DOBSON — The Lady Eagles got off to a hot start and cruised in the fourth quarter for a 74-54 win over East Wilkes.
Cassidy Joyner scored 20 of her 24 points in the first half and added six rebounds, five steals and four assists with just one turnover.
The Lady Cardinals made a push late in the first quarter and cut an 18-5 lead down to five at 29-24. The Cards went to the line for a one-and-one that could have made it a one-possession game, but missed the shot.
Joyner and Sarah Bruce then scored three times each in pushing the lead to 44-32 at the half.
“The way we started out, I thought we were going to break it open,” said Coach Mandy Holt.
East Wilkes’ Erin Royal, who surpassed 1,000 points in her last game, is a catalyst for the Cards’ offense, so Holt rotated fresh defenders on Royal throughout the game.
Joyner had help from Marlee Wilmoth and Tess Dockery.
Royal had 10 points in the first half, then scored the first basket after halftime. For the rest of the game, the Eagles shut her down.
The Cards had a 6-2 push at the start of the third to cut the lead to 46-37. Two minutes later, the lead was still nine at 50-41 when the Eagles made a run.
Dockery made a three-point play, and Courtney Hegler scored twice as Central scored nine straight points for a 59-41 lead. The Cards didn’t threaten again.
Two Eagles finished with double-doubles. Hegler had 12 points and 12 boards to go with four assists and a steal. Brittany Lewis hit a couple of nice mid-range jumpers to finish with 10 points, 11 boards and a blocked shot.
Bruce scored 13 points, Kristin Key six, Kendra Johnson four, Dockery three and Mikayla Cox two.
Kendra didn’t post many points, but she gave the team a nice spark off the bench, Holt said. The junior had four boards and an assist.
Wilmoth had four assists, three steals and three rebounds. Bruce had five boards and three steals.
Overall, the team showed better transition defense and boxing out than in the last game, said the coach.
Surry Central (4-1) opens conference play by traveling to Bishop McGuinness Tuesday.
In the three weeks before the holiday break, the Eagles also have to face East Surry, North Surry, West Stokes and Mount Airy.
Holt said she didn’t know if there was another small conference in the state with this many good teams this season.