By Jeffery Armstrong
The North Clayton Eagles basketball team raced to a 21-9 first quarter lead and never looked back, keeping the Forest Park Panthers winless with a 85-57 victory over their county and sub-region rivals Friday at North Clayton.
The Region 5-AAAA crossover game started out well, with North Clayton leading 10-6 early in the first quarter. The Eagles (1-0) then went on an 11-3 run to end the first quarter en route to their season-opening win. Forest Park (0-5) started making shots in the second quarter, led by Tony Peak with six points to climb back in the game. North Clayton sophomore Kiara Weems was on fire in the second quarter, however, hitting three 3-point shots (including one in the waning seconds of the first half) to help North Clayton up 41-28 at the half.
The Eagles (1-0) flew by the Panthers in the second half, scoring a bevy of their points on the fast break as Forest Park missed shots and turned the ball over many times. Weems led the Eagles with 24 points followed by Anthony Harvey's 17 points off the bench. Jamal Bowers scored 16 points and Vincent Wood snagged 10 rebounds to go along with his five points.
Santonio Parker led Forest Park with 16 points and Edima Ufot and Anthony Booker scored nine points each for the Panthers.
North Clayton 66, Forest Park 23 (girls): The Forest Park Lady Panthers were short-handed Friday night and it showed, as they were blown out by the North Clayton Lady Eagles 66-23 at North Clayton.
Forest Park (1-4) was no match for North Clayton, as the Lady Panthers were without standout players Marcquitta Head and M'Keyla Reid, who were injured. North Clayton (1-0) was at full strength and the team showed no mercy on Forest Park, racing to a 17-5 first-quarter lead and a 38-16 lead at the half.
North Clayton held Forest Park scoreless in the third quarter. The Lady Eagles forced 25 turnovers and held Forest Park to seven points in the entire second half. Ashley Johnson scored 26 points for North Clayton, including 4 of 7 from three-point range, and Michelle Keith added 14 points.
and four rebounds. Shaleece Bradberry had eight points and eight rebounds.
Centria Williams led Forest Park with six points.