RONDA — Surry Central was swept on the road in Saturday’s make-up basketball games against East Wilkes.
Behind solid second and third quarters, the Lady Cardinals were able to overtake and pull away from Surry Central Saturday afternoon for a 54-36 win.
Down 13-10 after the first quarter, the Cardinals (14-6, 10-2 MVAC) outscored the Eagles 32-11 over the next two quarters to win their fifth straight.
The key to the win was defensive pressure that allowed just 11 points over the middle two quarters.
“I thought our man-to-man defense was good tonight, and we shared the ball extremely well,” Head Coach Matt Campbell said. “We had 22 assists too, which is a great sign this late in the year. We’re looking for the open teammate, and I’ve got to give credit to the girls, they worked their tails off in back-to-back nights.”
The night before, East Wilkes’ Senior Night was made special by taking down Alleghany 47-30.
“Complacency will kill us quickly. It ends your season for most teams. When you’re complacent you’re letting other teams catch up to you or pass you. You’ve got to continue to have that drive, and I think we are,” Campbell said.
East Wilkes hung on to defeat Surry Central Saturday night.
A 56-53 win over the Eagles did not come easy. The two teams had traded the lead a few times, and a 3-pointer by the Eagles cut the margin to 54-53 with 22 seconds remaining. Then a travel call on Shareef Ray looked like it’d give the Eagles a chance to penetrate inside for the go-ahead bucket.
That’s when East Wilkes junior Grant Bare stepped in to force a charge that gave them the ball right back. On the ensuing possession, senior Andrew Nance sank two free throws on the double bonus with only 3.7 seconds remaining in the game. Surry Central would still have one last shot to tie things up at the end of regulation that went off the side of the backboard.
The combination of Nance’s clutch free throws and Bare’s physicality were highly praised by Head Coach Brad Davis.
“We’ve got guys that are tough and Grant, and Joah [Logan], Weston Miller… will step in and draw a charge. That’s a huge play,” Davis said. “When you draw a charge you’re putting your team in front of yourself.”
Ryan DeCosta is a sportswriter for The Elkin Tribune.