AUGUSTA – It’s on to the Class D South final for the Forest Hills boys basketball team.
The Tigers rolled to a 61-41 win over Greenville in a regional semifinal Wednesday morning at the Augusta Civic Center. Forest Hills (20-0) will face No. 2 Valley in the D South final on Saturday. No. 5 Greenville finished 5-13.
Mason Desjardins led the Tigers with 23 points to go along with five rebounds. He was followed by Jackman Daigle, who had eight points and five rebounds, and Braiden Welch, who had eight points.
Guard Dominick Murray scored 24 points, including four 3-pointers, to pace the Lakers.
It was a game of runs for the Tigers, who were in control from start to finish. Forest Hills pulled off a 15-0 run between the first and second quarters. It then lengthened its lead with a 16-0 run that between the second and third quarters. The Tigers entered halftime with a 36-5 lead.
“We wanted to come out hard, not let (Greenville) dictate our game,” Desjardins said. “Play our game, get them running. They did a good job of trying to slow the ball down. But we wanted to come out as the aggressor.”
“They came out ready to play today,” Forest Hills head coach Anthony Amero said. “(In the quarterfinal round) we came out kind of flat, so we talked about just wanting to make sure that we didn’t come out and repeat that in the first few minutes of the game. Good teams shouldn’t play that way.”
Desjardins led Forest Hills with 14 points in the first half, including three 3-pointers.
Forest Hills had another 15-0 run in the third quarter to enter the fourth with a 56-18 lead. Desjardins credited the Tigers’ defensive play in helping the success on offense.
“It starts with our defense,” Desjardins said. “Everyone knows their role pretty well. That helps us get into transition, everyone does a good job on defense applying pressure.”
The Lakers refused to lay down, putting together a 13-0 run of their own in the fourth, but by that point, the Tigers’ lead was too much to overcome.
“We knew (Greenville) would try to run the ball, try to run the clock on us,” Amero said. “We didn’t want to get caught up in trying to go for steals, steals, steals. Just stay on the ball, don’t make dumb fouls. I think the kids did pretty good about that.”
It was the third time this season the Tigers and Lakers met on the hardwood, with Forest Hills picking up all three wins. The Tigers beat the Lakers 79-30 on Dec. 13 and 73-53 on Jan. 24.
Dave Dyer – 621-5640