DOBSON — The girls junior varsity basketball team at Surry Central finished its season undefeated this week.
The Lady Eagles wrapped up their season of perfection with a 65-14 trouncing of South Stokes Tuesday afternoon.
Coaches talk every year about how hard it is to get a win in the tough Northwest Conference, but this JV squad went 19-0 this year and 17-2 last year.
The varsity Eagles are in the top half of the Northwest standings and have won their past three games. With a talented group of young players matriculating from this JV team, the future is bright for the varsity next year.
Lead by JV coach Lauren Redman and assistant coach Stephanie Miller, this year’s team was anchored by six sophomores who were all a part of the JV conference-winning 17-2 team from last year.
They were Daisha Bunn, Savannah Collins, McKenzie Danley, Olivia Fowler, Kelsey Taylor and Emma White.
The seven freshman joining them were Katlin Anthony, Cora Bledsoe, Kenzie Cabe, Sommer Chilton, Alora Largen, Makenzie Mooney and Mallory Wilmoth.
“Our sophomores provided great leadership and a lot of experience from last year,” said Redman. They were a big part of two great seasons.
The freshman class added a lot of talent and energy, she said, giving Redman a very deep bench.
The girls were so talented and so coachable that it made it very easy to be a rookie coach, she said.
This is just Redman’s second year at Surry Central. Last season she was an assistant to JV coach Camarra Kidd, who decided not to coach basketball this year.
Redman said she was expecting to take on more responsibilities as an assistant, not take over as JV coach, but she has been “absolutely thrilled doing this.”
Looking at her team, Redman said, “From where the girls started to where they are now, there has been a lot of growth.” Still, she feels like she has learned even more than they have as she grows as a coach.
These girls wanted to learn and were excited to go out and execute what they had picked up in practice, she said.
In fact they enjoyed learning so much that she added a new halfcourt trap halfway through the season to give the girls something fresh.
The JV squad has good height across the board, and that size at the guard positions made the trap very effective.
That length also let the players be versatile on the floor offensively.
Redman said she felt blessed that Central has a strong varsity and still has enough depth and talent for a great JV team.
Some schools don’t have enough upperclassmen and pick over the JV roster for players.
For example, Starmount has one senior and one junior in the starting lineup. The Lady Rams have seven freshmen and a sophomore on varsity.
That young Rams team has won five games in the Mountain Valley Conference.
Central played last week against Winston-Salem Prep, which doesn’t have a JV girls team. In order to have a game, the JV squad went to Starmount and played the varsity team — minus the lone starting senior.
Even though the Rams have played tougher competition, the Eagles still pulled out a 42-36 win, one of the few close calls of the season.
The closest game was a four-point win over North Surry. The most lopsided was a 61-7 drubbing of South Stokes.
For the 19 games, the JV Eagles scored 851 points (44.8 per game) and allowed just 424 (22.3 average).
As great as this team was, the JV could have been even better if two sophomores weren’t up on the varsity team: Marlee Wilmoth and Kristin Key.
Varsity Head Coach Mandy Holt said she was very proud of the girls and the coaches for what they have accomplished.
Last year, the team started off 17-0 and had just two games left. Holt was excited over the chance of a perfect season, then the girls lost the last two games by just one point each.
With an influx of young talent, Holt will have some tough decisions on filling out her roster.
The varsity team is young with only two seniors (Courtney Hegler and Brittany Lewis) departing.
Starters Tess Dockery, Cassidy Joyner and Sarah Bruce return, along with part-time starter Marlee Wilmoth. Key, Mikayla Cox, Kendra Johnson and Brooke Lewis came off the bench this season.
That comes to eight players eligible to return and six sophomores coming up, plus one of these talented freshmen might get called up to varsity, as well.