The Lady Hounds gave up a 13-point lead in the third quarter, but Kristina Rumplasch’s 41 points kept North Surry alive in the 2A state playoffs.
The Greyhounds won 70-61 over Forest Hills to advance to the third round of the playoffs.
The junior forward had 14 points in the last 8:10 of the game, including eight straight after Forest Hills had tied the game.
North Surry led 49-41 with less than three minutes to go in the third quarter, but the Yellow Jackets scored eight straight points to tie the game with 20 seconds left.
Center Malaya Johnson caught the ball near the foul line and fed Rumplasch down low for a basket to give the lead back to North 51-49 going into the fourth.
Both teams opened the period with a turnover, then the Hounds had a fast break where Morgan Midkiff fed Rumplasch for a basket and a 53-49 lead.
Ishemia Bivens scored on a drive to cut the lead to two.
Then Johnson used the high post to feed Rumplasch again for a basket to make it 55-51. Then after Tonjai Everett scored, the Yellow Jackets got the ball back and had a chance to tie it again, but Maddison Hawks forced Bivens into a five-second call.
“Maddison Hawks had a terrific night defensively that does not show in the scorebook, but she gave us a big lift on that end,” said Coach Shane Slate.
On the next possession Rumplasch drove the left baseline for a shot and a 57-53 lead.
Midkiff followed with two free throws for a six-point lead with 3:57 left.
Two free throws by Sherita Thomas made it 59-55 with 3:40 left.
Johnson made her third assist in five minutes to Rumplasch for a 61-55 game.
Everett made a basket, and then Forest Hills called a timeout with 1:32 left.
Rumplasch scored again, then Midkiff made 5-6 free throws over the next 30 seconds. Rumplasch iced it with two more foul shots with 11.3 left.
Rumplasch scored 12 points in the fourth quarter and Midkiff went 7-8 at the stripe.
“Our big three had a huge night led by Kristina’s 41 points,” said Slate. “She sprinted the floor, and Midkiff rewarded her with several layups.”
Midkiff finished with nine assists to go with her 14 points and five steals, and Johnson nearly had triple-double with eight assists as well as 12 points, 17 boards and four blocks.
Other than those three players, Bailey Culler scored two and Erin March made a free throw. Morgan Bunker pitched seven rebounds, including a key offensive board off a missed free throw with 2:50 left.
“We were solid offensively all around in the first half with 15 assists against only four turnovers,” he said. “Unfortunately after stretching the lead out to 47 to 29 at the start of the third, we were sloppy with the basketball and had 11 turnovers in the third quarter.
“We had to scramble after they tied the game at 49 to regain the momentum. We need to understand at this point in the season that a letdown in focus will send you home.”
Everett scored six of her 20 points in the fourth quarter for Forest Hills. Bivens had 25, but only four of those in the fourth quarter.
North Surry improved to 27-2 and will host the winner of West Stokes/Salisbury on Friday.
Reach Jeff Linville at email@example.com or at 719-1920.