BOONVILLE — Since last Friday’s narrow escape against county rival East Surry, the Mount Airy girls basketball team has turned into a wrecking crew. The boys team hasn’t had a signature win yet, but has been quietly excellent as well.
One night after knocking off Atkins in a battle of MaxPreps.com’s second- and third-ranked 1-A teams, the Lady Bears hit the road again for a non-conference battle with Starmount, and came away with their most lopsided victory of the season, 67-19.
Mount Airy had little to worry about against the overmatched Lady Rams. The Lady Bears led 22-4 at the end of the first quarter, and things didn’t improve very much for Starmount (0-4) even after coach Howard Mayo began to go to his bench liberally. Mount Airy outscored their hosts 24-8 in the second half, even having taken the foot off the pedal significantly.
“I thought we did a very good job defensively,” said Mayo. “Anytime you force 34 turnovers, you’ve had a good night.”
Nine different players scored for the Lady Bears (5-0 overall), led by Ayano Shelton with 13 points. Sarah Lankford added 11 and Lexi France 10. Cora Bledsoe added eight and Skyler Flippen seven. France, with seven, and Bledsoe, with six, were the leading rebounders. Shelton had five assists and Flippen five steals.
“We did a great job sharing the ball, with 18 assists, and I like our balance,” Mayo said. “We had a lot of people step up and score tonight. Following up on what we did against Atkins, this is a good sign for us.”
The Lady Bears will look for victory number six on Friday night, when they return home to host West Stokes.
In the boys game, Mount Airy faced much stronger opposition, but the Granite Bears stayed unbeaten with a 68-58 victory over the Rams.
Mount Airy (4-0), which entered the game ranked No. 2 in the state behind Avery County by MaxPreps, felt like it had a bit of a letdown even though it came out on top.
“They shot the ball very well,” said coach Levi Goins. “I thought our defense was weak, but that may have been because we played last night. I know we’ve got a lot to work on before we play on Friday.”
The Bears held a lead for most of the night, but could never quite shake Starmount (1-2). Mount Airy led by one point after a quarter of play and 34-29 at halftime.
Clay Mounce led the team with 31 points and was also the high rebounder. Caleb Arrington added 14, Donavon Greene eight, Harrison Joyce seven, and Will Sparks and Ryan Graham each had four.