DOBSON — The Golden Eagles held an early 14-9 lead before Winston-Salem Prep ran away for an 82-50 win.
The Phoenix came into the night on a blistering pace. Not only is the team undefeated in the Northwest Conference, Prep has beaten its last five opponents by an average of 45.2 points.
In the previous two games, Prep beat Bishop McGuinness 91-35 and North Surry 92-33.
The Phoenix led 7-5 in the first two minutes before Zach Wilmoth hit two three-pointers, Jake Wilmoth hit a long two, and Kirk Needham made an 8-footer in a 9-2 run.
The Eagles led by five, but then Aaron Lipscomb hit two three-pointers, Mike Hughes hit a free throw, and Greg Howard got a putback for a 9-0 spurt to finish the first quarter.
Central kept Prep within striking distance in the second quarter, trailing by just three points before the Phoenix scored a couple of times before the half for a 31-22 lead.
“It felt like it was a pace we could live with,” said assistant coach Jeff Edmonds.
“We battled hard tonight. That’s my expectation,” said Coach Ken Eiswald. “The effort was there, they gave me everything they had.”
The Eagles scored the first two buckets of the third quarter for a 31-26 margin.
Then Prep went on a two-minute run that pushed the lead to 20.
That is something they are capable of doing, noted Edmonds. They have gone on big runs against many teams this year, he said.
Lipscomb hit two more threes (and finished with six on the night), and guard Austin Collins scored six points in the push.
“We knew what we were up against,” said Edmonds. “In the games where we’ve been competitive, we have controlled the pace.”
Prep amped up the defensive pressure and forced some turnovers that they quickly converted into points.
Lipscomb led all scorers with 22 points. His family stated during the game that the junior guard is now in the top 15 in the state in three-pointers made.
Mike Hughes added 15, Collins and Koye Simmons had 10 each and Raekwon Harney nine.
For the Eagles, Zach Wilmoth had eight of his 15 points in the first quarter. He also grabbed six rebounds.
Luke Haymore scored all 10 of his points in the second half.
Needham scored six points and had four boards and three assists. Simeon Bracken scored four, Jake Wilmoth four, Brett Mosley four, Cole Stewart three and Kenyon Martin two.
With the players’ effort and execution, Eiswald said he told his team, “You guys get to determine what happens the rest of the season.”
The Eagles have three games left in the regular season, including a rematch with Prep.