First Posted: 1/14/2009
PILOT MOUNTAIN Surry Central held off a late East Surry run Wednesday, 45-41 in a physical and tense game between county rivals.
With the win, the Golden Eagles picked up their third straight victory, while the Cardinals will head to Mount Airy Friday for a Northwest 1-A Conference showdown.
While the tempo of the game was fast paced in the early going, neither team could find an offensive rhythm, with the first quarter ending at 8-7 Golden Eagles.
The second quarter saw both teams continue to struggle offensively, with Surry Central taking a 20-16 lead into the locker room.
The paced slowed after half time but the intensity remained, with both teams fighting to pull the momentum their way.
Central held to a seven point lead through much of the quarter but East Surry responded, going on a blistering 11-3 run as time ran down towards the fourth, sparked by defense and offensive patience.
After a Cardinal basket cut the Central lead to 30-29, with just over 10 seconds to play in the quarter it looked like it would be East Surry who would hold the momentum heading into the final stretch.
But when Centrals Ethan Wilmoth penetrated and kicked to cousin Dave Wilmoth for a wide open buzzer beating 3-pointer, it was the Eagles who took control.
Surry Central coach Ken Eiswald acknowledged that Wilmoths shot was a big momentum boost for his team after the Cardinals had made a strong run.
There was a situation where I would love to say that was something that I called but it was just players being smart and making plays, Eiswald said. That was just guys understanding the clock and what we needed right there and it was huge. I know from being on the other side of that, when somebody knocks that one down at the end of a quarter it just deflates you when youve worked so hard to get back into it.
Dave Wilmoth hit another 3-pointer to start the fourth quarter and give his team a 36-29 lead but East Surry would not go away, responding by scoring 8 straight points.
Cardinal seniors Walt and Spence Tuttle took control, scoring all 8 points in the run.
When Matt Covington found Spence Tuttle underneath for a lay up with 4:06 to play, the East Surry crowd erupted, as the Cardinals took their first lead of the game since 9-8 in the first quarter.
But the East Surry lead was short lived, with Centrals Brett Boyles drilling a 3-pointer of his own from the left elbow to quiet the rowdy home crowd.
The Cardinals couldnt convert on their next possession and Centrals Marvin Spicer corralled a big rebound, hitting the putback and getting fouled in the process.
Spicer hit the foul shot and the Golden Eagles led 42-37 with 2:09 remaining.
East Surry went to a full court press, forcing turnovers and cutting the lead to 42-41 on a Patrick Marion lay up with just under a minute remaining.
The Cardinals fouled Boyles on the next possession after reaching the bonus but were unable to get the rebound, with Central recovering and heading to the line with 15.9 seconds left to play.
The Golden Eagles hit their ensuing foul shots, with Marvin Spicer hitting the final two to give Central the 45-41 win.
Coach Eiswald said following the game that he thought his team did a good job of responding the East Surrys runs in the second half and holding on for the win.
It just seems like when we get ahead we dont have a feel for how you put that game away and then all of a sudden we get behind and we refocus and start to execute again and make shots, Eiswald said.
I wish I had an answer on why we do that but a lot of has to do with the fact that East Surry just took it at us, made some shots and made some big plays. We had been playing great post defense and then they broke us down. I dont know what it is about us but we get that lead but at least when it came back to crunch time we managed to make some plays and finish it.
East Surry coach Jason Anderson said he thought his team played well during its second half runs but were just unable to come out on top.
It was two good ball teams and it came down to who had the ball at the end, Anderson said. We started executing our offense and we told them that the backdoor cuts were there all night if we were just patient offensively and then we went to a two-man post game offense. We set some screens across and got our big guys in the post and we were trying to get the ball to the glass and get fouled. We didnt make it to the foul line too much but we got the ball where we wanted to get it.
Anderson said Surry Centrals three point shooting, particularly the threes by Boyles and Wilmoth, made a difference in the game.
They have a couple of kids that can shoot the ball well, Anderson said. Both games weve played them those two kids have hit some big threes in the ball games. You teach your kids to play defense a certain way and its hard to help off and not lose those guys every once and a while and when we lost them they made us pay for it.
In the second half, East Surrys Marcus Lawson was helped from the court after suffering a head injury. Anderson said after the game that Lawson more than likely suffered a concussion but should be fine with recovery time.
Surry Central (7-7 overall, 1-4 conference) will travel to Elkin Friday with East Surry (6-9 overall, 5-3 conference) heading to take on heated rival Mount Airy.
SURRY CENTRAL 45
EAST SURRY 41
SURRY CENTRAL Marvin Spicer 12, Dave Wilmoth 9, Boyles 7, E. Wilmoth 6, McLamb 4, Levesque 3, Ty Hudson 2, Tanner Hudson 2
EAST SURRY Spence Tuttle 11, Walt Tuttle 10, Hunter 7, M. Covington 5, Marion 4, S. Covington 2, Martin 2