The Surry Runnin’ Patriots girls basketball team ran its record to 7-0 Saturday night in claiming the North Carolina Home Educator’s East Coast Tip-Off Tournament title.
The Patriots, with just four returning players from last season’s state semi-finalist, beat a seasoned North Wake squad 59-47 in the championship game, played at Greensboro College.
“We really jumped on them,” said Coach Todd Hill. “Sydney (Bedsaul) had 26 points and just ran past them,” he said of his lightning-quick freshmen guard. “Every time they set a defense, Joye Marie (Harrison) found the hole and hit Sydney,” he added of Harrison, a sophomore point guard.
The tournament, which included home school teams from North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, consisted of squads playing in two four-team pools. The winner of each pool met for the title.
About to play for the fourth time in two days, Hill was a little concerned going into that title game after a lackluster 37-29 win earlier Saturday over Greensboro.
“They (Greensboro) play well, they played a zone and we didn’t run the floor well,” Hill said. That, and the fact that North Wake is a big, physical team, concerned the coach — until he saw his team’s determination in the championship game.
“I’ve never seen that big of a jump from one game to the next in 30 years,” he said. “They ran a half-court trap, a 2-3 zone, 1-3-1 zone, triangle and 2, whatever they did our kids just recognized it and adjusted. I don’t know that I did much coaching, I just watched, the kids made adjustments on the floor.”
Bedsaul led the team in scoring with 26, while Jessica Boyd pulled down 16 rebounds to go with her 9 points. Camille Fishel, fighting off a nasty sickness, collected 10 rebounds in limited playing time and Harrison handed out four assists.
On the opening day of the tournament on Friday, the Runnin’ Patriots defeated Durham 48-41 and Wake Forest 44-21.
“That’s seven games in nine days,” Hill said of his team’s start to the season. The Runnin’ Patriots also won the Southwest Virginia Homeschool Jamboree the weekend before in Galax, Va., over several teams from Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina. “That’s too many (games), but we really found out what our conditioning was.”
Being able to go nine deep on the bench also helped, he said. “Every kid’s got a lot of (playing) time, so we were really fresh for having played so many games.”
The Patriots next game is a Thursday road contest against Blue Ridge Home Educators of Woodlawn, Va. The game will be at Joy Ranch.