The Lady Bears beat the defending state champions by 14 to take sole possession of the top spot in the 1A standings.
Mount Airy and Bishop McGuinness were tied for the best record among 1A teams, just a game behind North Surry for the top spot in the Northwest Conference.
In a game that determines seeding for the playoffs, the Bears clamped down on defense to beat the Lady Villains 47-33.
“It was the best team defense we’ve played all year,” said Coach Howard Mayo. “I thought our seniors did a very good job of leading us to victory tonight.”
Seniors Alexis Allen, Jordan Hiatt, Summer Hamilton and Danielle Williams started along with sophomore Kathryn Beasley.
“Jordan came out strong, and Summer had some big shots in the second half,” said Mayo.
Hiatt hit two threes and split two defenders for a layup as the Bears jumped out to an 8-3 lead. Mount Airy led 13-10 at the end of the first quarter.
The Bears stretched the lead to 18-12 when Bishop called a timeout with 4:43 in the half.
The Villains went inside to their tall post players for three baskets to close to 22-19 at the break.
Hamilton opened the third quarter with a three, then Hiatt followed with another for a 28-19 lead.
Bishop answered with an 8-0 run to make it a one-point game.
Alex Atkins, who had two turnovers in the paint in the third quarter, then hit two inside shots to give the Bears some breathing room.
Mayo said he doesn’t like to see turnovers, however, “I liked the way she was playing.” Atkins is slender, but is the tallest player on the team, so Mount Airy needed her inside against the tall Villains.
Atkins gave good effort, boxed out and converted three buckets, he noted.
Hamilton hit a jumper for a seven-point lead. Bishop answered in the closing seconds of the third, but Hamilton hit another shot at the buzzer for a 36-29 lead.
In the fourth quarter, Bishop could manage only four points as the Bears pulled away.
“Danielle Williams had some good defensive effort, along with Alexis Allen,” said Mayo. Danielle made an effort to find people and box them out, he said, including a great box out on a rebound early in the fourth quarter.
“That effort was so important,” he said.
Hiatt had a team-high 14 points and tied Hamilton with the most steals with three.
“Jordan had her points, but she also had six assists,” he said. “She did a good job of getting other people involved.”
Hamilton had 11 of her 13 points in the second half. She also had a team-high eight rebounds.
Rebounding was a key against the taller Villains.
“We limited them to only six offensive rebounds as a team,” he said.
The Bears host South Stokes Monday at 6:30 p.m. for the first round of the conference tournament.