It was all about iron for three former basketball stars from Surry County this past week.
Former Mount Airy High School star MiKayla Seivers pulled an “iron woman” feat for the Salem College women’s basketball team in the club’s most recent contest, but it wasn’t enough as the hosts from Methodist University pulled away for an 80-66 victory last Tuesday night.
Methodist came away victorious in that battle, but its other showdown with Surry iron, three days prior, didn’t turn out so well for them. On Jan. 16, former North Surry star Erin March and Surry Central standout Brooke Lewis were both in the starting lineup for Ferrum College — the school’s name is Latin for iron — as it held off the Monarchs 53-50.
The victory was crucial for the Panthers (6-9) in the USA South Conference race, as the win improved Ferrum to 4-2 in league action and kept the team in the hunt for a conference crown.
Ferrum led for most of the game, but Methodist stayed close and finally came on strong in the final period, using a 9-2 lead to go ahead with 5:44 remaining in the contest. However, the Panthers answered with an 8-2 spree of their own and held on for the win.
March, a 6’1” sophomore center, scored five points, grabbed five rebounds and blocked a shot in 23 minutes of action. Lewis, a sophomore who stands 5’9” and can play either the guard or the forward position, played 24 minutes with four rebounds and two assists. The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Panthers.
March, who is somewhat unusual for a Division III post player in that she has shooting range beyond the 3-point arc, has started 14 of Ferrum’s 15 games this season, averaging 6.3 points and 6.5 rebounds per contest. One of her best games came on Jan. 5 in a 73-63 win over Meredith, where she scored 13 points for 5-for-11 shooting (3-for-4 from long range) and also grabbed seven rebounds. Lewis has earned eight starts in 13 games this season for the Panthers, with perhaps her best outing coming in a Dec. 2 victory over Mary Baldwin College. She came off the bench in that game and scored 10 points in just 14 minutes of action, with two rebounds.
Ferrum played Piedmont College on Saturday night in a game that ended after press time, and returns to action next Friday at home against LaGrange College.
Seivers, who played for the Lady Bears from 2011-2014, and teammate Alexiahonna Bush both played the entire 40 minutes for their team, never checking out for a breather except at halftime. The pair helped keep the Spirits (3-13) in the game well into the fourth quarter, as Salem trailed just 49-46 going into the final 10 minutes.
In the final period, Seivers and Bush were joined by two other Spirits who played the entire quarter, but the lack of a bench may have cost the team, as Methodist (9-4) outscored them 31-20 to pull away.
The sophomore has been one of the key players for the shorthanded Salem team, and has played the full 40 minutes or more in eight of the 15 games in which she has participated. On Dec. 7, she played the entire 40, plus all of a five-minute overtime in an 86-83 victory over Hollins. That game also saw her score a season-high 22 points, and earned her Player of the Week honors in the Great South Athletic Conference.
Seivers is averaging 9.8 points, 5.5 assists and four rebounds per game.
Even though the team has struggled in the won-lost department, Salem has just begun conference play and got league action off to the right start on Jan. 9, when Agnes Scott College came to town for the GSAC opener. The teams battled back and forth throughout the first half and well into the third quarter, with Scott leading 41-38 at the 5:14 mark of that period. Seivers missed a 3-pointer to tie the game, but Bush grabbed a rebound and got the ball back to Seivers, who swished a jumper. On the team’s next possession, Seivers assisted Bush on a go-ahead basket that put Salem on top, then hit another jumper at 3:07 that gave them the lead for good, 45-43. Seivers had four rebounds and three assists in what became a 10-2 run that gave the Spirits command of the contest.
The two baskets in that sequence were her only four points of the game, but she ended up with a double-double anyway, with a team-high 11 rebounds and 14 assists.
The team’s second conference game, scheduled for Saturday at home against Wesleyan University, was postponed due to snow. The team will play again on Tuesday at Maryville (Tenn.) College.
Reach John on Twitter at @johncate73.