There is no off-season for North Surry’s Shane Slate. With basketball season still five months away, Slate’s Lady Greyhounds have competed in a number of team camps to help the new-look team get time on the floor together. The most recent of the camps is a two-day event hosted by North Surry.
“We got a lot of work to do,” Slate said. “We’ve got to figure out what works for us and what doesn’t and get comfortable playing with each other. That’s what summer is all about, figuring things out so you don’t have so much to do come November and December.”
The Lady Hounds finished 16-13 in the 2017-2018 season. Following a rocky start, North won nine of its last 11 games. This included yet another Western Piedmont 2A Conference tournament championship in the Slate era.
Four of the Hounds’ starters graduated just weeks ago. Of the four, three will continue their playing careers in college: Taylor Duncan, Tiana Shuff, and Mikaela Johnson. This left a big hole to fill for the returning players. Only two players for North Surry are rising seniors, those being Stephanie Simpson and Callie Willard.
Seven other teams competed in the team camp: East Wilkes, Carroll County, Alleghany, North Wilkes, Galax, West Caldwell, and Mount Airy. Similar to Mount Airy’s team tournament last week, each game consists of two 20-minute halves with a running clock. The clock only stopped during the last minute of each half and for timeouts. Shooting fouls gave the shooting team a point and the ball back.
The Lady Hounds went 2-1 on the day with the only loss coming to 4A Carroll County. Both of North Surry’s wins, versus Alleghany and West Caldwell, were by sizable margins. In the win over West Caldwell, the Hounds jumped out to a 9-0 run to start the game and never surrendered the lead.
When asked what specifically he would like to see his team work on in summer ball, Slate said, “Us doing a better job of being in the right position on defense and having an understanding of what we are looking for on offense.”
The Mount Airy Lady Bears were also in action and went 2-1 on the day as well. The Bears also fell to Carroll County and picked up big wins over West Caldwell and East Wilkes.
The tournament continues today with North Surry starting at 9 a.m. against North Wilkes and Mount Airy at 10 versus Galax.
Reach Cory on Twitter @MrCoryLeeSmith