DOBSON — The Lady Eagles let a 15-point lead slip away, but still pulled out a 54-53 win over South Stokes Friday.
Surry Central made a big push to turn a four-point halftime lead into a 45-30 game with 3:15 left in the third quarter.
However, the Lady Sauras responded with a 15-1 run over the next six and a half minutes to close to 46-45.
A minute later, the Sauras actually took the lead 49-48 on a driving layup and foul by point guard Kelli Mounce.
After an Eagle timeout, Mounce missed the free throw.
McKenzie Danley scored her only bucket of the game to give Central the lead at 50-49.
The Sauras got the ball inside to their big center, who drew a foul with 3:14 left. The 6-foot-2 Kelsi Grantham hit both foul shots for a 51-50 lead.
Tess Dockery scored in transition to retake the lead.
The Eagles rebounded a Saura miss and called timeout with 2:09 to talk about strategy.
Out of the rest, Mounce stole the ball and weaved through traffic for a basket and a 53-52 lead.
Cassidy Joyner drew a blocking foul with 1:22 left and hit one of two for a tie game.
With 40.3 seconds left, Michala Perdue drew a foul, but missed both shots.
On the other end, Kristin Key missed an 18-footer, but the smallest player on the court grabbed the rebound. Point guard Dockery tried a follow shot, but missed. Then she saved the ball from going out of bounds, throwing it to Brooke Lewis, who missed a follow as well.
South Stokes grabbed the rebound finally and called timeout with 19.2 seconds left.
The Sauras had two looks, but missed both times. Lewis caught the rebound and was fouled with 7.2 seconds left.
She hit the first and missed the second, making South Stokes call its final timeout to stop the clock with 6.5 seconds left.
The Sauras moved the ball up to halfcourt, but a pass toward the basket was broken up by Key, and the clock ran out.
The Eagles were missing steals leader Marlee Wilmoth who was ill, but Dockery stepped up her game in a big way.
Usually more distributor than scorer, Dockery hit three long bombs and finished with 15 points — tying her with the all-conference player Mounce for game-high honors.
Dockery also had five assists, second to Joyner’s seven.
Key scored 11 points, Joyner and Sarah Bruce 10 each as Central had four players in double figures.
Lewis added five, Danley two and Kelsey Taylor one.
Key and Bruce led the team with six rebounds each. On defense, Dockery had four steals, Lewis three and Joyner two.
For the Sauras, Mounce’s 15 points was followed by Grantham with 10, Perdue eight, Samantha Hill seven, Maddison Clary six, Haley Joyce three, and two each for Haleigh Yontz and Karly Johnson.
“We considered them a dangerous team and it showed itself that way,” said Mandy Holt. “I’m just proud that we dug down and won it with our defense.”
As for the cold spell at the start of the fourth quarter, Holt said she liked the looks the girls were getting, but the shots just stopped falling for a few minutes.
The Eagles next travel to North Surry on Friday. Both teams are 2-0 in the Western Piedmont Conference and are gunning for sole possession of first place.
The Sauras travel to West Stokes on Friday for a conference game.