East Surry boys basketball coach Jason Anderson told his seniors he wanted more balance on the score sheet after a difficult 66-55 loss to North Stokes on Friday.
One day later, against a cross-county rival in Surry Central, Anderson got just what he was looking for. Three Cardinals (3-2) were in double-figures and eight different players found the score sheet in an efficient 63-44 victory over the Golden Eagles.
“We’ve kind of struggled to shoot the ball a little bit, but I think it’s coming around,” Anderson said. “Our scoring just has to be a little more balanced… Some nights we look good at it and some nights we struggle at it, but we’re going to get there, and tonight we showed flashes of it.”
Anderson’s two leading scorers were Shawn Creed and Trace Simmons, but the two seniors used different attacks to find the bottom of the net.
Simmons tallied 14 points and consistently looked to get out in transition. Missed shots turned into easy baskets at the other end, especially in the first quarter when Simmons scored seven of his team’s 21 points.
“Trace is really effective in the open floor. He gets out there and gets behind people with his speed,” Anderson said.
Creed led the Cardinals with 18 points, but he did his damage within East Surry’s half-court offense. Effective cuts and crisp passes allowed Creed to knock down a couple of open jump shots, but he was also successful with layups inside the paint.
“We’ve been playing together all our lives. We know everyone’s strengths, and we just hit the spots and know how to play together,” Creed said.
Tyler Smith was the third Cardinal to have a double-digit scoring night, as he registered 11 points despite being in foul trouble throughout the contest.
East Surry jumped right out of the gate. The Cardinals scored the game’s first six points and held a 15-3 lead after two free throws from Simmons with four minutes remaining in the period.
Surry Central’s Cole Leonard did everything he could to keep the Eagles within striking distance early on. He made three long jump shots in the first period and scored eight points, but his hot start faded down the stretch. Leonard still led Surry Central with 12 points on the evening.
One reason for Surry Central’s struggles was the pressure being applied by the East Surry defense. The Cardinals opened the first half in a full-court press. Although they only forced eight turnovers in the first two quarters, Surry Central (2-5) felt rushed on offense and never got into a rhythm.
East Surry finished its four-game week on Saturday with a 2-2 record. The Cardinals are looking forward to Christmas break and really spending some quality time on the practice floor.
Until then, East Surry will continue its game action on Tuesday at home against Walkertown. Surry Central will look to bounce back on Monday at North Forsyth.
Lady Cards get revenge
East Surry’s girls squad refused to let a halftime lead disappear against Surry Central for the second time this season, and the Lady Cardinals blitzed the Eagles in the third quarter to leave no doubt in a 59-39 win.
Behind 16 points apiece from Serena Pickens and Karley Jessup, East Surry went on a 17-0 run over a seven minute stretch in the second and third quarters to gain all of the game’s momentum and put the score out of reach for the Golden Eagles.
“I think we had a little more confidence tonight than what we had the first time we played them,” Lady Cards coach Caleb Gilley said. “Last time we played them, we came out in the second half and we laid back, but tonight we got even more energetic and the defense picked up.”
Like the boys’ contest, East Surry had one of its most balanced games of the season on Saturday night. Aside from Pickens, Maddi Pennington poured in 10 points while both Sydney Marion and Alyssa Martin scored seven.
“Tonight was a perfect example of our kids making plays and doing things for themselves all across the board,” Gilley said.
Sarah Ford continues to be a consistent offensive presence for the Lady Eagles, and she led her team with nine points on Saturday. However, only two of those points came after the first half.
The Eagles let the game slip away from themselves during that seven minute stretch without a basket in the second and third quarters. A layup from Edi Nixon in the second period made it 19-16 in favor of Surry Central, and Nixon had the next score for the Eagles as well, but it didn’t come until the 4:40 mark of the third period when East Surry had a commanding 33-21 lead.
Reach Jackson at 415-4702 and on twitter@jacksonfuller16