KERNERSVILLE — Mount Airy’s girls basketball team hung with the eight-time state champions well into the fourth quarter.
But Bishop McGuinness was able to pull away at the end, winning 45-35 in a Northwest 1A Conference game on Friday night.
The Lady Bears (14-2 overall, 4-2 league) trailed by two points with 4:16 remaining in the game when they committed a turnover. Bishop scored to make it a two-possession game and extended the lead from there.
Bishop had a decisive edge at the foul line, shooting 17 of 26 at the stripe. Mount Airy coach Howard Mayo said that was a huge difference in the game.
“It was a physical ball game. I thought first quarter we gave them some problems. We were up, we made a couple of layups,” Mayo said. “Defensively I was pleased holding them to 45 points. Offensively, we’ve got to improve our halfcourt execution and do a better job transitioning into our early offense.
“I thought there were some times we weren’t ready to catch the ball.”
Mount Airy led by three points after the first quarter and trailed 17-16 at the half. Bishop outscored Mount Airy 18-11 in the fourth.
Kathryn Beasley paced the Lady Bears with 14 points. Mayo said Beasley, who recently came back off a foot injury, is probably about 85-90 percent healthy. Alex Atkins also played against the Villains Friday night. She suffered an injury during the Christmas tournament in Mount Airy. She finished with three points.
Cameron Nieters led all scorers with 16 points for the Villains. Julia Brown also hit double figures with 10. Mount Airy was 5 of 19 from 3-point range in the game. Mount Airy did improve on the boards from its last game.
“We did a very good job boxing out. Something we hadn’t done against Winston-Salem Prep,” Mayo said. “Our help side rotations have got to get quicker, and we have to do a better job stepping over and drawing charges on penetration.”
The Bears travel to West Stokes on Tuesday for a non-conference game and then host North Stokes on Friday for a league contest.
Bishop McGuinness 45, Mount Airy 35
Mount Airy 10 6 8 11 — 35
Bishop7 10 10 18 — 45
Mount Airy: Kathryn Beasley 14, Jasmine Varney 6, Alex Atkins 3, Mikayla Seivers 6, Davi Barber 4, Alexis France 2
Bishop McGuinness: Cameron Nieters 16, Julia Brown 10, Putman 8, Cappuccio 3, Craven 1, D. Nieters 3, Johnston 4