Guards Dylan Gallimore and Caleb Horton sparked the Granite Bears to a 15-2 start against Atkins in a win in the first round of the Northwest Conference Tournament.
Mount Airy beat Atkins 65-47 to advance to the semifinal round tonight at Bishop McGuinness. The Bears take on Winston-Salem Prep around 8 p.m., following the girls’ game at 6:30 p.m.
Horton got the Bears on the board first with a couple of driving shots in heavy traffic. A close basket from Carson Mounce and a three from Gallimore made it 9-0 three minutes into the game.
Atkins finally scored, but Gallimore and Horton hit back-to-back threes to make it 15-2, drawing a Camels timeout with 3:49 in the quarter.
The lead reached 21-6 by the end of the period and could have been more, but the Bears missed 5-6 foul shots in one stretch.
Atkins made an 11-6 spurt to cut the lead to 10, then edged it down to 32-24 at the half.
Caleb started off well, but he had to come out of the game with three fouls in the first half, said Coach Levi Goins. Then the team started turning the ball over too much.
The Bears got a little better at the line after the first quarter, but still only shot 13 of 27, just below 50 percent, according to the coach.
Those missed shots killed several chances at building momentum, Goins said.
Still, the Bears got the lead back to double figures in the third, leading 46-35 to start the final period.
Caleb was solid the entire game, said Goins. He had four fouls by the fourth, but was still able to smartly attack the basket.
Horton finished with a game-high 20 points.
Carson Mounce had a double-double of 10 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks.
Khaileel Dailey just missed a double-double with nine points and 10 boards.
Clay Mounce scored eight, Gallimore six, Isaiah King six, Sihem Smith four and Jackson Smith two.
As for the matchup with top-seeded Prep, Goins said, “We hope to reduce turnovers tomorrow and make it close toward the end. If we can get them on their heels, we can put ourselves in a position to win at the end.”
The Phoenix are led by two Division I-bound seniors. Mike Hughes and Coye Simmons are tough to handle, he admitted.