Don’t count out the defending state champion Surry Homeschool girls basketball team yet.
The Lady Patriots have been trying to find a groove in the early part of the 2015-16 season, and came into this week’s action with a 2-7 record, but emerged on Friday night having doubled their victory total in a week, and avenged one of their losses from earlier this season in the process.
Surry’s week began with a trip to Lexington on Tuesday night for a rematch with Sheets Memorial Christian School, which had beaten the Lady Patriots 50-31 back on Nov. 17 at the Armfield Center. Surry returned the favor on Sheets’ home court, holding off a late Lady Eagle rally for a 45-40 victory. On Friday night, the team visited Miller’s Creek Christian School in Wilkes County, and led from wire-to-wire for a 57-46 win.
The wins came at just the right time, since Surry will begin conference play this week and has to visit Guilford Homeschool, the team it beat for the state championship last season, on this coming Friday night. The Lady Patriots start their week hosting State Line on Tuesday night at the Armfield Center.
The win over Sheets showed just how far the young team has come. Surry jumped out to an early 17-6 lead and led throughout the second and third quarters, and was still ahead 34-25 going into the final period. But the Lady Eagles (3-3) came out firing in the fourth quarter and took the lead with two minutes to play.
“A lot of times, a young team will fold when something like that happens,” said coach Todd Hill. “But we didn’t do that. We kept our composure and pulled it out. We got back ahead, made four of five free throws in the last minute, and won the game.
“We had some really bad possessions for a while in the fourth quarter, turning the ball over, but we got it together in time to pull out a win.”
Jenny Brown led the team with 21 points. Jill Boyd had 16 points, 11 steals and four assists; Krissa Gill eight points, five assists and seven steals; Lydia Clayton six points and 10 rebounds, Alexus Timmons four points, and Trinity Thompson two points and 10 rebounds.
The hard-fought revenge win seemed to give the Lady Patriots a burst of confidence when they played another road game three nights later. Surry dominated Miller’s Creek 13-2 in the opening quarter, and held its edge through to intermission even when the home team started to hit some shots. It was 30-19 at the break.
The Lady Lions rallied in the second half, gradually whittling the lead down to four points with four minutes remaining in the contest. But there would be no repeat of what happened against Sheets Memorial.
“We took care of the ball and we got some good looks at the basket, and we stretched the lead back out,” said Hill. “We played good pressure defense throughout the game. I was very pleased with how we played.”
Against Sheets, Boyd led the way with 19 points. Thompson added eight, Clayton six points and eight rebounds, Timmons six points and four steals, Gill four points and six assists, and Brown two points.