Runnin’ Patriots open hoops season with two wins
PILOT MOUNTAIN — The Surry Home Educators basketball team has opened the season with two wins at home.
The Runnin’ Patriots beat Blue Ridge 65-45 on Friday at the Armfield Civic Center, then pulled off a comeback for a 56-51 win over the Hickory Home Educators on Monday.
In the opener, the Runnin’ Pats jumped out to an early lead and never looked back against the Panthers.
Senior Nathaniel Goodman scored 15 of his 22 points in the first half, and Senior P.J. Bunke scored 13 of his 20 points in the first half as the Patriots led from the start behind what assistant coach Paul Bunke called “a consistent offense and intense team defense.”
“This was a good team win,” said Paul Bunke. “We defended our home court very well, and we’re very proud of our guys.”
Junior guard Ethan Holt added 14 points as he led the Patriots’ fast break, which was clicking all night long as the team collected 10 steals, led by Holt with four.
Surry also dominated the boards, Coach Bunke said, led by Goodman’s 18 rebounds, nine of which were from the offensive glass. Junior Brett Lowell added nine boards.
Shooting well from three-point territory, the Patriots were led again by Goodman, as he nailed all four of his attempts from deep. P.J. Bunke swished three from long range.
“This was an excellent way to start the season,” said Coach Bunke. “This team plays very well together, and we are getting good production from the bench.”
On Monday, the team improved to 2-0, although it took a rally to overcome the Hickory Badgers.
“Tonight was a classic example of Surry Runnin’ Patriots teamwork basketball,” said head coach Todd Gerber. “In the fourth quarter when it mattered most, they brought it home.”
Hickory led by seven at halftime, behind Jackson Bell’s 15 first-half points.
Adjustments were made, and the Patriots brought pressure and pounded the ball down low to the center Goodman, who finished the game with 27 points.
Thirteen of those 27 came in the fourth quarter as the Pats outscored the Badgers 22-10.
Hickory’s Bell reached 22 points by the end of the third quarter, but was shut down in the fourth by the Patriots’ defense.
Point guard Ethan Holt had another strong game in the back court, collecting seven steals to go with his 15 points as he frustrated the Badgers’ guards while the Patriots made their run.
Capitalizing on Hickory’s foul trouble late in the game, Goodman connected on 5-8 free throws and P.J. Bunke hit 3-4.
The Patriots once again performed well on the boards. Goodman led the effort with 16 rebounds, and forward Brett Lowell snared 10.
Next Monday, the Runnin’ Patriots travel to Winston-Salem to face Salem Christian Academy.
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