DOBSON — Surry Central went to its bench to jump-start the second half in edging North Surry 53-52.
Coach Ken Eiswald went with his second unit to start the third quarter, and those valuable minutes kept his starters fresh for the fourth quarter of this tight game.
In a 32-minute game, only Zach Wilmoth (22 minutes) played more than 18 minutes as all 11 Golden Eagles played and contributed.
Nine players scored. Cole Stewart didn’t attempt a single shot in the game, but he drew a charge in the paint in the fourth quarter, noted assistant coach Jeff Edmonds.
Still, the Greyhounds came back from 13 points down to trail just 30-29 at the half. After the Eagles took a seven-point lead into the fourth, the Hounds came back to briefly take the lead on a foul shot by Jacob Snow.
Wilmoth converted a three-point play to give the Eagles a two-point lead.
After both teams scored, point guard Klay Newsome drove the lane and found Austin Handy for a layup to tie the game at 52-all with about 25 seconds left.
The Eagles called a timeout with 8.5 seconds left to set up a play. Brett Mosley drew a foul and hit the first shot.
When the second shot missed, Grayson Vernon grabbed the ball, took a couple of dribbles and heaved the ball from halfcourt, but missed.
That completed a game that looked anything but close in the opening minutes.
In just three minutes, the Eagles jumped out to a 13-2 lead and were on pace to break 100 points. Simeon Bracken and Luke Haymore each scored twice in that spurt.
The Eagles led 23-10 at the end of the first.
In the second, Vernon put the Hounds on his back, scoring 12 of the team’s next 15 points to cut the lead to 28-25.
That included him going 4-6 at the line and hitting two three-pointers, one of them from NBA range right in front of the Eagle bench.
Vernon is strong, moves well off the ball and rubs off every screen, noted Eiswald. “Unless you’re doing a great job of hedging, it’s hard to stay with him. He’ll catch and shoot as quick as anybody we play against.”
What he’s doing better since last year is putting the ball on the floor, getting to the rim and using that thick body, the coach said.
The Eagles rotated Colby Chilton, Kenyon Martin and Samuel Harris on Vernon to tire him out. He had just two points in the fourth quarter after 18 in the first three.
Eiswald said he had to give credit to North Surry for battling back from that 23-10 lead.
“They made us shoot some things we didn’t want to,” he said. “The defense really made us work to get anything.”
As for going to his bench, Eiswald said, “The second five plays with so much intensity on defense and show tremendous patience on offense.” On one possession, the players passed the ball around for more than a minute before finally finding a guy cutting to the basket for a layup.
“That’s what we need right now,” he said.
“Brett Mosley really stepped up” he said. He scored nine points off the bench.
So did Kirk Needham, a sophomore who looks so calm when everything is going crazy, he said. Kirk showed a lot of poise.