Defensive pressure guides Bears to tourney win

SUGAR HILL -- When the pace was fast and furious, that's when Mountain View's girls basketball team did some damage in the Bears' 56-35 win over South Forsyth in the first round of the inaugural Longhorn Holiday Classic hosted by Lanier High School.

Forcing 28 turnovers by South Forsyth, Mountain View (8-1) used that defensive pressure to its advantage by holding the War Eagles to single-digits in three of the four quarters and also creating numerous fast-break opportunities for the Bears' offense.

"We want to pressure on defense and get out and run with the basketball," said Mountain View girls head coach Jackie Lindquist. "We had the effort out there today and I was worried because we've been off for 18 days. But I thought we came out and played well."

Mountain View moves into the second round today and will face the Lambert-Cedar Shoals winner at 3 p.m.

Leading wire-to-wire, Mountain View led 13-6 after the first quarter and eventually carried a 24-19 lead into the locker rooms at the half.

But it was the third quarter when Mountain View outscored South Forsyth 18-8 to turn a close game into a 15-point advantage at 42-27 heading into the fourth quarter.

A three-pointer each from Iceis Walker and Aneysa Williams triggered the run for Mountain View in the third quarter.

Walker finished with 11 points, five rebounds and four assists while Williams had eight points and three rebounds for the Bears.

Mountain View, which features just one senior, had 10 players get playing time and didn't let up in the final eight minutes as the Bears built on the lead and finished with the 21-point margin.

Kelsey Hutchins led the way for Mountain View with 12 points and Tynisha Bledsoe added 11 points, six rebounds and five assists.

Ally Welch led South Forsyth (5-5) with 10 points while Kristie Mason and Rachel Myers had nine each for the War Eagles.

The news wasn't as good for the Mountain View boys as South Forsyth withstood a Bears' second-half charge to get a 64-57 win.

Trailing 33-20 at the half, Mountain View (1-8) fell behind by 15 to open the third quarter.

But the Bears rallied and cut the War Eagles' lead to 47-44 heading to the fourth quarter.

After pulling to within 47-45 to open the final period, Mountain View couldn't get over the hump.

The Bears pulled to within three on two different occasions midway through the final quarter and even had the South Forsyth lead down to four at 61-57 with 25 seconds remaining.

But three free throws sealed the deal for South Forsyth (3-6) as Mountain View couldn't pull any closer down the stretch.

Sean Starke led Mountain View with 16 points and five rebounds while Andre Joseph and Ryan Gibbs had 10 each. Gibbs also grabbed seven rebounds for the Bears.

"Our guys just played with more effort," said Mountain View head coach Kyle Keefer of the Bears' second-half rally. "We're a young and inexperienced team and we have to learn to play with more effort for 32 minutes instead of 16 minutes. We have to learn to play better with a tough man-to-man defense.

"We got Caleb Grant back today for the first time and he's got to get his legs back under him after ACL surgery. He can help us a lot."

Mark McCorkle led South Forsyth with a game-high 30 points, including five treys.

McCorkle also hit on 9 of 10 from the free throw line, including 6-for-6 in the fourth quarter.

Doug Cotter added 11 points and Nick Graf had 10 points and six rebounds for the War Eagles.