Three Mount Airy starters missed valuable time with foul trouble as the Golden Eagles beat the Granite Bears 59-49.
Surry Central outscored Mount Airy 32-19 over the second and third quarters as Khaleel Dailey, Darius Gwyn and Caleb Horton spent time on the bench with fouls.
Dailey had seven points in the first quarter to lead the Bears, and Brett Mosley had six for the Eagles as Central held a narrow 15-14 edge. However, both picked up their third fouls in the second quarter, then got their fourths quickly in the third quarter.
Dailey still came back to score nine points in the fourth quarter, while Mosley finished with six.
The Central coaches were aware that the three Bears starters had three fouls each at halftime and implored the team to be aggressive going to the basket.
All three starters got their fourth fouls in about a minute and a half, noted assistant coach Jeff Edmonds. Unfortunately, Mosley followed with his fourth on the next possession.
Still, from a 36-29 halftime lead, the Eagles stretched the margin to 47-33 going into the fourth quarter.
With all those fouls, Central shot 35 free throws on the night, most of those coming off attacking the paint or pulling in offensive rebounds, noted Edmonds.
Zach Wilmoth had 26 points and 18 boards, going 8-11 from the line. He was 12-14 two days earlier, so that’s 20-25 (80 percent) in the past two games, noted Edmonds.
Luke Haymore had nine points, Colby Chilton six and Kirk Needham four for the Eagles.
Dailey led the Bears with 18, Isaiah Simmons had eight off the bench, five for Sean Best, four for Gwyn and three for Horton, who never found his rhythm.
The Eagles only shot 36 percent from the field, but kept the turnovers to a manageable 14, Edmonds said.