PILOT MOUNTAIN — For the second day in a row, East Surry’s boys basketball team started off slowly.
This time, they couldn’t fight all the way back.
Less than 18 hours after winning a game by 16 after trailing by 12 early on, the Cardinals were back in action against South Stokes in a non-conference matchup. Like Bishop McGuinness the night before, the Sauras took advantage of East Surry’s inability to make shots and built an early lead, going up 15-6 after a quarter and maintaining the lead in the second to lead 30-21 at the break. The Cardinals rallied in the third quarter and got as close as three points, only to fade down the stretch and fall 64-49.
The setback drops East Surry to 7-12 on the season, while the Sauras improved their season slate to 14-6.
The Cardinals were unable to make any serious headway against South Stokes until late in the third quarter, a period which had been dominated by Saura guard Tre Scales on both ends of the floor until Quincy Smith finally got something going for East Surry by sinking two free throws with 3:04 left in the quarter. At the time, South Stokes had taken its biggest lead of the game at 39-28.
Down by nine, the Cardinals got a stop defensively, and then big man Luke Cartwright caught the Sauras by surprise by stepping outside and draining a 3-pointer. When East again kept South Stokes from adding to its lead, Colby Guy shook loose at the top of the key and hit another three. Scales scored at the other end for the visitors, but then Smith took it to the rim and pulled the Cardinals to within 41-38. Scales answered with two free throws at the other end, but East was still very much in the game with a quarter to go, down just five.
The Sauras opened the fourth quarter with a steal and a layup by Michal Phillips, but East hung in for a while, getting an old-fashioned three-point play by Jefferson Boaz and then a conventional three from John Marion to stay within 49-44 with about five minutes to play. But that was the Cardinals’ last throw, and starting with a Ben Bowen dunk, the visitors went on a 15-3 run that finally put the game away.
Scales led the Sauras with 14 points, but P.J. Samuels (13), Phillips (12) and Bowen (12) all hit double figures. Smith led the Cardinals with 14, followed by Marion with 12 and Cartwright with nine.South Stokes travels to Surry Central on Tuesday night, while the Cardinals will host Walkertown.
Reach John via Twitter at @johncate73.