It may not have been the prettiest of wins, but a win is still a win.
Both the Lady Bears and Lady Hounds struggled to play up to their normal standards in the 33-17 contest.
Other than Asherah Smith and Shaunae Sawyers, no player on either team scored in double digits. Credit must be given to the interior defense of both teams, however, as both Arry Ward of Mount Airy and Mikaela Johnson recorded a handful of blocks apiece.
Mount Airy averages 20.4 points in the first quarter, but were only able to score seven in Saturday’s game.
A 3-pointer from Smith was the only basket scored by either team in the first 3:30 of play. Jo Snow added to the Bears’ lead with a layup at 4:15.
Traditionally a very quick offensive team, Mount Airy did take longer possessions to find the best shot around North Surry’s bigs in Ward and Martha Holt.
Holt scored the Hounds’ first basket at 3:25 with an easy layup.
Only two points were scored by each team in the final 3:20 of the first quarter. Madeline Mayfield scored for the Bears and Taylor Duncan knocked down a pair of free throws for North Surry to end the quarter with Mount Airy up 7-4.
Having not scored in the final three minutes of the first quarter, Mount Airy wasn’t able to convert another field goal until 6:20 of the second quarter.
The Mount Airy defense trapped North Surry players and forced them to take contested shots. The Bears’ guards also forced a number of turnovers in both the first and second quarters.
On the subject of defense, Ward made a Dikembe Mutombo-esque block that led to a fast break layup for Sawyers on the other end.
A free throw from Duncan and a long 2-pointer from Johnson cut the Mount Airy lead to 10-7. However, Smith pulled the Bears away on the next play with a quick triple to put her team up 13-7.
Each team only recorded a single basket in the remainder of the second quarter, leaving Mount Airy up 16-9 at halftime.
Ward seemed to have changed the pace of the game with a 3-pointer in the first minute of the third quarter. However, it would be nearly five minutes of game time until the Bears would score again.
The third quarter seemed to fly by with long possessions by North Surry. The Hounds passed around the perimeter and looked for cutting players, but were often halted by the Bears’ defense.
North Surry only put up six points in the quarter. Stephanie Simpson, Holt, and Johnson each scored a field goal in the quarter.
Mount Airy also struggled to score, missing two consecutive fast break layups. It wasn’t until 2:29 remaining that Sawyers drained a 3-pointer to put the Bears up 22-13.
Smith scored the final bucket of the quarter after a layup from Simpson to make the Bears’ lead 24-15 entering the final quarter.
Things went from bad to worse for the Lady Hounds in the fourth. Turnovers and a slower pace from Mount Airy held North Surry to just two points in the final quarter.
On the other end, Sawyers got things going by converting on a layup with contact. The junior guard knocked down two free throws shortly after to extend the lead to 28-15.
Snow got on the board for the first time since the opening quarter with a 3-pointer out of a timeout. Despite their continued efforts to feed the ball down low, North Surry still struggled to put points on the board.
Smith scored the Bears’ final basket on a put-back with 3:16 remaining.
Duncan finally broke the ice for North Surry with a layup with 2:15 to make the score 33-17. Mount Airy held the ball for the final two minutes to end the game at the same score.
Smith led all scorers with 11, followed by Sawyers with 10. Snow, Ward, and Duncan each had five points.
Reach Cory on Twitter @MrCoryLeeSmith