PILOT MOUNTAIN — East Surry’s Gabi Jessup hit shots from behind the arc, while Sydney Mosley racked up at the foul line to lead the Lady Cardinals over Elkin 74-63 Friday.
In the first of four games, the Lady Cards used a strong finish to the first half to build a lead. Then deadly free throw shooting kept the team ahead.
“I’m glad we had it,” Coach Keith Gunter said of the 12-2 run to close the second quarter. “They made a run at us, and we just couldn’t put them away.”
Jessup scored seven points to match the Lady Elks’ team total in the first quarter. The Cards led 14-7, but the Elks stayed close and trailed just 24-20 before the closing burst made it 36-22 at the break.
In the third, Jessup converted a three-point play to give East a 50-36 lead.
Five different Elks scored as Elkin went on an 8-0 run to cut the lead to six points with 2:27 left in the third.
Cheyenne Kota gave the team a needed boost with a basket and then two free throws to put the lead back to 10.
By this time, the Cards had pushed the Elks into the foul bonus.
Mosley aggressively attacked the basket and drew four shooting fouls in the final 1:33 of the quarter. She made all eight shots for a 62-48 advantage going into the fourth.
Karli Fulp hit the first shot of the quarter to give East its biggest lead at 16 points.
Still, Elkin kept chipping away at the margin, cutting it to eight points with about a minute left but not getting any closer.
“Free throws were the difference in the game,” said Gunter. The two teams shot about the same amount (East’s 34 attempts to Elkin’s 33), but the Cards made a lot more, he pointed out.
Elkin missed 17 foul shots, but East missed only nine, led by Mosley with 13-14 and a perfect 10-10 in the second half.
That eight points from the line kept East in the lead.
Gunter said he was proud of Sydney for her foul shooting, especially since she went 0-5 in their last game.
The first shot she took, he said, the ball hit the back of the rim and bounced high in the air and fell back through the net. That seemed to give her a little sigh of relief, and she did better the rest of the night. He hoped that she would take this night and keep the confidence going the rest of the season.
Mosley finished with 23 points, one better than her cousin Jessup.
“Gabi was on the mark,” Gunter said of the good start. She scored 14 points in the first half, but she had to sit much of the third quarter with foul trouble. Still, she scored eight points in that period before Mosley and Kota had the ball for much of the fourth.
“Cheyenne came up big in this one,” said Gunter.
Kota finished with 14 points. Sydney Marion added seven, Laken Bowman four, Fulp two and Jessi Marion and Katie Tweet one each.
East Surry plays Forbush around 5 p.m. in the third of four games today.