their way to their first league victory of the season.
Forsyth coach Eric Rogers had other plans, however.
Rogers changed up the game plan on both ends of the court and his team immediately responded, taking the lead for good at 36-34 early in the fourth quarter and never looking back.
Stockton coach Derald Henderson said the Tigers had trouble dealing with Forsyth’s change of style.
“They went to a zone and they came out with a lot of energy,” Henderson said of the Panthers. “What happened was we lost our composure and we really couldn’t get it back. We needed to right the ship and make some plays. We didn’t and momentum swung very quickly. We were fighting to get it back and we really couldn’t.
“Offensively, we could not score in zone spots we needed to score from. In the pressure, we turned it over way too much. They were trying to break our rhythm and they definitely did that.” Jordan Letterman led the Panthers with 15 points while Buck Sanders and Jon Deroo each added nine.
Wheeler scored 27 points to lead the Tigers, putting him 20 points away from equaling the Stockton career scoring record held by Robbe Ewing.
The Tigers played Sarcoxie late Tuesday, Jan. 21, in the first round of the 50th annual Stockton Invitational Tournament. The semifinal round is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 24, and the championship round will be Saturday, Jan. 25.
Forsyth 8 7 15 21—51
Stockton 9 13 10 11—43
Forsyth: Jordan Letterman 15, Buck Sanders 9, Jon Deroo 9, Gavin Lux 5, Nick Lumley 4, Jarrett Teel 1.
Stockton: Drew Wheeler 27, Layne Colvin 5, Jay Baxter 4, Cole Garretson 4, Tate Wheeler 3.
3-point goals: Sanders, Deroo, Lux, D. Wheeler 4, T. Wheeler, Colvin.