The Lady Eagles claimed sole possession of first place with a narrow two-point win over the Lady Greyhounds Friday night.
This was the first win for Surry Central over North Surry in nearly a decade. However, the Eagles have been getting closer over the past year.
On Feb. 4 last season, the Hounds won by just four points. Then in the conference tournament Feb. 20, North squeaked out a two-point win.
This time around, both teams came out a little tight and didn’t score a point in the first 2:31. Each team had its point guard miss a layup in that time.
North Surry held the Eagles without a basket for the first five minutes, but was still behind 3-2 as the Eagles hit 3-4 foul shots.
Then Central’s Cassidy Joyner and Sarah Bruce hit back-to-back three-pointers for a 9-2 lead.
North’s Malaya Johnson made a couple of baskets to trim the lead to 11-6 at the end of the first quarter.
Then Joyner and Bruce hit threes again to give Central a double-digit lead at 19-9.
At that time, North was on pace to score just 27 points for the whole game.
Then the Hounds began to score. However, they couldn’t pull closer as Central’s Brooke Lewis hit a pair of threes for a 28-19 halftime score.
The Hounds cut the lead to four points at 31-27, but Central scored the last five points of the third quarter to push the lead back to nine at 36-27.
A minute and a half into the final period, Central held its biggest lead at 40-28. Then the Hounds began to pound the ball inside.
Reserve forward Taylor Hill had one of her best performances of the season. Slowed at the start of the season by a severely sprained ankle during volleyball, Hill crashed the boards hard in the fourth quarter. She grabbed several rebounds and kept some other balls alive.
Hill had two baskets and went 3 of 6 at the line for seven points.
Still, Central had its own unsung hero as center Kristin Key rose to the challenge. She made 1 of 2 free throws, then late in the game she hit two short jumpers in the paint when North was mounting a furious comeback.
After scoring just 27 point through three quarters, the Hounds managed 19 in the fourth.
At 47-40, the Hounds scored and then called a timeout with 58.3 seconds left. North scored again and called a timeout, down 47-44 with 38.5 seconds left.
With 28.9 remaining, the Hounds fouled Tess Dockery, who missed the front end of a one-and-one.
However, on the other end, North was called for an offensive foul that gave the ball back to Central.
With 13 seconds left, the Eagles went to the line and hit 1 of 2 for a four-point lead, 48-44.
On the other end, North Surry missed a three, and the ball bounced around for a few seconds. Johnson caught a pass and swooped to the basket for a score, but the buzzer sounded as the shot was falling through the net for a 48-46 Central win.
Surry Central improves to 10-4, 3-0 in the Western Piedmont Conference.
North Surry falls to 9-6, 2-1 in the conference. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Hounds.
Jeff Linville can be reached at (336) 719-1920 or email@example.com. For more photos of local sporting events, see Jeff’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/jeff.linville.98.
S.C. 11 17 8 12 = 48
N.S. 6 13 8 19 = 46
Sarah Bruce 12, Cassidy Joyner 11, Kristin Key 9, Brooke Lewis 7, Tess Dockery 5, McKenzie Danley 2, Kelsey Taylor 2
Malaya Johnson 17, Taylor Hill 9, Maggie Hawks 7, Morgan Hawks 4, Abby Andrews 4, Erin March 4, Jordan Badgett 1