WINSTON-SALEM — Surry Central hung with R.J. Reynolds for three and a half quarters before fading in the final minutes of a 58-43 loss.
“I was thrilled with the way we played for three quarters,” said Coach Ken Eiswald. The Golden Eagles were efficient on offense and tough on the inside on defense.
The effort was there all night, and the execution was good for most of the game, but good teams continue to execute under pressure, the coach said.
It was a one-possession game midway through the fourth when Reynolds hit a couple of 3-pointers and then made several foul shots to pull away for a 15-point win.
The Demons took a 13-8 lead after the first quarter and led 29-22 at the break.
In the third period, the Eagles were patient on offense, pounding the ball inside, Eiswald said. The team didn’t hit many outside shots, but they didn’t need to with the execution inside.
Zach Wilmoth, Dante Hanner and Jeremy Patterson were each giving away two or three inches to Reynolds’ big boys, but they battled hard all night and challenged shots, said the coach.
Dante blocked a couple of shots and altered several more, he said.
Hanner finished with a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds. Wilmoth had seven points and six rebounds.
Patterson scored six points and provided another solid effort off the bench, said assistant coach Jeff Edmonds. That’s four pretty good games in a row for the improving freshman, he said.
Cole Stewart added eight points, Brett Mosley four, Rocky Collins three and Jake Wilmoth two.
The Demons switched to a 1-2-2 zone in the fourth quarter, said Edmonds. The team ran its zone offense and got some good looks, but the ball didn’t go down.
Central finished with 39 percent shooting for the game and was only 5 of 13 at the foul line.
The Eagles “battled our tails off to get back in it” in the third and fourth quarters, said Edmonds, but Reynolds was better down the stretch than it had been all night long.
Now the Eagles finally return home after a month of road games. Central is 1-0 in the Western Piedmont, tied for first place with South Stokes, who comes in on Friday.