ELKIN - While clinging to their postseason chances, the Falcons provided the biggest upset of the year Friday night.
Last place Forbush stunned recently crowned Mountain Valley Conference champion Elkin 52-51 after two Elk attempts at the buzzer hit iron and rolled out.
“Wow. It was obviously a big win. Elkin is a great team and unbeaten in the conference for a reason. Maybe it was just our night,” head coach Jeff Weisner explained. “We put in a game plan tonight and we did it. We did what we worked on. We got lucky - they missed some shots that they’re normally going to make.
“The first time we played them, it was just quick shots. Tonight, it was be patient and get the ball in the paint. Their pressure in the second half forced us into some quick shots and they were able to get out and run on us. But the clock ran out before they could put another two points up,” he added.
Forbush soared out of the gate, quieting the loud crowd in N.H. Carpenter Gymnasium. The Falcons jumped out to a quick 8-2 advantage and led 20-12 at the end of one.
In the second, Elkin cut the lead down to four at 22-18 midway through the period, but Forbush took a surprising 34-25 lead into the break.
The Elks turned up the intensity in the second half and began chipping away at the deficit. Late in the frame, Forbush pushed their lead out to 46-34 on two free throws. But Tyrek Hayes drilled a three as Elkin scored the final seven points to head to the fourth only down five at 46-41.
Elkin stayed within striking distance in the final period. After Hunter Gooden knocked down a pair of free throws that pushed the lead back out to 50-43, Chris Hudpseth hit 4-of-4 shots from the charity stripe to jump-start a game-tying charge.
Sam Lane followed with a long jumper from the top of the key before hitting his patented turnaround jumper to give the Elks their first lead at 51-50 with 1:10 left.
Barrett Hennings responded with a hard baseline drive to put the Falcons back on top with 54.8 left. Forbush then missed a pair of free throws that would have sealed the win, setting up Elkin for a potential game-winning shot.
With 8.9 ticks left, Trey King beat his man off the dribble but his layup went long. Jamiles Hayes’ tip back hit iron as the Falcons celebrated the thrilling 52-51 upset win.
“[Our game plan was] not to let Sam touch it and not to let Chris penetrate it,” Weisner said. “Trey penetrated but Bennett Winslow stood there and didn’t foul. We didn’t box out because we thought the buzzer was going to sound, so we got lucky. Maybe we needed some luck.”
Hennings poured in a game-high 21 points to lead the charge and was the only Falcon to finish in double-figures. Jacob Funk, Mason Doub and Winslow recorded six points apiece.
With the win, Forbush pushed its conference record to 4-10, but still sit on the outside looking in at next week’s conference tournament.
The Falcons return to the court in the final week of the season, hosting Alleghany Tuesday night on Senior Night before heading to Wilkes Central Friday.
“I hope that we can build on this,” Weisner said. “We have two games left. We need some help to get into the tournament, we have to take care of our business first.”
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or email@example.com.