Forest Hill had the home-court advantage Tuesday night — plus Phillip Lyttle — in a key boys basketball matchup against Palm Beach Lakes.
The senior guard scored a game-high 30 points, and Mehki Millender added 14 to lead the host Falcons to a 72-66 victory in front of a packed crowd.
Jalen Jackson chipped in 13 points for Forest Hill, which improved to 13-1 overall and 3-0 in District 13-8A.
The win was the fourth straight for the surging Falcons, whose only loss this season came last month to unbeaten Wellington. Forest Hill finished 9-15 last year.
“This is a real good game for us,” Forest Hill coach Tony Watson said. “This moves us in the right direction. The kids understand that this is a district game, and our district is tough. Any time we can get a district win in our district, it’s a big win.”
Forest Hill got off to a quick start, opening an 8-0 lead just 1:30 into the game. Millender had all eight points for the Falcons, including a pair of three-pointers.
Forest Hill continued shooting well in the quarter, extending its lead to 10 points at the halfway point.
By the end of the quarter, the Falcons led 23-10.
The shots didn’t fall as readily in the second quarter for Forest Hill, which went cold at the start. Behind Giancarlo Rosado, Palm Beach Lakes (6-5) chipped away at the Falcons’ lead and pulled within 27-21.
But a late flurry put Forest Hill back up by double digits, and the Falcons went into halftime leading 38-25.
The Rams stormed back in the third quarter behind strong outside shooting.
Back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers pulled Palm Beach Lakes within 47-43 with 1:58 remaining, and the Rams took the lead with the 20 seconds left on a Ty Hands layup.
A last-second 3-point attempt by Forest Hill bounced off the rim, and the Rams led 50-49 heading into the final quarter.
But Palm Beach Lakes gave up its lead to open the final quarter, grabbed it back, and then gave it up again in a wild finish.
Forest Hill went up by seven points with 1:12 left, but the Rams got back within four — three times — before the Falcons closed out the game.
Hands and Sheldon Edwards each scored a team-high 13 points for the Rams, while Denzel Robinson added 12 and Rosado had 10.
Dwyer 61, Olympic Heights 29: Miles Coleman had 16 points and 14 rebounds, Brandon Williams added seven points and nine rebounds, Eddie Davis grabbed eight rebounds and Jovanni Quince contributed five assists as the Panthers (14-1) rolled past the Lions in Boca Raton.
Wellington 56, Jupiter 51: Bryan Williams scored 15 points and Jonathan Philistin added 12 to lift the Wolverines past the Warriors in Jupiter. Jaquel Stroman led Jupiter with 13 points.
Atlantic 78, Spanish River 68: Rodwens Albert scored 20 points and Kadeem Wilks added 19 to lead the Eagles past the Sharks in Delray Beach. Jashone Anderson scored a game-high 29 points for Spanish River.
John I. Leonard 79, Palm Beach Gardens 63: Jerquan Worthen scored 19 points and Jevon Allen added 17 as the Lancers (3-7) handled the Gators in Greenacres.
Palm Beach Central 71, Seminole Ridge 52: Gyvicht Geneus had a double-double with 19 points and 14 rebounds and Tre Jackson added 12 points and seven steals to lead the Broncos over the Hawks in Wellington. Jordan Ferro scored 15 points for Seminole Ridge.
Inlet Grove 69, Glades Central 62: Dante Moses scored 19 points and Kevin Anders added 14 to lift the Hurricanes (10-4) over the Raiders in Riviera Beach.
St. Andrew’s 53, Miami Country Day 38: Marcus Pelissier had 27 points and five rebounds and Jammy Pierre-Louis added 17 points and eight assists as the Scots (9-4) overpowered the Spartans in Boca Raton.
Coconut Creek-North Broward Prep 64, American Heritage 49: Jake Robbins scored 14 points and Aamir Justice added 12, but the Stallions fell to the Eagles in Delray Beach.
Fort Pierce-John Carroll 74, Benjamin 60: Alex Vogelsong scored 19 points and Jordan Travis added 16, but the Buccaneers (8-5) fell to the Rams in Palm Beach Gardens. Skylar Twyman scored 13 points for Benjamin.