The Mount Airy Lady Bears got off to an impressive start against visiting Winston-Salem Prep in a Northwest 1A Conference game on Friday night.
But the Lady Bears were unable to hang on in the fourth, as the Lady Phoenix dealt Mount Airy its first loss of the season 45-41. Prep took advantage of second-chance opportunities, missed free throws by the Bears, and an uncharacteristic off-night by Mount Airy’s 3-point shooters.
Mount Airy (14-1 overall, 4-1 league) gave up a lot of size to the athletic Phoenix, but the Bears held their own early with hustle and an up-tempo pace.
“We didn’t do a good job of boxing out,” coach Howard Mayo of Mount Airy said. “Offensively I liked what we were doing. We got good shots, we got to the free throw line. But as a team we didn’t do a good enough job converting on our opportunities.”
The Lady Bears locked down on the Phoenix early as they opened the game on a 9-0 run. Prep did not score until there were 14 seconds left in the first quarter. Mount Airy stretched its early lead to 17-5 after a steal and layup by Mikayla Seivers. The Phoenix clawed back into the game and took their first lead at 24-22 in the third quarter.
Davi Barbour swished a 3-pointer from the top of the key and after a Prep turnover, Halee Ratcliff rattled in another shot from deep to make it 29-24 Mount Airy late in the third.
Mount Airy struggled from long range — hitting just 3 of 17 for the game.
Mychala Wolfe and Dominique Claytor took over for Prep in the fourth quarter. The Phoenix (10-4 overall, 4-1 conference) outscored the Bears 21-12 in the fourth. Wolfe had 15 points and Claytor finished with 12. Prep capitalized on extra possessions thanks to timely offensive rebounds.
Neither team shot well at the line. Prep hit 13 of 26 and the Bears were 8 of 17 (6 of 14 in the fourth).
“I thought we played hard,” Mayo said. “We didn’t do some of the things we needed to do mentally to win the ball game.”
Ayano Shelton paced the Lady Bears with nine points. Seivers added eight, and Barbour and Jasmine Varney each finished with seven.
Mount Airy is off until Friday night when it travels to Bishop McGuinness.
Winston-Salem Prep 45, Mount Airy 41
WS Prep213 9 21 — 45
Mount Airy9 10 10 12 — 41
WS Prep: Mychala Wolfe 15, Dominique Claytor 12, Caesar 2, K. Robinson 5, Boston 2, Searcy 1, Sanders 4, B. Robinson 4
Mount Airy: Jasmine Varney 7, Kathryn Beasley 1, Mikayla Seivers 8, Davi Barbour 7, Skyler Flippen 4, Ayano Shelton 9, Halee Ratcliff 5