DOBSON — A balanced offense led the Lady Eagles over the Lady Cardinals 70-60.
With guard Marlee Wilmoth still out of the lineup, the five starters all reached double figures Wednesday night.
With the threat of bad weather closing schools early on Tuesday, the girls didn’t get to practice, noted Central Coach Mandy Holt.
Leery of how the Eagles would begin, Holt said, “I liked the way we started out.”
With East Surry coming out in a zone, Tess Dockery buried two three-pointers and Cassidy Joyner added another as Central jumped out to a 9-2 advantage.
East’s Gabi Jessup and Laken Bowman hit threes of their own to cut the lead down to 13-12 late in the first quarter.
Sarah Bruce scored to give Central a three-point lead going into the second period.
“We didn’t execute the press break well,” said East Coach Keith Gunter. “In the end that hurt us.”
There were times when the defense got stops, but the players turned the ball over three or four times in a row to let Central build its lead, he said.
From 13-12, Central slowly built the lead up to 34-22 after back-to-back jumpers from Bruce.
Bowman answered with her second three-pointer to make it 34-25 at the break.
The Cards kept the lead to single digits for most of the third quarter, then let the Eagles make a big run.
The Eagles got their hands on several passes and created turnovers that allowed the home team to rush out to a big lead.
The score was 42-34 after a free throw from East’s Sydney Mosley.
Then Central went on a 20-6 run into the first minute of the fourth quarter. That pushed the lead to 22 points.
East Surry responded with a 10-0 run capped off with threes from Gabi Jessup and Kacie Markle.
With East Surry already over the foul limit, the Eagles sank enough free throws to keep the lead to 10.
Holt said Jessup was shooting the lights out, sometimes from a step beyond the line, but she wishes her team would have closed out better on the shooter.
Jessup finished with 21 points and Sydney Mosley 22 points. No other Cardinal had more than six points.
For Central, Bruce led with 15 points, Joyner 13, Dockery and Brooke Lewis 12 and Kristin Key 11.
Off the bench, McKenzie Danley had five points in the second half.
Holt said she has been encouraging Danley to take more shots when she is open.
With Wilmoth set to return to practice soon after an illness, Holt said Danley has stepped up well in the guard’s absence.
While Dockery had five steals in the game, Holt said stats really didn’t tell the full story of the game. She felt like there were good hustle plays contributed by everyone.
Central returns to conference play on Friday at Forbush. East Surry goes to Walkertown.