WALNUT COVE — The North Surry boys stole South Stokes’ Senior Night on Tuesday and in a fashion that one could not have expected after watching the first half. The Hounds registered a 60-point second half to rally for an 83-71 Western Piedmont Athletic Conference victory over South Stokes.
The win deprived South Stokes what would have been a three-way tie for first place, and gave North Surry the opportunity to claim an outright first-place conference finish by beating Forbush on Friday night. With the win, the Greyhounds (19-4, 8-1 WPAC) captured no worse than a share of the title.
North Surry trailed for most of the game against the Sauras (16-7, 6-3), but turned on the offense in a tremendous way after halftime, scoring 60 points.
“There was probably not a point in the game, at least in the first half, that you would have thought we were going to have 83 points,” said North Surry coach Kevin King. “We persevered and worked hard in the second half and grew up a little.”
The first half belonged to the homestanding Sauras.
Both teams’ defense held one another scoreless for over a minute into the first quarter on Tuesday, but North Surry soon built a lead. Kendal Tucker was fouled on a scoring drive and posted the first three points for the Greyhounds. South Stokes’ Andrew Tilley responded with a mid-range jumper and Treshoun Scales clinched one from the line and pulled the Sauras even. Tucker gave North the lead back, and would claim five North Surry’s seven first-quarter points. However, after Chase Chandler scored off a feed from Carter Phillips at the 4:30 mark, the Hounds didn’t score again. South Stokes finished the quarter posting another seven points and ran into the second quarter with a six-point lead, 13-7.
Thirty seconds into the second quarter, Mason Hawks found an open Casey Hull under the hoop to tally another Greyhound score. Hawks registered his first basket a minute and a half into the second quarter, but the Hounds were still down by six. Then Wesley Misenheimer sparked South Stokes as the Sauras stormed out to a 10-point edge. Hull grabbed Hawks’ miss from another opportunity at the line and put it back to stop the bleeding, but just momentarily. During the last three minutes before the break, Avery Smith entered a basket, Tucker added three points and Hull registered another four, but the Sauras responded every time. The Greyhounds found themselves down 36-23 at halftime.
Head Coach Kevin King must’ve said something that stuck at the break, because North Surry came out in the third quarter and opened with an 8-0 run. Phillips and Tucker each collected a basket while Hull hit two. Simmons lobbed a half-court pass to Hawks at the rim for a score, chopping the deficit back to six.
“If you will keep playing and do what you are supposed to do, and just continue to do it, you can inch your way back into the game,” said King.
Phillips hit a jumper just inside the arc and Tucker one behind the arc, but their 5 points would be the last until the 2:30 mark when Hawks claimed one from 30 feet. During the final minute of play in the third quarter, Phillips hit a layup, and with three seconds left on the clock, Hawks deflected a pass meant for a Saura. Phillips retrieved it and feed it back to Hawks for a buzzer-beating layup. With eight minutes to go, North Surry trailed just 54-49.
In the fourth, Hull started things off for North with a quick basket 20 seconds in. Ethan Simmons logged two points from the line, and pulled his Hounds within one of the Sauras. Hawks passed to an open Phillips under the hoop and the Greyhounds took the led for the first time since the first quarter. With 90 seconds gone in the period, South’s Tre Haliburton made one from the line to even the score at 55, and then Scales hit a quick jumper and the Sauras led again. But not for long. Tucker drained a 3-pointer. Brady Dudley netted a basket and back in front went South Stokes. Now, midway through the fourth, Simmons stole in Saura paint and fed the ball to Hawks. Hawks was fouled on the drive and grabbed one from the line to tie the game at 59.
A few possessions later, with the Sauras up 62-61, Tucker drained his third 3-pointer of the night. Seconds later, Phillips had the ball and on his way to the rim, was fouled while scoring a basket. He also took one from the line, yielding a five-point lead for North Surry. Bowen was fed the ball and with his size and energy slammed a dunk, a well-needed basket for South Stokes, but the Sauras were still down by three, and time had ticked under two minutes. Hull added two points from the line. Dudley swished a three and the Sauras were down just two. Phillips registered his final basket on the night with a little over a minute left to play. Jonah Moorefield responded with two from the line. During the last minute, Hawks missed a shot, but the rebound was snagged by Hull, who put it back for two. Hawks was fouled going to the win and sank two. With 30 seconds left to play, Bowen picked up another basket, and his score would be the last hope for the Sauras on Senior Night. With the score 75-71, Tucker went to the line made both. Ten seconds later, Hawks was selected to shoot technical shots and went 4-for-4 with 20 seconds left on the clock. Tucker sank two more with 10 seconds left, and North Surry walked out of town with some new hardware.
In the victory, Hawks and Tucker posted 23 points each. Hull logged 18 and Phillips 13. Chandler, Avery Smith and Ethan Simmons all had a basket each.
Phillips held the team high with seven total rebounds and Hull was close behind with 5.
For the Sauras, Dudley led the way with 17 points, Moorefield 13, and P.J. Samuels and Scales 10 each.
South Stokes will travel to Carver on Friday, while North Surry will host Forbush.