TRINITY — A late barrage from a benchwarmer kept the Lady Eagles from pulling out a win against Reagan in the Headliners Challenge Friday night.
Surry Central was in a tie game with Reagan with two minutes left. Then a backup point guard swished three three-pointers in less than a minute as the Eagles fell 51-42.
Central averaged 69 points in opening the season 2-0, but struggled from the field in this one.
The Eagles led 16-13 after one quarter, but were outscored 8-4 in the second to trail 21-20 at the break.
The offense generated some good looks in the second quarter, said Coach Mandy Holt, “but we couldn’t buy a basket.”
Reagan added to the lead in the third, going up 35-30 to start the fourth.
Reagan’s point guard, KeKe Eaton, was aggressively looking to penetrate the lane the whole game, said Holt. The defense had to adjust to stop that, and finally found some success in the fourth.
The Eagles trimmed the lead, then fouled out Eaton with about four minutes left.
Backup Cameron Goodman hadn’t played much up to that point, but she made her presence felt in the last two minutes.
Surry Central tied the game, and Holt called a timeout with 2:01 left to speak to the team.
She emphasized getting a stop, then holding the ball for a bit on the other end. She wanted them to run some time, make good passes and find an open shot.
The Eagles made the stop and got the ball back. Unfortunately, they didn’t score.
Reagan got the ball back and threw it up the floor. Rather than drive in looking for a fast-break layup, the point guard stops and shoots a three instead.
Holt said if her own player had done that, she would have been upset, but the shot fell to give Reagan a three-point lead.
Holt told her team to push the ball up the floor and look for a good shot quickly.
Instead, the Lady Raiders got the ball, passed it up the floor and Goodman shot another jumper in transition for a six-point lead.
She shot another jumper, then the Raiders got a two-point shot for 11 points in 58 seconds, while the Eagles made one basket.
It wasn’t the Eagles’ best game, but they still nearly pulled out a win, the coach said.
She brought the team to Wheatmore High for this tournament so that they could be challenged by a good team. The Northwest Conference is always tough, so the team needs competition to be prepared, she said.
Cassidy Joyner had a great shooting night. She was 5-9 (55.6 percent) on two-point shots and 3-8 (37.5 percent) from deep. The rest of the team was 0-6 from downtown.
Courtney Hegler also was 5-9 on two-pointers and made a free throw for 11 points.
Unfortunately, no third person stepped up to help with the scoring load, according to the coach. Five players scored two points each.
Hegler also had a double-double with 11 rebounds to go with five assists, two steals and one block.
Joyner had five boards, three assists and three steals. Marlee Wilmoth had four boards, three steals and two assists.
Surry Central travels to Starmount on Tuesday, then hosts East Wilkes next Friday.
Reach Jeff Linville at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1920.