The Surry Runnin’ Patriots boys basketball team won two close games on the road last week, led by strong efforts from key players.
On Thursday night in Galax, Va., the Patriots won a hard-fought game against the Blue Ridge Panthers 73-64. The action was intense all night, but the Patriots held tough in the second half and pulled out the victory.
Senior guard P.J. Bunke led all scorers with 27 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for the double-double. Senior center Nathaniel Goodman had a phenomenal night, and recorded a triple-double with 10 points, 10 assists and 31 rebounds. Point guard Ethan Holt ran the Patriots’ fast break and finished with 19 points.
“Strong individual efforts that complement each other can certainly add up to a strong team win,” Patriots assistant coach Paul Bunke said. “That is P.J.’s career high for varsity, and we needed it tonight. Some of the shots he made were unbelievable to watch. And Nathaniel Goodman was a monster for us tonight.
“I’m checking to be sure, but I believe 31 rebounds is a record for our program, and this is our team’s first triple-double of the season. Ethan got us out and running, and our other players all made key contributions when we needed them.”
On Friday night, the Patriots traveled to Greensboro to face Noble Academy, winning 49-47. Goodman converted on an offensive rebound to put Surry up by one, and Brett Lowell hit a free throw with one second left to seal the win.
Surry struggled on the offensive end in the first half against a physical and athletic Noble team, but made good decisions down the stretch. Coach Bunke said the Patriots’ turnaround was triggered by a couple of key defensive plays in the second half, after the Knights’ point guard fouled out. Surry didn’t see as much pressure in the backcourt after that, and the Patriots capitalized.
Goodman followed up Thursday night’s performance with 21 point, 19 rebound effort.
“For a high school player to get 50 rebounds in two games is something you won’t see very often. He was all over the boards, and we needed every single one,” Bunke said. “The rest of the team made key contributions at key moments, so even though our leaders were clutch once again, we needed every player to do his part. That’s exactly what happened tonight.”
The Patriots were scheduled to face their longtime rivals, the Greensboro Home Educators at the Armfield Civic & Recreation Center in Pilot Mountain on Tuesday night.