First Posted: 2/12/2009
PILOT MOUNTAIN North Surry picked up payback for a loss earlier this season to East Surry, with the Vikings running away from the Cardinals 57-40 on Senior Night in Pilot Mountain.
A ceremony honoring the East Surry seniors as well as retiring head coach Robert Smith preceded the game, but from the opening tip the Greyhounds looked like a team on a mission.
After the game, Smith said while emotion and festivities can get in the way of focus at times, he said North Surry is a top notch team.
Any senior night, no matter who you are playing, there is so much emotion and its really hard to get focused, Smith said. But that is certainly not taking anything away from North Surry. They are a super team, Shane (Slate) does a great job, they are very fundamentally sound and they can beat you so many ways.
The Greyhounds came out strong, jumping out to a 7-0 lead until East Surrys Kelsey Long found teammate Courtney Simmons underneath to end the Cardinals drought with five minutes left in the first.
But even with the ice broken, North Surry maintained control, leading 18-8 at the end of one.
Smith said the Cardinals opening quarter unfortunately set the tone for the rest of the game, putting them in a hole they struggled to get climb out from.
It was just that initial start, Smith said. I think if we could have evened it out right there from the get-go the game would have probably been better from our perspective. But youve got to give them a lot of credit, they took away the things we wanted to do and they played really good defense. Once we settled down we kind of evened it out after that but when you are already down 10 and trying to work your way out it makes it really difficult.
North Surry coach Shane Slate said his team came into the Thursdays game looking to be tenacious on the defensive end and limit the Cardinals bread and butter of Long and Simmons.
The main thing was to just make sure that we contested every shot that they got, because we knew it was going to be hard to turn them over as good as their perimeter game is, Slate said. I thought we were really solid on that and they didnt get many easy looks.
East cut the lead to 18-10 to start the second quarter but could get no closer, with the Greyhounds stretching the lead out to 35-21 at the half.
North Surry freshman Lindsay Payne led her team with 10 first half points and went on to finish with a game-high 20 points.
Slate said after the game Payne has been a big plus for his team this season.
She has improved an enormous amount this year and because of that she has been a solid addition for us in the post, Slate said. She comes off the bench and between her and Nicole (Rumplasch) and (Courtney) Campbell we dont lose a whole lot.
Each time the Cardinals looked to cut into the North Surry lead, the Greyhounds would answer right back, keeping East at bay for much of the second half.
East cut the lead to 10 points in the fourth quarter but could come no closer, losing to North 57-40.
Smith said even though he and his team were upset with the loss, playing a team like North Surry this late in the season is nothing but a plus for the Cardinals.
I am proud of the girls, really proud of them, he said. For us to be getting ready to go into the state playoffs and play a team the caliber of North, it really benefits us.
Behind Payne for North Surry was Nicole Rumplasch with 13 points and Morgan Midkiff and Kara Hodges with 7 each.
Courtney Simmons led East Surry with 13 points in the loss in her final regular season home game.
The Cardinals take on Elkin tonight at 6:30 p.m. in Pilot Mountain in the first round of the NW 1-A Conference tournament.
NORTH SURRY 57,
EAST SURRY 40
North Surry Lindsay Payne 20, Nicole Rumplasch 12, Midkiff 7, Hodges 7, Culler 3, Simpson 2, Campbell 2, Simmons 2, Bunker 2
East Surry Courtney Simmons 13, Reid 6, James 6, Shuff 4, Merritt 3, Honeycutt 2, Marshall 2, Long 2, Nichols 2