PILOT MOUNTAIN — Sydney Marion’s offense and Laken Bowman’s defense made the difference as East Surry beat South Stokes 54-41 Monday night.
Marion scored 12 of her 15 points in the first half as the Lady Cardinals opened up a 28-18 halftime lead.
The Lady Cards have three games in three days, so building a double-digit lead in the first half allowed Coach Keith Gunter to substitute and give everyone breaks in the second half.
Bowman didn’t get a rest in the first three quarters because she was attached to all-conference guard Kelli Mounce.
Mounce didn’t come out of the game, so Bowman didn’t either, noted Gunter.
The last time these teams met, Mounce got into the lane and drew a lot of fouls. She shot 16 free throws and finished with 23 points.
This time, Bowman’s “outstanding job” held Mounce to just three points and no foul shots, the coach pointed out.
As for Marion, Gunter said he’s been telling the lanky sophomore to look for her shot more aggressively inside.
She stepped up on the offensive board and made good plays around the basket, he said. She also finished with double-digit rebounds.
Gabi Jessup hit a couple of three-pointers and was 6-8 at the foul line in scoring 16 points to lead all players.
Sydney Mosley made only two baskets, but was 5-7 at the foul line for nine points.
Mosley didn’t put up as many points as she has in other games, but she was initiating plays and creating looks for her teammates, which is just as important to the team as her scoring, Gunter said. She finished with several assists.
Kacie Markle scored all seven of her points in the second half. Her three-point play gave East its biggest lead at 42-22 with 2:23 left in the third quarter. That was part of a 14-4 push to open the second half.
Last week, the Cards suffered two losses, and Gunter saw things that the girls need to work on. This week, with nonconference games against South Stokes and today at North Surry, the coach wants to practice some new concepts to be better prepared for conference play.
The girls play today at North Surry, but won’t be playing with the rest of the teams at West Stokes on Wednesday. The Lady Wildcats are busy playing in the Mary Garber tournament that night.
Surry Central also is playing Wednesday night in the tournament, taking on West Forsyth.