The Surry Central girls’ basketball team took a long road trip for its opening-round game of the NCHSAA 2A state playoffs on Tuesday night, and looked like they had a chance to pull the upset, if not for one bad quarter.
The Lady Eagles played host Franklin High School of the Western N.C. Athletic Conference nearly even in the first half, and trailed just 34-31 going into the break. However, the Lady Panthers went on a 17-4 spree in the third quarter, and Central was unable to recover in what became a 67-54 victory for the home team.
Surry Central ended its 2016-17 season with a 13-13 overall record, while Franklin improved to 20-7 overall.
The Lady Panthers entered the game as fairly substantial favorites, with a mugh higher MaxPreps rating than Central, but probably didn’t count on what might have been the best game of Central freshman Jacee Busick’s career, given the stage that it occurred on. Busick posted the second-best single-game outing of her career, scoring 26 points on 12-21 shooting from the field, and also led everyone with 13 rebounds.
The Lady Eagles played the game with just eight players, only one of which, Sarah Ford, was a senior. Ford had eight assists, three rebounds and two blocks in her last basketball game for Surry Central.
Trailing 51-35 going into the fourth quarter, the Lady Eagles were finally able to get their offense going, but Franklin was able to keep them from significantly cutting into the lead it had built up.
Taylor Cochran was the only other Central player to reach double figures in scoring, with 11 points and seven rebounds. Taylor Coe added eight points and Claire Via seven.
Surry Central will return four starters and eight of the nine regular players from its rotation next season, when Busick will only be a sophomore and Cochran just a junior.