LAWRENCEVILLE — Defense was the name of the game and Archer played it very well, causing 35 turnovers, as it beat West Forsyth 67-35 in the first round of the Class AAAAAA basketball playoffs Friday.
The Tigers used their man-to-man defense to keep the Wolverines at bay, not allowing them to score double-digit points in any of the first three quarters.
"Historically we're a zone team," said Archer head coach Ryan Lesniak. "We felt we could move to man with this year's team. But it's only been in the last seven or eight games where we've really grown comfortable playing that."
From the outset, the Tigers had all the weapons, jumping out to a 7-2 run to begin the game.
Part of the game plan for Archer was to go after West Forsyth's 6-foot, 5-inch center Jenna Staiti. And go after her they did as she picked up three fouls early in the second quarter.
"The charge that Tatiana (Wayne) took to get her a third foul was huge," Lesniak said. "After that, she couldn't be as aggressive."
Staiti did finish with 14 points and 14 rebounds, but wasn't able to do as more damage with the foul trouble. And that's when the Tigers really took over the game, building on their 14-8 lead after the first quarter.
Archer led 26-15 at halftime, thanks in part to 12 points from Autumn Newby, but it was the third quarter that made the difference.
The Tigers kept running early in the third, applying pressure on both sides of the floor. Alesha Mann scored all seven of her points in the quarter and the Tigers totaled 23 in the third to take a 49-24 lead into the fourth.
From there, the Wolverines had no chance as Archer kept the pressure up and didn't give an inch.
Archer was led by Newby with 20 points and nine rebounds, while Amber Skidgel had 12 and Madison Newby had 10.
Next up is Roswell on Monday, which defeated Mill Creek in its first-round game.
"The snow threw us off, so we'll come in and watch film (Saturday) and then practice on Sunday," Lesniak said. "We've never practiced on a weekend until last week. But the kids and parents have been good about it. They realize there is a sense of urgency and how important that time is for us."