PILOT MOUNTAIN — The Mount Airy Lady Bears completed their, “Perfect 10,” of a conference season with a 57-35 victory over East Surry Thursday night.
The Bears (20-2, 10-0) tore through the competition in the Northwest 1A Athletic Conference and it was only fitting to end their conference season with a blowout victory over their rivals.
No team came within single digits of Mount Airy in conference play. The closest was Bishop McGuinness in a 54-41 loss.
East Surry (13-10, 7-3) fought tooth-and-nail with the Bears in the first half, but were soon overcome by the Bears’ depth.
The Cardinals sit a half-game ahead of Bishop McGuinness in the conference standings. However, the Villains face Winston-Salem Prep on Friday, a team that is winless in NW1A play. This means the teams will likely have to decide a tiebreaker for second place before the conference tournament.
Mount Airy’s win came as a result of strong play on both ends of the floor. In addition to pouring in a flood of points, the Cards were held to their second-lowest point total of the season.
Jo Snow led the Bears with 17 points, including four 3-pointers. Seven different Bear players scored in the game.
Until the fourth quarter, only three Cardinals had scored in the game. Bethany Clayton scored all eight of the Cardinals’ first quarter points and four of the six second-quarter points.
The Bears defense limited the amount of interior shots the Cards could take. Clayton and Dasia Lambert would attack the basket, but were sent packing by Arry Ward.
East Surry was forced to take outside shots. They weren’t allowed many second chances due to the rebounding of Madeline Mayfield and Asherah Smith.
Smith and Jo Snow then ran the ball up the court and scored in transition.
The Mount Airy lead was just three points before two 3-pointers from Mount Airy ended the first quarter.
The Bears’ onslaught continued in the second quarter by starting with a 16-2 run. While the Bears couldn’t miss, East Surry continued to struggle with its perimeter shooting.
It wasn’t until the 5:24 mark that Lambert converted the first Cardinal 3-pointer. By that point, the lead was 35-20 in favor of Mount Airy.
Clayton continued to attack the basket and was able to get six points in the third quarter.
East Surry was able to outscore Mount Airy in the fourth quarter, but the damage had been done. Ward and Tatyana Long each tallied a field goal while Mayfield and Alyssa Cox added a free throw each for six Bear points in the final quarter.
Defensive rebounding from Sarah Mann set up Katlyn Creed for her first basket of the game, a 3-pointer with 3:34 remaining.
Creed must have found her rhythm, because she knocked down two more 3-pointers in the next 60 seconds.
Had the Cards got hot earlier in the game, the margin could’ve been much smaller. The Bears won their 20th game of the season with a 57-35 victory.
Snow led the Bears with 17 points, followed by Smith with 14, and Shaunae Sawyers with 10.
Clayton was the Cardinals’ leading scorer with 18, followed by Creed with nine, and Lambert with five.
Reach Cory on Twitter @MrCoryLeeSmith