PILOT MOUNTAIN — The Lady Eagles withstood a third-quarter run on the way to beating North Wilkes 70-61 Thursday in the Christmas tournament at East Surry.
From a 35-32 halftime lead, Surry Central crept ahead 47-36 midway through the third period, but the Lady Vikings scored four straight buckets to cut the lead back to three points at 47-44.
Cassidy Joyner broke the scoring drought with a drive on the right wing and a three-pointer to lift the Eagles to a 52-45 edge going into the fourth.
Five different Eagles scored in the fourth quarter as Central showed good scoring balance in building a 68-54 lead before taking the foot off the gas pedal.
Joyner led the Eagles with 21 points, including three long bombs. Two of them came in the first quarter.
The Vikings scored the first two buckets to lead 4-0. Then Central went on an 18-7 run, sparked by Joyner’s outside shots and Courtney Hegler’s slashing.
Hegler had eight points in the first quarter and 13 of her 17 in the first half. She also pulled down 11 rebounds for a double-double, hit 4-5 from the foul line and led the team with five steals.
Joyner added five boards and two steals.
Viking forward Jackie Denny proved to be a handful, and the Eagles used a few players to slow her down. Despite what Coach Mandy Holt called a great defensive effort from Sarah Bruce, Denny posted 26 points.
Bruce also provided 14 points, six rebounds and two steals.
North Wilkes has some good rebounders inside, but Brittany Lewis did a good job of boxing out. While she had just four rebounds herself, Lewis’ boxing out allowed players like Hegler to crash the glass, Holt noted.
Brooke Lewis also had four rebounds and one basket.
Tess Dockery and Marlee Wilmoth played good perimeter defense with a lot of energy, Holt said. Wilmoth had just two points, but lead the team with four assists. Dockery had three assists to go with 10 points, one of four Eagles in double figures.
After Denny, Alley Shumate was the only Viking in double figures with 13, but only four in the second half.