BOONVILLE — The Surry Central Lady Golden Eagles overcame the previously undefeated Forsyth Home Educators to win the 2017 Cook’s Holiday Classic.
Three games in three days for Surry Central culminated Friday night at Starmount High School. A six-point victory over East Wilkes and a 24-point beat down of North Stokes put the Eagles in Friday night’s tournament championship.
After a back-and-forth three quarters, Surry Central pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 53-42 victory over the Hawks, who carried a perfect 18-0 record into the contest.
Joley Cabe’s team-high 15 points, including a trio of 3-pointers, helped end the Hawks’ winning streak. Cabe’s resiliency was put to the test against Forsyth’s Lauren Bevis. The guards battled throughout the game on both ends of the floor.
A free throw from Forsyth’s Abigail Grimes broke the ice 30 seconds into the contest. Cabe responded by dribbling down the floor and immediately swishing a 3-pointer. Not to be outdone, Bevis knocked down back-to-back baskets for the Hawks. On cue, Cabe hit another triple to give Central an 8-5 lead.
Cabe and the Eagle offense slowed the game down with five minutes remaining in the first quarter. The Eagles worked the ball around the perimeter and waited to find Brooke Snow and Tara Blevins in the paint.
The game’s next seven points were scored from the charity stripe as the intensity picked up. In fact, Surry Central committed its seventh team foul with 8.4 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Another three from Cabe and a 15-footer from Grimes rounded out the first quarter. Central led 16-13 after eight minutes of play.
Forsyth was able to tie the game at 17 after early jump-shots from Grimes and Kenzie Portor. Central’s Blevins was able to score out of an Eagle timeout, but it couldn’t stop the Hawks’ momentum. Forsyth went on to take the lead at 21-20 with 3:13 remaining in the half.
Surry Central got it together shortly after they fell behind, scoring five straight points. Taylor Coe went to the line for one-and-one with 2:28 remaining, and although she missed the first free throw, teammate Taylor Cochran grabbed the rebound and fed Coe on the low block for two. A 3-pointer from Claire Via and a free throw from Hannah Beasley put the Eagles up 26-21.
Instead of letting the half wind down, the Hawks knocked down their first two 3-pointers of the game. Grimes fired from the same spot twice to give Forsyth a 27-26 lead at the half.
Surry Central began the second half by scoring seven straight to retake the lead. Savanah Atkins dominated the low block on offense with three quick buckets.
It wasn’t until 4:36 that Forsyth got on the board with a free throw from Bevis. Bevis and Portor made consecutive 15-footers to cut the lead to three.
In their best scoring quarter of the night, the Eagles continued to pile on points. Blevins joined the party with a pair of baskets in the paint, while Cochran scored the final five points of the quarter for Central with a layup and 3-pointer inside 90 seconds.
Forsyth was outscored 18-10 in the third quarter. Bevis and Portor were the only two Hawks to score in the quarter, with Bevis tallying eight of the points. Surry Central entered the final quarter of regulation with a 44-37 lead.
The fourth quarter was the slowest and lowest scoring of the night. Forsyth made just two of 12 shots in the quarter, consisting of a 3-pointer from Bevis and a layup by Portor.
Central also struggled in the quarter by shooting 3-11 from the field. However, late foul shots iced the game for Surry Central as they emerged victorious.
The two-headed monster of Forsyth, Bevis and Grimes, combined for 32 of the Hawks’ 42 points. Bevis led all scorers with 20, followed by Central’s Cabe with 15. Eight different Eagles scored in the game, compared to Forsyth’s four.
The Golden Eagles’ victory in the Cook’s Holiday Classic puts the team at 9-2 and provides plenty of momentum heading into 2018. Surry Central will resume conference play on January 3 by hosting North Surry.
Reach Cory on Twitter @MrCoryLeeSmith