DOBSON — Surry Central’s boys’ basketball team walked out with its head held high once more on Tuesday night.
And this time, the Golden Eagles’ effort resulted in a victory.
Central was a home underdog for the second game in a row when new conference rival Atkins came calling, entering the game with a 4-10 record that was almost the flip side of the Camels’ impressive 11-4 slate. However, it was noted by many that if Central could maintain the level of play that it had shown on Saturday, when it took powerhouse Mount Airy until late in the fourth quarter to put the Eagles away, that the rest of the season could be much better.
The team took this to heart, thrashing Atkins 69-62 in a game that wasn’t as close as that final score suggested. The Golden Eagles (5-10, 2-3 Western Piedmont) picked up an important conference win in convincing fashion. The Camels needed a 25-18 fourth-quarter run just to make the final score respectable.
Central did most of its damage with its trio of guards, Nolan McMillen, Martin Palacios and Brandon Norman. However, the Eagles also delivered in the paint, where Mason Wood grabbed nine rebounds, including five on the offensive end, and teammate Ryan Martin snagged seven. Central had 19 steals, shot a respectable 43 percent from the field, and did a good job of getting to the free-throw line, where the Eagles made 21 of 27 chances.
The home team played stout defense in the early going and led 12-9 at the end of the first quarter, then dominated the second period to lead 31-19 at intermission. The Camels (11-5, 2-3 WPAC) made some adjustments on the offensive side of the ball after the break and scored 18 points in the third quarter, but Central matched them by putting in 20 of its own. With a 14-point lead going to the fourth quarter, Atkins desperately tried to catch up late in the game, but the Eagles made their free throws and kept the Camels safely at bay.
Norman led Central with 22 points, while McMillen had 15 and Palacios 13.
The Eagles travel to West Stokes on Friday night.
Atkins 54, Surry Central 41
In the girls’ game, Atkins maintained its spot atop the WPAC standings by pulling away late for a 54-41 win over Central.
The Camels (11-3, 5-0) led 29-28 at halftime and it remained a one-possession game going into the fourth quarter, but Atkins outscored the Lady Eagles 18-10 in the fourth quarter.
Atkins, which made the state quarterfinals as a 1A school a year ago, has yet to lose to any school below 3A during this season.
Seven of the nine Central players got into the scorebook, but only Taylor Cochran, with 16 points, and Savanah Atkins, with 10, reached double figures. The Lady Eagles’ biggest problem was that they only shot 24 percent from the field (12-50) and were also poor from the free-throw line, where they had 30 chances and missed half of them.
Tara Blevins and Brooke Snow led Central with six rebounds each, and Joley Cabe grabbed five. The Lady Eagles had just eight assists in the game, with Blevins getting three of those. However, the team’s anemic shooting meant that its strong ball-handling, with just 14 turnovers, didn’t add up to a victory.
Reach John via Twitter at @johncate73.