SPARTA — The Lady Cardinals struggled in the first half in a 76-48 loss to Elkin Thursday.
Playing in the Alleghany Christmas Invitational, East Surry seemed out of sorts, according to Coach Keith Gunter.
Junior Kacie Markle missed the game because of the death of her grandfather, Gunter said, and the rest of the team might have been a little affected by that.
A couple of players seemed sick upon arrival in Sparta, and Gunter wasn’t sure if it was motion sickness from the mountainous travel or some bug.
The team did get Cheyenne Kota back from a concussion. However, Gunter said she has been held out of all physical activity the past two weeks and was rusty and out of shape.
Kacie missed the first meeting with Elkin back at Thanksgiving so she could visit her grandfather, but the Cards still had enough to beat the Lady Elks by 11 points.
This time around, Gunter said the girls didn’t shoot very well and rebounded poorly.
There were times, he said, that Elkin’s two post players just kept shooting and rebounding until they got the ball in the net. Those two players accounted for 36 points, and four players were in double figures.
After the first quarter, Elkin led 19-12. By halftime, the lead had grown to 42-21.
The Cardinals played more competitively in the second half, only being outscored 34-27.
Sydney Mosley scored 21 and Gabi Jessup had 14, said Gunter. However, the rest of the team combined for only 13 points.
At times, the defense played well, according to the coach. The team forced Elkin into some poor shots and deflected some passes. But, he said, that didn’t help since Elkin beat the Cards to the rebounds and loose balls.
Back-to-back losses have dropped East Surry below .500 for the first time this season.
Returning to Sparta, the Cards (5-6) play at 12:30 p.m. today against Starmount.