PILOT MOUNTAIN — East Surry went inside early and often for a big 62-36 win over East Wilkes Friday night.
Coach Jason Anderson was disappointed in his team’s inside presence against Wilkes Central on Thursday, and the Cardinals responded with a heavy dose of scoring in the paint.
Post players Tyler Pardue and Seth Brim combined to outscore the visiting team by themselves through three quarters.
Eli Gilbert’s tough defense on Avery Wallis and ball pressure by the whole team held East Wilkes to just one basket the entire second quarter.
In the battle of the Cardinals, the home team led 18-2 late in the first quarter. Then after an 8-2 run by East Wilkes made it 20-10 going into the second period, East Surry went back to its inside game to spark an 11-2 quarter.
Pardue and Brim tallied seven points each in the first quarter. At the half, Pardue had 11 and Brim 10.
The Cards played again without injured point guard Scott Meredith, out with a dislocated pinkie, but looked much better on both ends of the floor than they did Thursday.
It seemed to take a game to get comfortable without Scott out there, said Anderson.
After Thursday’s offensive struggles (the Cards posted just 34 points), the coach had a talk with his team.
“I told them that I thought I had more confidence in their offensive capabilities than they were showing in themselves,” he said.
Something must have clicked because four players were in double figures after having no one in double figures Thursday, he pointed out.
Pardue finished with 13 and Brim 10. Gilbert and Drew Alley added 12 each. Austin Johnson scored five, Carson Long and Jacob Bowman four each, and Lamar Shuff two.
“Defensively is where our offense started tonight,” he said. That defense held East Wilkes to a dozen points for a 31-12 halftime edge. The lead grew to 48-24 after three quarters.
Brim had a good night on the defensive end. The center grabbed seven rebounds, blocked two shots and drew three charges. He also provided three assists with just one turnover, noted Anderson.
Gilbert had four assists and got his hands on several passes and dribbles. Anderson said he didn’t have anyone charting deflections, but Eli had a bunch.
East Wilkes’ Avery Wallis is a dynamic scorer, but Eli’s length can bother a shooter. Then if Wallis tried to drive around Gilbert, the help-side rotation was ready to challenge his shot, the coach explained.
Wallis had just five points in the first half before finishing with 17.
Looking at the Northwest and Mountain Valley conferences, there is a lot of youth playing minutes on these teams, said Anderson. Still, there’s a lot of young talent, too, so the leagues should be in good shape for seasons to come.
The Cards are off until Jan. 4 when they travel to Bishop McGuinness.