North Surry’s boys’ basketball team improved to 7-1 in league play after hosting and defeating Surry Central 78-54 on Friday night. The Greyhounds maintained a steady lead after every quarter.
After the first quarter North Surry held a 14-11 advantage. Fifteen seconds into the first quarter, Casey Hull ignited the first Greyhound score. Hull went 1-for-2 from the line. Moments later, Carter Phillips fed Hull again and he registered his first basket, all within the first minute of the ballgame. Mason Hawks swished a three, and the hosts had an early 6-0 lead. Brandon Norman finally scored the first Surry Central basket, and Dante’ Hanner followed with an under-the-hoop reverse hook. However, Phillips hit a jumper soon after, and then Hanner drew a foul and made two free throws. Hawks responded, but then Norman scored from the line and followed up with a 3-pointer to put Central into the lead. During the last 40 seconds, Hull hit two more baskets to put the Hounds back up three.
“Casey Hull has been very good offensively all with his left hand and all four and six feet from the basket. He got us to a decent start because we were struggling with our first couple of three-pointers. He got us settled down,” said North Surry coach Kevin King. “Once we started to press a little bit to get in transition we were okay. Once we got (Surry Central) into some bad positions, we were able to take advantage of some of their turnovers.”
Each team held the other scoreless for almost two minutes of the second quarter. It was all North Surry production from then on til the 4:10 mark. Kendal Tucker swished two behind the arc, scoring six points and Hawks four, before Surry Central could answer. Ethan Danley finally broke the drought with a 3-pointer, but North Surry still led 24-14. Hanner battled under the hoop, pivoting in almost every direction, as he collected a basket while being fouled on the drive, and added three points. He struck again 30 seconds later with two more points from the paint. North’s Chase Chandler then collected his first points of the night. With a little over a minute left before the break, Phillips found the net, and Tucker scored twice more, one being a buzzer-beater. After two, North Surry (18-4) held a 11-point lead, thanks mainly to the 10 points Tucker scored.
The third quarter was the only quarter on Friday night in which Central outscored its hosts. The Golden Eagles posted 23 to North Surry’s 21. To start the third quarter off, Chandler Johnson scored the first eight points for either side, and two of the Eagle guard’s baskets were 3-pointers. Hull answered for the Greyhounds as he was fouled while collecting a basket. A similar situation occurred for Hawks as he was also fouled on the drive, basket good and then he clinched one from the free-throw line. With North threatening to pull away, Austin Hazelwood was found wide open under the hoop for the Eagles, and was the second to score for his squad in the quarter. Norman picked up right where he left off in the first with another basket in the third, lessening the North Surry lead to seven.
However, Phillips quickly added four for the Greyhounds within the next 30 seconds. Hazelwood answered, but Phillips went backdoor and netted another for a 10-point lead. The Eagles’ Noah Wilmoth posted his first score on the night, but then Phillips added another seven for the Greyhounds. Johnson went 1-for-2 from the line and Hanner found an open Hazelwood under the hoop, stamping his 7-point third quarter. With two seconds left, Hanner hit a jumper just a little inside the arc. It was 53-44 after three, a period in which Johnson had scored 10 and Hazelwood seven for Central, but Phillips’ 13 prevented them from getting any closer.
North Surry finished the night strong, as the Hounds scored 25 points in the fourth quarter while holding the Eagles to just 10.
Hawks registered the first basket of the fourth under the hoop. Phillips made one from the line and the Greyhounds had a 12-point lead, which increased to 15 when Tucker was fouled while scoring. Two and a half minutes into the fourth, Danley scored the first basket for Surry Central. Tucker finished the night off by adding nine more points.
The final was a victory for the Greyhounds 78-54. Top scorers for the Hounds were Phillips with 21, Tucker 19, and Hawks and Hull with 14 each. For Surry Central, Hanner posted the team high with 16 points. Norman added 11 and Johnson 10.
The Hounds took undisputed possession of first place in the Western Piedmont Athletic Conference due to South Stokes’ 59-48 win over West Stokes on Friday night. North leads both West and South by one game with two to play, but have to play at South on Tuesday night.