PILOT MOUNTAIN — East Surry shot 72 percent inside the arc, then made its foul shots down the stretch to beat Surry Central 60-46.
The Cardinals made 12-14 free throws in the fourth quarter, including 9-10 from guard Scott Meredith to hold off any potential comeback.
The Golden Eagles made the first basket of the game, but then the Cards ran off eight straight, including six by guard Drew Alley.
Central went to its bench for a lift, getting nine of its 11 points in the quarter from reserves.
Still, Meredith made two shots, and Carson Long buried a three as the Cards led at the end of the first 17-11.
The Central bench gave six more points, and captain Simeon Bracken hit a 17-footer and an inside shot as the Eagles closed to 24-22 at the half.
“I thought the first three quarters were Surry Central’s style of ball game,” said East Coach Jason Anderson. The Eagles played tough defense, outrebounded East Surry and kept the Cards from getting out on the break.
Bracken scored two straight shots to open the third and give the Eagles a 26-24 lead.
“Simeon Bracken has played well for them,” Anderson said. “He may be one of my favorite players in the conference. He has really worked to make himself a better player.”
The Cards slowed down Colby Chilton to three points, he said, but “Simeon kept them in the game. That kid is making a world of difference on their ball team.” Bracken finished with a team-high 14 points.
Still, the Eagles didn’t have an answer for Meredith. He scored three times, then Seth Brim converted inside as the Cards retook the lead 32-26.
“I thought they did a good job denying him the ball,” said Anderson, but Meredith worked off screens to get the ball. “He’s constantly going to move.”
“Despite how stingy they were, when we had opportunities, we converted them,” he said. Meredith only had one look from long range, but shot a remarkable 83 percent inside the line on a mixture of pull-up jumpers, layups and floaters.
“Scorers find a way to score,” Anderson said. “Some of it was on his own, and some of it was off set plays we ran.”
Brim scored just five points, but came up big on defense for the Cards. He slowed down Zach Wilmoth, who didn’t score in the first three quarters and finished with nine. Brim also blocked two shots, took two charges and grabbed three rebounds.
Alley finished with 10 points, Tyler Pardue nine and Long five.
“They are a good defensive team,” Anderson said of the Eagles. “The kids who come off the bench, the tempo of the defense doesn’t change when they come in. That’s the sign of a well-coached team.”
After Bracken’s 14 and Wilmoth’s nine, the next-best scorers were reserves. Brett Mosley had six, Jake Wilmoth five and Samuel Harris four.
East Surry travels to North Stokes on Tuesday, while Surry Central hosts North Surry.