First Posted: 7/9/2009
It took until the second day of the sixth annual Lady Bears Basketball Team Camp for East Surry to look like itself again.
With new coach Keith Gunter at the helm, the Cardinals ripped off three consecutive wins on the final day of play. East Surry and Gunter, who replaced longtime coach Robert Smith, lost three times Wednesday. However, the Cardinals didnt flinch and came back swinging on Thursday.
The attitude that Ive seen East Surry girls play with is Were not supposed to lose. Were winners, Gunter said. They played with that attitude (yesterday).
This summer, Gunter, who recently coached the Patrick County (Va.) boys, has adapted elements of his coaching style so he can best mesh with his team. He said he had no problems changing his terminology and creating a learning curve so his players are comfortable.
Since its a lot more of them than it is me, basically what I wanted to learn this summer is what are these girls capable of doing, he said. I kind of changed my terminology that I used…its probably not what well be doing in the fall or winter.
Like many of the other nine teams involved, East Surry had a shallow bench. Whether it was due to vacation or injury or AAU obligations, most every team had to deal with a lack of players. The Cardinals were missing standout Kelsey Long (AAU) and Autumn Cole, who tore her ACL and will be out until the fall.
Mount Airy finished the best of the local teams, going 5-1. North Surry went 3-3 and the Surry Runnin Patriots won one of six games. The camp, played at Mount Airy Middle School as well as the old middle school, also featured Starmount and Rockingham to go with Virginia teams Bassett, Galax and Carroll County.
Perhaps the team that suffered most from a lack of players were the Runnin Patriots. By their last game, they had a six-girl rotation. Playing six games in two days will slow down any team, especially when its reserves are depleted.
The Runnin Patriots that were available to play received valuable experience against teams they would not normally see in conference play.
This is much stronger than our normal schedule, Surry coach Glenn Edwards said of the camp. And its good for us to see this kind of competition.
Contrary to most other teams, Mount Airy had the luxury of subbing five players at a time, allowing the Granite Bears to wear down weary opponents. The early look Mount Airy coach Howard Mayo saw of his team led him to believe that depth will be a factor come the fall.
Were going to be a fairly deep team and were going to get contributions from a lot of people, Mayo said.
North Surry faced teams in Mount Airy and East Surry that become conference foes this coming school year, but scouting future opponents was the furthest thing from Greyhounds coach Shane Slates mind.
The opponents not the point in camp and summer time work, he said. The point is to get better and work on some of the things for next year. There are no summer time champions.
Final standing for the camp saw Bassett score a perfect 6-0 mark, followed by Mount Airy (5-1), Rockingham (5-1), Carroll County (3-3), East Surry (3-3), North Surry (3-3), Galax (1-5), Surry (1-5) and Starmount (0-6).
Contact Ed Phillipps at [email protected] or 719-1921.