PILOT MOUNTAIN —North Surry entered Wednesday night’s season opener for rival East Surry averaging 84.5 points per game. The Greyhounds had previously defeated Westchester Country Day and Roxboro Community to collect their first two wins of the season.
The homestanding Cardinals held the high-powered Hound offense in check, but Kevin King and his squad still collected their third win of the season, by a score of 69-56.
One could say that the contest at East Surry High School was a very tight-knit race, on both ends on the floor, for a full 32 minutes of great basketball.
In the first, the Hounds outscored the Cardinals, but only by four points. North senior Mason Hawks recorded two 3-pointers and a solo foul shot. Teammate Carter Phillips also recorded seven points in the first.
East Surry’s first could easily be accredited to Quincy Smith, with a quick six points. Jefferson Boaz tallied five, while Caleb Hearn netted his two baskets at the line.
In the second quarter, the Cardinals’ Trevon Simmons went to the line on four separate occasions, going 6-for-8. Former North Surry player Luke Cartwright drained a 3-pointer in East Surry red and had seven points going into the half. Perhaps surprisingly, the Cardinals, who were playing for the first time this season, held a 34-29 lead at the break.
“We went through a huge dry spell in the second quarter, and we also fought some foul trouble, and we also settled for too many jump shots… but once we started to put the ball on the floor and attack the basket…we did fine,” said North Surry coach Kevin King.
In the third quarter, the Hounds regained the lead, but only by one.
John Marion fouled Greyhound Carter Phillips, to set up one-and-one foul shots. Phillips made both with 4:24 left in the game to give North the lead back. Phillips also had an impactful fourth-quarter steal, and drove to the basket on back to back possessions.
“I thought we had a real good second half, but I thought we struggled a little in the defensive transition,” said King.
In the final two minutes of the ballgame, Cartwright was fouled driving into the basket. He made one of his shots at the line, but his team was still down by six.
Mason Hawks then broke away with the ball for a fast break basket and was accredited with the game’s only dunk of the night. North Surry remained on top and ended the game by pulling away for the 13-point win.
Carter Phillips finished the night with a total of 35 points to lead North Surry. The top Cardinal scorer was Boaz, with 13.
“Every year that we come over here to play, they (East Surry) are as good at doing what they are going to do, as anybody we play,” said King. “They don’t let us take them out of their style, they are going to do what they do, and they are going to do it well… We had to adjust.”
North Surry will continue non-conference play as they host Ashe County on Monday.
East Surry will have a quick turnaround, as they will travel to Dobson this Friday to face the Golden Eagles of Surry Central.