PILOT MOUNTAIN — The Lady Greyhounds led the entire second half, but could never put the Lady Cardinals away in a 41-40 thriller Friday.
In a matchup of the top two teams in the Northwest Conference, North Surry led by five in the fourth quarter, but East Surry kept up the pressure and simply ran out of time.
The Cards held a 10-6 lead midway through the second quarter, but the Hounds went on an 11-2 run for a five-point lead.
East’s Sydney Mosley hit two free throws with 2.0 seconds left to make it 17-14 at the break.
North led 24-20 in the closing seconds of the third period when East’s Gabi Jessup hit a buzzer-beating three for a 24-23 margin.
In the final period, only the inside players scored for the first five minutes.
North’s Malaya Johnson and Kristina Rumplasch battled with East’s Keri Fulp.
When Rumplasch scored a basket with three minutes left, the Hounds led 35-30.
Then Jessup hit two more threes to close to 37-36.
Johnson was fouled with 27.1 seconds left and hit both free throws. She was a perfect 6-6 in the quarter after missing her only two tries in the first half.
The Cards got the ball to Jessup at the top of the key, but two defenders leaped out and caused a miss.
However, Mosley got the ball and was fouled with 8.9 seconds left. She hit both shots for a 39-38 game.
North Coach Shane Slate brought in backup point guard Morgan Hawks to help with ball control in the final minutes.
Hawks hadn’t scored in the game, and East Coach Keith Gunter said that was the player he wanted his team to foul.
Still, the sophomore southpaw made both shots for a three-point lead with 8.0 seconds left. As a team, the Hounds were 11-13 in the fourth quarter.
East Surry either needed a three-pointer or a very quick two-point shot.
Emma Slater found Keri Fulp underneath for a score, but as the ball fell through the hoop, the buzzer sounded.
“There at the end of the game, we should have taken the three,” said Gunter.
“We told them in the timeout, if she makes both of them, we have to have a three. Pass the ball to the person who is open,” he said. “They defended the three-point shot, and we passed it to who was open.”
“It was a well-played game by both teams,” said Slate. The fans on both sides made it a great atmosphere.
The fans got to see probably the three best players in the conference tonight with Keri, Johnson and Rumplasch on the floor, said Gunter.
Rumplasch led the Hounds with 17 points as well as five boards.
Johnson had a double-double of 12 points and 10 boards.
“She was helping us out in a lot of different ways,” said Slate. She also had seven blocks, six assists and three steals.
“She does a great job understanding how to play help defense,” he said. “She rotates and that’s where she gets a lot of her blocks.”
Different people stepped up to make players, Slate said. Maddison Hawks had a key steal. Erin March made some key rebounds.
Maddison and Morgan Hawks had two each as well as Jordan Badgett. March had six points and six or seven boards, the coach said.
Gunter said the Cards rushed some outside shots in the first half, but the offense got better as the game went along.
The guards did a better job of catching the ball on the move and putting pressure on the defense. Lauren Thompson and Mosley each got into the lane a couple of times.
Fulp finished with a game-high 19 points and 1o boards. Jessup had nine points, Mosley six, Thompson five and Slater one.
East Surry goes to Mount Airy on Tuesday. North Surry hosts Starmount on Wednesday.
Because Starmount doesn’t have a JV girls team, the JV boys will start at 4 p.m., and the varsity girls will follow around 5:15 to 5:30 p.m.