The last two weeks have been very productive ones for the Surry Homeschool girls’ basketball team, which finds itself in position to defend its conference title tonight.
The Lady Patriots have won three games in four tries since returning to the hardwood late last week, and the strong performance means that their game with Greater Cabarrus Homeschool tonight at 6 p.m. at the Armfield Center has meaning for both teams. A victory could give Surry (11-14, 3-2 NCHEAC) a share of the conference title.
“If we win the game, we’ve got a chance to win the conference,” said coach Todd Hill.
The game that gave the Lady Patriots their opportunity came last week, when they hosted Guilford Home Educators. In that contest, Surry trailed by 14 points in the third quarter, but won 32-31 on a basket by Jill Boyd with 1:25 remaining.
“We didn’t play well in the first half, and then we worked on just getting their lead down. They led 25-11 in the third quarter,” said Hill. “With two minutes to play, Krissa (Hill) hit a three that pulled us within one. Krissa hit Jill near the foul line with 1:25 to put us up by one. We mixed up the defenses, kept them confused for the rest of the game and they never got a good shot.”
Boyd led the Lady Patriots with 17 points. Hill and Jenny Brown added five each, Lydia Clayton three and Alexus Timmons two. Hill added five assists and three steals, Brown was the high rebounder with eight, Boyd had four steals, and Trinity Thompson had three steals.
The next night, Surry lost 52-30 to Asheville under what their coach described as extremely adverse circumstances, but the Lady Patriots also contributed to their own demise by not taking care of the ball.
“We had way too many turnovers against Asheville,” Hill said. “We killed them on the glass, but didn’t adjust well to their defense.”
After a close opening period, Asheville went on a 22-7 run in the second quarter and Surry never got back into the game.
Brown led the team with 10 points. Boyd was next with seven, Clayton and Thompson added five each, Timmons two and Hill one. Thompson was one of four double-figure rebounders for the Lady Patriots, with 15. Hill grabbed 12, with Boyd and Brown getting 11 each.
On Monday night, Surry bounced back in a big way, clobbering Triad Baptist 90-52 in Kernersville. The point total set a new team record, breaking the 83 scored by the Lady Patriots in a victory over Asheville in January of 2009.
“We weren’t setting out to break the record,” said Hill. “We’ve had other games where we could have had more than 83 if we’d wanted to.”
The main reason for the high score was that the game was competitive well into the third quarter, and Surry had to put the pedal to the metal to knock Triad out.
“It was 45-34 at halftime, and then they came out and cut it to six in the third quarter,” Hill said. “This wasn’t a typical blowout.”
The Lady Patriots turned up the intensity on both ends of the floor, and actually scored 30 points before the third period was over, to go along with their 28 in the second. The game slowed down in the final quarter, but Surry still cruised to a new scoring record as their hosts faded late.
“They hit six threes in the second quarter (in which Surry outscored Triad 28-26),” Hill said.
Boyd dominated on the offensive end, scoring 33 points. Clayton added 21, Hill 13, Brown 12, Timmons six and Thompson five.
The Lady Patriots were back in action the next night on the road against Community Baptist of Reidsville. Surry had to play without Brown, and being shorthanded made for a hair-splitting ending to a 51-40 victory.
“We came out and played a really good third quarter, shot the ball well,” said Hill. “But Trinity fouled out with 2:40 left, and we were down to five players. Then Lydia fouled out with 1:50 to go. We only had four players left, all of them guards, and I went to a triangle-and-one with an eight-point lead.”
Making matters worse, the Lady Patriots were having an unusually bad night at the free-throw line, and Community Baptist, which wasn’t in any foul trouble, kept sending Surry to the line. The team was 8-for-22 at the charity stripe.
“The game was an absolute slugfest,” said Hill. “There were 42 fouls called.”
The Lady Patriots’ four guards held on for the win, avenging a 45-33 home loss to Community Baptist earlier this season.
Boyd led the team with 15 points. Hill added 12, Timmons 10, Thompson seven, Clayton five and Danielle Gottfried two.
Tonight’s game with Cabarrus is a rematch of a Jan. 12 meeting in Concord, where the Lady Patriots led by a point at halftime, but struggled to score in the second half and lost 39-31. The Stallions feature one of the best players in the NCHEAC ranks, 5’9” senior forward Kortni Pinion.
Reach John via Twitter at @johncate73.