Jamboree gives girls game-situation court time

Jeremy Moorhouse Staff Reporter

November 18, 2013

With the prep basketball season starting for some teams this week, Mount Airy, North Surry and East Surry girls teams got a final tuneup at the annual Lady Bears Basketball Jamboree on Saturday.

Games were held at Mount Airy High School’s main gym and the old junior high gym. Also participating in the scrimmages were Glenn, North Forsyth, East Wilkes, Forbush, Ashe County, Carroll County, Va., and West Stokes.

The host Lady Bears scrimmaged Carroll County, North Forsyth and Glenn. Coach Howard Mayo said his team showed tremendous improvement from an earlier scrimmage at South Stokes. The Lady Bears open the season Wednesday against Surry Central in Dobson. On Saturday, the games were set up as two 20-minute halves.

“We did some good things. Our defense was better. On offense, our execution was good. We need to do a better job of finishing at the basket,” Mayo said.

Mayo said these types of events allow the coaches to look at different player combinations on the floor and help solidify things the team works on during practices.

East Surry went up against Ashe County, Carroll County and East Wilkes.

Coach Keith Gunter said the Cardinals looked much better than they did in a scrimmage at Eastern Alamance. Former AP all-state selection Keri Fulp graduated last year and now plays basketball at Wake Forest. East relied heavily on Fulp, who averaged 16 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks as a senior last season.

“We’ve changed our style of play,” Gunter said. “The girls are taking on a new role. (The scrimmage) gets them used to game situations.”

The Lady Cardinals were scheduled to travel to South Stokes for their season opener on Tuesday, but that game could be rescheduled because of East Surry’s playoff football game against Mount Airy this week. A number of players on the Bears’ and Cards’ boys basketball teams also play football.

The Northwest 1A/2A has traditionally been one of the premier conferences for girls basketball in the state in recent years. Leading the way is powerhouse Bishop McGuinness, an eight-time defending state champion. Following a conference realignment this season, the league now features Bishop McGuinness, Mount Airy, East Surry, Atkins, Winston-Salem Prep, North Stokes and Walkertown.

North Surry (25-4 last year in the NW1A/2A) moved into the Western Piedmont 2A Conference this season with Surry Central, Forbush, South Stokes, Carver and West Stokes. The Greyhounds scrimmaged Glenn, East Wilkes and North Forsyth on Saturday. North is scheduled to play at Ashe County on Friday night in its season opener.

“We’ve made some progress,” said Coach Shane Slate, whose team also participated in a scrimmage at Northwest Guilford earlier this fall. “We are trying to figure out what defenses and offenses the team is comfortable with, and what things we need to work on.”

North has six players back from the varsity team a year ago, including three starters. Slate said while the Jamboree at Mount Airy will be helpful in determining the Greyhounds’ rotation this coming year, nothing is set in stone as far as the starting lineup.

Although North is moving to a new league, all of the schools except Carver have been in a league with the Greyhounds in previous years. North played Carver in a non-conference game last season. The season opener against Ashe County will mark the first time those two schools met since they were together in the Mountain Valley 2A Conference.

Reach Jeremy Moorhouse at