EAST BEND — Katie Furno delivered when her number was called late in the third quarter of Forbush’s 69-54 win over Starmount on Friday night.
It was a big win for the Falcons, who had lost three of their last four games. All three losses were to Foothills 2A Conference foes where they had the lead in the fourth quarter of each game.
The Falcons (12-6) found themselves in a similar scenario in the final seconds of the third quarter as they clung to a one-point lead (39-38) after a pair of free throws from the Rams’ Amelia Vanhoy.
Furno would convert on a runner with less than a second to play in the quarter.
Emily Eads made it a two-possession game early in the fourth; then Furno, who scored 15 of her 25 points in the final stanza, took over.
First, the freshman knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to extend the Falcons’ lead to double figures (49-38) and culminate a 10-0 run.
After a pair of Morgan Pinnix free throws cut Forbush’s lead under double digits, Furno scored her team’s next seven points to stretch the lead back to double digits with 4:17 to play.
Friday’s game pitted Forbush’s youth (nine underclassmen, with four starters either freshmen or sophomores) against Starmount’s experience and for the second time this season (after the Falcons won a two-point thriller in Boonville in early December), youth won out.
The Falcons’ experience still made an appearance in the form of senior Brooke Davis — one of just two twelfth graders — as she pushed the hosts lead to 14 at 58-44 with a layup. Davis was limited in the first half after she picked up a pair of early fouls.
Starmount (8-8) did its best to stay close in the first half behind the play of Pinnix.
The junior finished with a game-high 28 points and scored her team’s first six points of the game, but the Rams still trailed 14-8 after the first thanks to strong full-court pressure from the Falcons.
Forbush capitalized on the turnovers as Furno knocked down a triple and Natalie Scott hit a layup.
But the Rams never let Forbush pull away despite being down nine at halftime (25-16). Out of the break, Pinnix converted a three-point play; then the junior connected on a tough jumper and Vanhoy hit a deep two to trim the Falcons’ lead to four at 37-33.
After sophomore Carrie Vestal connected on a bank shot from just inside the free-throw line, Vanhoy made it a one-possession game with a 3-pointer.
While Furno controlled the fourth quarter, Scott had a hot start with 10 of the Falcons’ 14 points in the opening frame. The sophomore complemented Furno in double figures with 21 points.
Mallory Chapman chipped in six for Forbush, which resumed league play on Tuesday at home against West Wilkes. The Falcons then host league leader North Surry on Friday night.
Starmount, which received 12 points from Vannoy and seven from senior Layken Mathis, started a stretch of four Northwest 1A Conference games in seven days when it hosted North Stokes on Tuesday.
They’ll close out the three-game home stand with game against Mount Airy and league leader East Wilkes on Friday and Monday, respectively, before traveling to Elkin the next night.
Notes: While Furno had a bulk of the bench points, the Falcons outscored Starmount’s bench 31-2. It was the Falcons’ 24th-straight win over their county rival (the Rams last bested Forbush during the 2009-10 season).
Forbush 69, Starmount 54
Starmount 8 8 22 16 — 54
Forbush 14 11 16 28 — 69
STARMOUNT: Layken Mathis 2 3-8 7; Amelia Vanhoy 4 2-2 11; Molly Swaim 1 3-6 6; Emma Smith 0 0-0 0; Morgan Pinnix 9 10-15 28; Bella Stewart 0 0-0 0; Maggie Ray 1 0-0 2; Carley Money 0 0-0 0; Mackenzie Cox 0 0-0 0. Team Totals: 17 19-31 54.
FORBUSH: Brooke Davis 1 1-2 3; Natalie Scott 6 6-11 21; Mallory Chapman 2 2-5 6; Mariah Livingston 1 0-0 2; Carrie Vestal 1 2-2 4; Katie Furno 8 5-5 25; Katelyn Eads 1 0-0 2; Jane Helton 1 0-0 2; Salem Parker 0 0-0 0; Sienna Armstrong 0 0-0 -0; Emily Eads 2 0-1 4; Emily Beavers 0 0-0 0; Ella Spears 0 0-2 0. Team Totals: 22 16-28 69.
THREE-POINTERS: Starmount: Vanhoy. Forbush: Furno 4, Scott 3.