The Lady Bears used a big third quarter to blow open a close game in beating North Stokes 52-30.
Mount Airy led by just four points late in the first half.
Davi Barbour hit a late three for a 22-15 halftime score, then the Bears opened up with four more threes in the third quarter.
Over a five and a half minute stretch, Mount Airy outscored the Lady Vikings 21-6.
“We played our best quarter in that third quarter,” said Coach Howard Mayo. “We did a good job of forcing turnovers and knocking down some open shots.” Back-to-back three-pointers from Alex Atkins spurred the team on.
The Bears also pushed the pace at every opportunity, forcing 22 turnovers and hitting ahead to players in transition. Late in the fourth quarter, they had doubled up the Vikings 51-25 before coasting to a 22-point win.
Starting the season, the Bears won 14 straight games despite missing lots of minutes from key players.
Forward Kathryn Beasley missed most of the first half of the season with an injury, then just as she was getting back, Alex Atkins went down with an injury. Other girls have missed games or been limited in minutes by sicknesses.
Mount Airy lost its last two games against Bishop McGuinness and Winston-Salem Prep, not only the top two teams in the league standings, but two of the best 1A teams in the state.
The Bears are determined to show that they deserve mention in that elite group as well once they get back to full strength.
Atkins returned to the floor against the Lady Villains a week ago, but hit just one of five shots.
She made up for lost time in this game, nailing 7-11 shots, including three from long range for a game-high 18 points.
As a team, the Bears made 40 percent from three-point range and 46 percent on two-point shots. The only place the team struggled was the foul line, going 4-13.
When Beasley and Atkins were out, sophomores Ayano Shelton and Skyler Flippen were counted on for heavier minutes. That can only add to the Bears’ depth in tough, exhausting games where the starters need rest.
Shelton had five points in the third quarter to go with six rebounds, a steal and a block.
Barbour scored eight of her 11 points in the second quarter. The shooting guard led the team with seven rebounds. She also had three assists and three steals.
Her backcourt mate, Mikayla Seivers, had eight points, six rebounds, three steals, two blocks and a team-high five assists.
Beasley had just one basket, a three-pointer, but provided five rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block.
Senior Jasmine Varney, who has had some big nights this season, didn’t look for her shot in this one and went scoreless. However, she grabbed two rebounds and picked up a couple of assists, looking for her teammates.
The Bears have three road games this week, starting at Atkins on Tuesday, then Surry Central and East Surry.
“We need to take one game at a time,” said Mayo. “If we’ll play like we’re capable of — tough defense and unselfish — we have a chance to be okay this week.”