Both North Surry and South Stokes were looking to improve upon their 2-1 league record on Friday night, and a second half surge was surely the difference for the Greyhounds, as they picked up hard-fought 78-67 home conference win against the Sauras.
The Hounds found themselves down by 13 after the first quarter, and knew some changes had to be made.
A South Stokes 3-pointer struck first, but Chase Chandler responded with a three of his own. South Stokes picked up a quick four points before North Surry garnished another. Kendal Tucker netted one to lessen the Hounds’ deficit by two. Carter Phillips hit his first jumper with a little under four minutes left to play in the first, but the Greyhounds were still down. Tucker and Mason Hawks both drew one from the line each. On Hawks’ second free throw attempt, Phillips grabbed the board and put it back for his second basket, but there was little else for North Surry fans to enjoy in the first eight minutes. South Stokes led the ballgame after one, by a score of 24-11.
The Hounds turned the tables in the second quarter, though. They came out for the next eight minutes and posted 27 points to South Stokes’ 13, which allowed them to hold a one-point led at the half. Of North Surry’s points in the second, Phillips claimed 14. Tucker added five, on a 3-pointer and a jump shot, while Hawks, Casey Hull, Chandler and Jacob Harrison all contributed with a basket each.
North Surry’s performance in the paint during the second allowed them to grab the lead by the break.
“The biggest thing was, defensively, we started to stay in front of the basketball a little better. During the first quarter, we couldn’t stay in front of No. 3 (Scales); he broke us down and got in the lane and made plays for other people. In the second, Carter started to drive more and get to the rim. He was pretty much unstoppable going to the basket in the second quarter. Defensively, in the second, the effort was much better, we didn’t hang our heads, we just kept playing,” said North Surry coach Kevin King.
The third quarter was evenly played, and after the next eight minutes of play, the score was still separated by one point, but this time in favor of the Sauras.
In the third, Phillips was the first Greyhound to score and he collected four points before South Stokes could answer. Casey Hull made two from the line. Midway through the third, Hawks netted his third three on the night. An even 47-47 score was reached after Tucker made one from the line. Ethan Simmons also supported the Greyhound lead with a basket of his own. With three minutes left on the clock, Hawks was fouled making his way to the rim and after his time at the line, he added two points. North Surry found itself back on top. A South Stokes 3-pointer restored a Saura lead. Hawks scored to put the Hounds back on top, but South Stokes found the net last. The lead changed three times within the last two minutes of the third, but the quarter ended 54-53 in the Sauras’ favor.
Chase Chandler grabbed a feed from Hawks to start production off for the Greyhounds in the fourth. As Phillips had done many times before throughout the ballgame on Friday, he tied the game at 57-57. Then Tucker swished a 3-pointer at the five-minute mark and North Surry never fell behind again. During the next three minutes after Tucker’s make, the Greyhounds soon found themselves battling with a ten-point lead, courtesy of Hull adding six, Hawks four and Tucker an additional four. During the last two minutes of regulation, Phillips and Tucker both drew two from the free-throw line while securing the home conference win, by a mark of 78-67.
North Surry (14-4, 3-1 WPAC) will continue conference play as the Hounds travel to Forbush on Tuesday.