KING — The Lady Eagles made a rally to tie West Stokes, but couldn’t take the lead in a 57-52 loss Tuesday.
Coach Mandy Holt said her team kept scrapping and clawing to get back in the game, but once the score was tied at 52-all, the Eagles didn’t score again.
With about three minutes left, Wildcats center Chris Madigan was fouled and made both free throws. That gave the home team a 49-40 lead.
Courtney Hegler made two foul shots and a basket to make it 49-44.
Tess Dockery then hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to two points.
Hegler was fouled and made one of two shots for a 49-48 margin.
All-conference guard Abby Harris made a basket, then one of two foul shots on the next possession to push the lead up to four points, 52-48.
Hegler and Dockery each scored to tie the game at 52-all.
Madigan had a basket and 3-6 at the foul line in the final minute to put the game away. She finished with a game-high 24 points.
The Eagles had two steals in the final two minutes, but each time they turned the ball right back over, noted Holt.
Sarah Bruce played tight defense on Madigan throughout the game, the coach said. One trip down the floor, Bruce would make a steal, she said. Then the next time down, West Stokes would run a play to get Madigan open or the center would grab an offensive board and score.
“I can’t fault the effort,” she said.
After playing a grueling game against Bishop McGuinness on Monday, the girls seemed to have tired legs in this game, the coach said.
“They were still giving maximum effort, they just weren’t moving as briskly,” she said. “And we couldn’t buy a jump shot.”
Central shot 16-43 inside the arc (37.2 percent), and just 4-21 (19.0 percent) from deep.
Still, the Eagles’ defense generated 25 steals, led by Bruce and Cassidy Joyner with six each. Hegler added four and Dockery three.
Hegler and Joyner led the scoring with 11 each, and Dockery had 10. Brittany Lewis added eight, Bruce six, Marlee Wilmoth four and Brooke Lewis two.
Brittany Lewis led the team with six rebounds, Bruce and Hegler five each and Brooke four. Dockery handed out five assists.
After Madigan’s 24, Harris scored 15, while leading scorer Makala Bozman had just five.
Despite two losses this week, Central is still in the middle of the standings in the Northwest Conference.
East Surry’s loss drops the Cardinals to 6-4, third in the conference. Central is tied with Winston-Salem Prep with a 5-5 mark. The Lady Bears are 5-6, half a game behind.
South Stokes is 4-6 and West Stokes 3-7 with six games left to play.
North Surry is atop the standings with an 11-0 mark, while Bishop is second at 7-2. North Stokes is last at 0-11.