PILOT MOUNTAIN — After a rough start, Surry Central’s girls roared back to beat Wilkes Central 70-56.
In a matchup of the two Eagles teams, Wilkes got off to a hot start, leading 12-2 with much of the damage coming inside as the taller team played volleyball on the glass. Wilkes has six girls standing 5-foot-9 or taller.
Laken Blackburn had 12 points in the first quarter and Martha Mastin five.
Sarah Bruce started the game wearing a clear mask to protect her nose that was broken Thursday by North Wilkes’ Jackie Denny. She quickly discarded the mask and played without it the rest of the way. She even dove to her knees after a loose ball, which is how she caught a knee Thursday.
After the slow start, the Lady Golden Eagles caught up with an attacking defense that generated numerous deflections and steals. The lead shrunk to 20-14 going into the second quarter. Then with the score 30-24 close to halftime, Surry Central scored the last three baskets to tie it 30-all at the break.
Courtney Hegler scored four of her 10 first-half points to pull the team even.
A balanced scoring attack saw Surry post 21 points in the third quarter and 19 in the fourth to hold off any attempts of a Wilkes comeback.
Hegler was a perfect 10-10 at the foul line in scoring 22 points. She also had nine steals, five rebounds and four assists.
Cassidy Joyner didn’t need to score this time, but chipped in eight points to go with five boards, four assists and three steals.
Marlee Wilmoth, who missed all three free throws Thursday, came back with 6-7 foul shooting Friday. She had 10 points and three steals.
Point guard Tess Dockery lit it up with 16 points to go with five assists. Bruce scored eight points and helped slow down the inside play after Wilkes’ hot start.
Whenever the team needed a player to stand up and make a play, someone different stepped up, said Coach Mandy Holt. It was truly a team effort with so many people making a difference.
At one point, Hegler, Dockery and Bruce were all on the bench with foul problems, but Brittany and Brooke Lewis provided a lot of effort, Holt noted.
Surry Central won both games in the Christmas tournament, a good start going into the new year.