The number-two seeded North Surry girls basketball team pulled out a second-round win on Wednesday in the state 2A playoffs against the number-seven seeded Surry Central Golden Eagles in a nail-biting finish, 38-37 .
North Surry led 10-8 at the end of the first-quarter, but the Golden Eagles were up 21-14 at half-time and stayed in the lead until the Hounds advanced on them about mid-way through the fourth quarter.
Malaya Johnson put the Hounds up 32-31 for the first time in the fourth quarter after making two free throws. Surry Central’s Courtney Hegler then hit a long three-pointer from the field and put the Golden Eagles up again 34-32.
Hound Morgan Hawks then returned the favor and fired a three-pointer, giving the Hounds a 35-34 lead with 2:52 left to go in the final quarter. Then Hound Erin March hit one from the free-throw line and Surry Central called a second time out in the quarter with the Hounds up 36-34.
Several missed free-throw opportunities hurt the Golden Eagles during the final finish down the stretch while the Hounds took advantage. With 54 seconds left to go in the game, March floated in two from the line giving the Hounds a 38-34 lead. The Golden Eagles battled back in warrior style immediately with Hegler hitting another three-pointer, making the score 38-37 with the Hounds on top.
The Golden Eagles’ tough defense then deflected a Hounds ball and the Golden Eagles got the ball back with just seconds left to go. The Hounds then bared down defensively and the Golden Eagles could not in the end get the look they needed to make a final comeback.
North Surry Greyhounds Head Coach Shane Slate said, “It was another hard-fought scrappy game between the two of us. Holt did a good job in an aggressive defensive match-up. “
Slate said the win came ultimately because the Hounds made a couple of more shots than the Golden Eagles.
Slate said the Lady Hounds were too passive in the first half on offense but began to get better looks in second half. Offensively, the Hounds were able to pass more, Slate said.
The rebounds between the two teams came out about even for both teams, said Slate. However, he said, “We did give up 10 offensive rebounds to them which is not good.”
Slate said, “We had 18 forced turnovers and they had 15. Both teams played hard.”
Surry Central’s Head Coach Mandy Holt said, “My team are warriors and they have been that way all season. They are very hard-workers.” They finished 18-10 overall and went fourth place in the conference.
Holt said the Golden Eagles’ focus has been on the defense and about locking it down and she said they accomplished their goals in the end. The Golden Eagles had 10 steals and 01 deflections against the Hounds.
“I am very proud of them and I want to thank fans that have come to support us all year. To the two seniors, Courtney Hegler and Brittany Lewis, it’s been a blast and I am so proud of their hard work,” Holt said.
Surry Central’s Courtney Hegler was the game high-scorer with 16 points. Also for the Golden Eagles, Cassidy Joyner had 14, Brittany Lewis four, Kristin Key two, and Tess Dockery one.
For the Hounds, Erin March had the high score of 11, Malaya Johnson had seven, Maddison and Morgan Hawks had six, Kristina Rumplasch and Jordan Badgett had four.
North Surry now 26-3 is scheduled to play Thomasville of the Central Carolina Conference on Friday in the next playoff round and will host the game, said Slate.