DOBSON — Make it 2-for-2 for the Lady Eagles.
Surry Central’s girls basketball team turned in an outstanding defensive effort on Tuesday night, smothering visiting Starmount and improving to 2-0 on the young season with a 53-8 victory over the Lady Rams.
“We’re just excited right now to just be playing basketball. This is only our second game, and we’re happy to be playing the game,” said Central head coach Mandy Holt, whose team opened with a win at Trinity before the holiday. “We have been working on several different things as far as defense goes, and we’re working on some different scenarios that we’re throwing out there.”
It was clear from early on that this was going to be a long night for the visiting Lady Rams. Holt put full-court pressure on against Starmount several times early in the game, but it was soon clear this wasn’t necessary, and that the Lady Eagles’ half-court defense was more than good enough. Central’s lead hit 10-0 when Savanah Atkins hit two free throws at the 3:21 mark of the opening period, and the scoreless run reached 16-0 after back-to-back baskets by Taylor Cochran. Starmount didn’t score until Chloe Ford hit a shot with five seconds left in the opening quarter to end the period with Central ahead 16-2.
Unfortunately for the Lady Rams, their hosts weren’t done pouring it on. Starmount found itself facing two major issues against Central — one, the aggressive defense played by juniors Atkins and Joley Cabe, who combined for 11 steals between them, and two, Central’s dominance inside, especially on the boards. Senior Brooke Snow had one of the strongest outings of her career, with 12 points and nine rebounds, and was assisted by Tara Blevins (five rebounds), along with Cochran and Atkins grabbing four each. The Lady Eagles led by as many as 23 in the second quarter, on a driving layup by Atkins 2:21 before the break, and were ahead 28-6 at the half.
“We’ve been working hard on our boxing out and rebounding, and trying not to give other teams second chances to score,” said Holt.
Central scored the first eight points of the third quarter before Tacora Manns hit from the baseline to make the score 36-8, but that was as close as it got. Cabe’s 3-pointer with 7:35 left in the game gave Surry Central a 41-point lead and led to a running clock.
Manns had half of the Starmount points. Ford and Elizabeth Pozo had two each. Snow’s 12 led Central in scoring, followed closely by Cochran with 11 and Cabe and Atkins with eight. Cabe, with eight points, six steals and four assists, and Atkins, with eight points, five steals, four rebounds and three assists, all did a little of everything.
“I’m really excited about this team. I think it’s a well-rounded team,” said Holt.
Central had hoped for a good early test of where it stands, with a visit from defending 1A state champ Mount Airy scheduled for Friday night, but the Bears have had to reschedule their early basketball games due to their ongoing football season. The game has been rescheduled for Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018. The Eagles are off until next Tuesday night, when they host county rival East Surry.
Starmount will travel to Forbush on Friday night.
Reach John via Twitter at @johncate73.