WINSTON-SALEM —The Mount Airy girls basketball team went back to the basics on Tuesday to top the Atkins Camels in a matchup of two teams ranked in the top three of the 1A state rankings on maxpreps.com.
With the Lady Bears trailing by one, Ayano Shelton missed an open-three pointer. But the senior forward followed her miss, grabbed the offensive rebound, and hit a bank-shot jumper with 1.5 seconds remaining to give Mount Airy (4-0, 1-0) a 49-48 win over the Camels.
Shelton finished with a game-high 17 points for the Lady Bears.
Mount Airy needed some help along the way after committing a turnover with 15 seconds left with a one-point deficit on the scoreboard.
Coach Howard Mayo had his Lady Bears foul, and the Atkins’ free-throw shooter missed the front end of a one-and-one. Mount Airy grabbed the rebound and pushed the floor, leading to Shelton’s initial miss and her follow-up game winner.
The Camels’ struggles at the free-throw line were on full display throughout the contest. Atkins shot 3-11 from the charity stripe, while Mount Airy sank 11 of its 16 attempts.
Still, the third-ranked Bears needed a large comeback in the second half to upend the second-ranked Camels. Mount Airy trailed 25-14 at halftime, but some full-court pressure led to easy baskets and the Lady Bears erased the deficit to force a 33-33 tie heading into the fourth quarter.
Another advantage for Mount Airy was its 48-32 win in the rebounding battle. Cora Bledsoe led the Lady Bears with 11 rebounds all to herself.
Jo Snow scored 12 points while Lexi France notched seven to help Shelton on the offensive end as Mount Airy took an early lead on its rivals in the Northwest Conference.
Mount Airy’s boys team followed the girls’ clutch victory with a blowout, defeating Atkins 90-49. Both teams will be back in action on Wednesday on the road against Starmount.