DOBSON — In preseason, Surry Central girls basketball coach Mandy Holt talked at length about how her team would need contributions from everyone on the roster in order to make up for graduation losses and have a successful 2015-16 season.
It appears as if her team is picking up the script nicely.
“This was a team win,” Holt said of a night where every member of the team played significant minutes and contributed to a 46-30 victory over visiting Alleghany. “We’re continuing to get better, but night in and night out, I’ve had the hustle there. If everyone is hustling and working at a high level, then good things are going to happen.”
Good things came in bunches against the Lady Trojans. Surry Central rolled to its second straight victory, taking the lead late in the first quarter after going on a 9-1 run, and never looking back, leading by as many as 18 points in the fourth quarter. The Lady Eagles consistently beat the visitors to loose balls, had a 37-27 rebounding margin, and 10 of the 11 players on the team scored.
“I actually thought it might be more than that,” Holt said of the rebounding margin. “That was a focus for us before the game. Their number 20 (Cameron Hawkins) had 15 rebounds in their first game and 14 in their second game. We definitely wanted to make sure that didn’t happen against us.”
Surry Central’s victory on the boards was a team effort. Makenzie Mooney led the team with seven rebounds, but Sarah Ford and Mallory Wilmoth were right behind her with six. Taylor Coe grabbed five and two others had four.
The Lady Eagles trailed 4-1 a few minutes into the game, but then the offense came to life, with Mooney hitting a few key baskets and Hannah Beasley giving the team a lift when she came off the bench.
“Hannah played some very valuable minutes for us,” Holt said of the sophomore guard, who also had two assists and three steals to go with her eight points and four rebounds. “She did a lot of things that don’t show up on the scoresheet, but definitely got us going defensively.
The strong effort by everyone on the roster paid dividends in the second quarter, when Alleghany twice cut the lead to two points. With two minutes left in the first half, Ford picked up her third personal foul, but her teammates picked her up. Taylor Cochran grabbed a rebound and went coast-to-coast for a layup, then stole the ball away and dished it to Claire Via for a short jumper and an eight-point lead for Surry Central.
Those were the only two points of the night for Cochran, who also had four rebounds, but the basket and her subsequent steal and assist staked the Lady Eagles to their biggest lead of the night to that point.
The Lady Trojans kept the gap at about a dozen points for most of the third quarter. Late in the quarter, Ford had three nifty assists on baskets for teammates. The last of them came after she’d picked up her fourth foul with about two minutes left in the quarter. Holt left her in the game, and she never picked up the fifth.
“She’s growing up a lot,” Holt said. “She understands she has to stay in the game. I’m starting to have more trust in her being able to do that.”
Between the middle of the third and fourth quarters, the Lady Eagles held Alleghany scoreless for the equivalent of nearly an entire quarter. A brief flurry got the visitors back within 12 with four minutes left in the game, but any hope of a comeback was quashed when Via stole the ball away in the backcourt and laid it in for a 40-26 lead with 3:56 to play.
Mooney led the team with nine points. Coe tallied eight. Ford added seven, Via five, Wilmoth four, Edi Nixon two, and Alora Largen one.
Alleghany 53, Surry Central 36
In the boys game, a disastrous second and third quarter spell, in which the Golden Eagles missed several open shots, turned a 14-11 deficit at the end of the first quarter into a 20-point hole going to the final period of play.
Surry Central was down 32-20 at halftime, then allowed the Trojans to score the first nine points of the second half. The Eagles’ Chandler Johnson hit a 3-pointer from the right wing to stop the bleeding, and there was hope for a rally when Cole Leonard hit a scoop shot in the lane at the 2:53 mark to pull the home team to within 41-25. However, they could come no closer.
Both Surry Central teams will return to action on Friday night at Elkin.
Reach John on Twitter at @johncate73.