The 2013-14 winter sports season saw two new scoring champions crowned as Scott Meredith broke East Surry’s career scoring record, while Cassidy Joyner did the same at Surry Central.
How could this past winter compete with that? Well, how about two younger siblings winning conference player of the year awards, several wrestlers competing for 1A state titles and a swimmer earning state bronze?
With Meredith and Joyner graduating, it would be easy to assume that their former teams would struggle, but that was not the case this winter.
The East Surry boys went 18-7, led by Northwest player of the year Carson Long, who followed in the footsteps of his sister, Kelsey Long, who won the same award when she was at East.
The Central girls went 21-6 with six seniors on the roster, including Marlee Wilmoth, who won conference player of the year, just like her big brother Ethan, the school’s all-time scoring leader.
Marlee Wilmoth’s hustle helped her put together remarkable averages. She scored 11.2 points per game, with 5.1 rebounds for a 5-foot-5 point guard, 5.3 assists and 5.2 steals. She led the team in foul shots earned and was second in three-point percentage.
Carson Long shot an excellent 91 percent at the foul line and nearly 70 percent on two-point baskets in addition to leading the Cards in three-pointers.
The local schools received a third player of the year award when North Surry’s Khaileel Dailey earned the honor from the Western Piedmont Conference.
The Mount Airy transfer jumped right in and took on a leadership role with his young, but talented teammates.
He led team with an averages of 18 points and 2.7 steals while hitting a team-best 40 three-pointers. He was second to Nathan Fletcher in both foul shots and two-point shooting percentage.
With three sophomores and a freshman playing heavy minutes, the Greyhounds went 21-5 and won two playoff games before losing to Lexington.
Another local player with a great season was East’s Sydney Mosley who scored 18.4 points per game, with 5.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.1 steals. She led the team in foul shooting at 71 percent, which was great since she went to the line an average of seven times a game.
Unfortunately, East had the misfortune to play in a stacked Northwest girls’ lineup. Reigning champion Bishop McGuinness, soon-to-be champion Winston-Salem Prep, Atkins and Mount Airy all put together very good teams.
The Lady Bears went 18-7 despite the tough competition and the loss of several key seniors from last year’s team.
Returning starter Ayano Shelton got a big boost from sophomore Lexi France and new varsity players Cora Bledsoe (leader in rebounds and steals), Jo Snow (first in assists and three-pointers, second in points), Sadie Brooks and Sarah Lankford.
The team might have been even better, but freshman athlete Madeline Mayfield was slowly rounding back into shape after a fall leg injury and spent most of the year on the JV team. We’ll see more of her in the spring sports review.
After losing player of the year Malaya Johnson and three other seniors. the Lady Hounds looked like they might not challenge for a league title again.
The Hounds started off 4-7 before putting together a 9-1 WPAC season to tie Central for first.
Taylor Hill, player of the year in volleyball, put together a great hoops season, too, with a team-best 13.2 points, 50-percent shooting and better than eight free-throw attempts a game.
The Granite Bears won the Northwest boys’ tournament and a playoff game before falling to Lincoln Charter in the second round.
The Bears (18-6) had an impressive inside-outside team with the twin towers of Carson and Clay Mounce and wing players Caleb Horton, Dylan Gallimore and Isiah Simmons.
• Diving into another winter sport, Mount Airy had 11 swimmers earn Northwest 1A all-conference honors and East Surry had eight selections.
East’s Kelsey Tunstall won conference titles in the 200 IM and 100 backstroke. She also swam the anchor leg of the Lady Cards’ gold-medal winning freestyle relay team. She was named the Northwest Conference swimmer of the year.
Her mom, Leah Tunstall, was named girls coach of the year for East, which ended a five-year run of conference titles by Bishop McGuinness this winter.
Ashley Hicks took home individual conference championships in the 50 and 100 freestyle and was a member of East’s title-winning 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay teams. Katherine Martin brought home gold in the 100 butterfly and Avery Tilley took first in the 100 breaststroke.
At the state 1A/2A meet at Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary, Kelsey Tunstall captured a bronze medal in the 200 individual medley.
East’s 400 freestyle relay team of Ashley Hicks, Tunstall, Avery Tilley and Katherine Martin took fourth. Hicks swam to a fifth place finish in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:04.57. The Lady Cards finished sixth in the team standings.
At the WPAC conference meet, Central’s Katelyn Southard had a gold, two silvers and a bronze. After finishing second to Forbush’s Gina Myers in one race, Southard took first in the 100 yard butterfly. Her relay team was second to Myers’ in the 200 yard medley; that team included Haley Stanley, McKenzie Reaves and Madison Robertson.
Southard came in third as part of the 200 yard freestyle team with Reaves, Robertson and Danielle Kirkman.
North Surry’s Caleb Cockerham had a gold, silver and bronze in four events on the boys’ side.
• North Surry has long been known for its wrestling prowess, but this year it was Mount Airy who put on a show on the mats.
The Bears sent five wrestlers to Final Four of their weight classes, and three of them came home with the gold.
Senior Triston Mabry finished an near-perfect season with a state championship and the school’s all-time record for career wins.
Junior Cameron Pack and sophomore Jacob Hogue also won their weights, while seniors Landon Mumford and Andrew Moore finished second and third respectively.
Mabry never lost a match to an opponent; his only “loss” was on a questionable disqualification where his opponent claimed that Mabry bit him on the forearm.
Mumford had a perfect record going until falling to Malachi Beaver at both the regional and state tournaments to finish second.
For East Surry, Caleb Lowe finished second in the state and Eddie Nunez third.
In the 2A brackets, North’s Austin Rozier and Central’s Uriel Secundino each earned the bronze.
Up next is our review of the spring season.