KING — A team of former Golden Eagles defeated alumni from Mount Airy to win the first-ever Northwest Glory Days Basketball Tournament over the weekend.
West Stokes hosted the day-long alumni challenge with a field of five teams: the host school, East Surry, Mount Airy, North Surry and Surry Central. About 50 former players in all took part in the tournament.
Former Mount Airy coach and current West Stokes assistant principal Kevin Spainhour organized the event, which he hopes to see grow in the coming years.
“It was a great inaugural event,” said Spainhour. “There was great response from the players and also the community.” He didn’t know how the fan turnout would be, but he was pleasantly surprised to see lots of faces in the stands.
“All in all, a great day of basketball and a lot of fun,” he said.
In the first game Saturday, Surry Central and West Stokes went to overtime. The score was tied again at 77-all when Central’s Ty Tilley hit a three-pointer for the win.
In North Surry’s first game, Tanner Easter and Brandon West boosted the Hounds by combining for 17 threes.
In West Stokes’ second game, the Wildcats exploded for 114 points in 40 minutes.
Surry Central and East Surry were in a tie game until the last couple of minutes when the Cardinals seemed to run out of gas. The 13-point win put the Eagles in the final.
Mount Airy unleashed a barrage of threes in the second half on North Surry to advance to the final.
“I watched eight games,” said Spainhour, after keeping the books for everyone. At the start of the day, guys were out there laughing and having fun. Then those competitive juices started to flow, and the players tightened down.
That’s when it really got to be fun, he said.
In fact, in the finals both teams came out focused, he recalled. The defenses were tighter, and the score was close throughout.
The teams were tied 64-all with about 40 seconds left when Surry Central decided to hold for the last shot.
Ethan Wilmoth, the Eagles’ all-time leading scorer, initiated the offense in the final seconds.
The Bears pounced on Wilmoth and forced him to give up the ball. Wilmoth found Cody Simpson (class of 2006), who hit a three as time expired to give the Eagles the win.
Hopefully, even more teams take part next year, Spainhour said, and the tournament could be extended to two days.