DOBSON — The Lady Eagles held the lead until the last minute of the third quarter, then the Lady Cardinals pulled ahead for a 56-45 win.
Surry Central was ahead 35-27 after the third straight basket from Marlee Wilmoth.
Then East Surry went on an 18-3 run over six and a half minutes to go up 45-38 with 5:35 left in the fourth quarter.
“Being in foul trouble kind of messed up the flow a little bit,” said Central Coach Mandy Holt.
The Eagles held East star Keri Fulp to just two points in the first quarter and six in the first half. In the second half, however, Fulp scored 14 points, including 6-6 at the stripe.
Sydney Mosley scored 11 of her 17 points in the second half, too, as East Surry put up 37 points after just 19 in the first half.
Central’s top three scorers — Cassidy Joyner, Courtney Hegler and Sarah Bruce — combined for 23 points in the first half. Then in the second half, with Hegler and Bruce sitting often with foul trouble, the trio posted only six points.
“When teams go man, we usually get excited,” said Holt. “But we didn’t take advantage of it.”
At the start, Central scored the first seven points as East Surry didn’t have a bucket for the first three and a half minutes before Mosley sank a slashing shot off the glass.
When Joyner hit one of two at the line, the Eagles led 12-3 at the end of the first.
Hegler opened the second with a three-point play just 25 seconds in for a 15-3 lead.
Still, the Cards began to claw back. They got to the foul line, but missed the second shot on five straight fouls.
With Fulp, Mosley and Gabi Jessup hitting the offensive glass, however, the Cards got second chances.
Jessup hit a three and Fulp finally gave the Cards two straight free throws that cut the lead to 22-19.
Joyner hit a three-pointer in the closing seconds for a 25-19 lead at the half.
In the third quarter, Wilmoth, who sat much of the first half with foul trouble, attacked the basket and posted seven straight points for the Eagles.
Then Mosley and Fulp triggered the big run that put the Cards up 49-40 with 4:44 left.
The Cards went to the foul line 16 times in the fourth quarter, making 10 (63 percent), while the Eagles managed just seven total points.
“We wanted this one so bad,” said Holt, “but I’m still really proud of the girls.”
The Eagles hadn’t played a game in 11 days due to having last Tuesday off, then the weather postponement of Friday’s game with Bishop McGuinness.
In this conference, teams have to be ready to play every night, she said. Surry Central, East Surry, Mount Airy and Bishop have all been hanging losses on each other in the battle for second place behind North Surry.
Fulp led all scorers with 20, followed by Mosley’s 17, Jessup with seven, Emma Slater six, Laken Bowman five and Lauren Thompson one.
Fulp also contributed 21 rebounds and three blocks. Mosley had four assists and four rebounds. Jessup had five rebounds. Thompson added four board, four assists and three steals.
Bowman had just two buckets, but they came at opportune times, said East Coach Keith Gunter. She does some good things on defense and plays tough and strong.
For Central, Joyner had 16 points and five rebounds.
Hegler tallied 10 points, six steals, four rebounds and two assists. Holt said the senior has been doing so much better at moving her feet and not picking up fouls, but couldn’t seem to avoid them in this game.
Tess Dockery scored just one point, but she made five steals.
Wilmoth finished with 11 points, Brittany Lewis four and Bruce three.
Central forced East into eight turnovers in the first quarter, but the Cards were much better after that, noted Gunter. East had four TOs in the second quarter and just four for the entire second half, which limited Central’s fast break chances.