PILOT MOUNTAIN — East Surry came up inches short of beating Bishop McGuinness in a 45-43 loss Tuesday night.
The Cardinals had an open look at the buzzer that bounced off the front of the rim after a closely contested game throughout with the Villains.
Point guard Scott Meredith missed the game. He hit his head in a scramble for a loose ball in Monday’s loss to West Stokes. As a precautionary measure, the team kept him out of action for the night.
Meredith missed a couple of weeks last season after suffering a concussion on a hard fall at North Surry. Since the team doesn’t have a game on Friday, he will have a full week to rest and be medically evaluated.
With the point guard out, Jacob Bowman stepped into the starting lineup.
Coach Jason Anderson said the young man did some good things on both ends of the floor. He has come a long way this season and showed he will grow into a good player for this team, according to the coach.
Forward Tyler Pardue led the Cards with 15 points, including scoring the first points of the game on a three-point play.
The Cards led 13-9 after one and were up five points going into the fourth quarter.
“They didn’t have a field goal in the third quarter, and we didn’t have one in the fourth quarter,” said Anderson. “That makes a big difference.”
Still, East Surry made some foul shots to keep a slim lead until the final minute.
Bishop scored to tie the game, then they ran some screens to get Kevin Weckworth open for a look in the final seconds. The senior’s shot gave Bishop a 45-43 lead with a couple of seconds left.
East inbounded the ball all the way to midcourt, then called a quick timeout to set up a last-second shot.
Anderson said he diagrammed a play that the team hasn’t run all season. The play worked well, and Eli Gilbert came open for a shot.
“When it left his hand, it looked great,” said the coach.
“Defensively, I can’t say enough about Eli Gilbert. That kid didn’t come out of the game all night long,” he said. “That last shot coming up a little short probably had something to do with dead legs. But if I had it to do all over again, I’d do it the same way.”
Gilbert shadowed Weckworth all game and blocked a shot in the first quarter.
“They set a lot of screens for Weckworth,” he noted. “That’s who they are trying to get the ball to.” Despite all the work to get Weckworth open, Gilbert held the scorer to a hard-fought 17 points.
“I’m proud of my kids,” he said. “That was a great effort we put out there tonight.”
Pardue went 7-7 at the stripe on the way to his 15 points. Seth Brim scored 12, Drew Alley and Gilbert six each, and Austin Johnson four. Brim also grabbed nine rebounds.