PILOT MOUNTAIN — It took Surry Homeschool’s girls’ basketball team a few games to get their legs underneath them.
Since then, it’s been smooth sailing for the Lady Patriots, who carry a six-game winning streak into tonight’s home game with Asheville Home Educators.
Surry, which began its 2017-18 season all the way back on Nov. 7 with a loss at Salem Baptist in Winston-Salem, actually lost three of its first four games before righting the ship. The Lady Patriots have zoomed from 1-3 to 7-3, and after beating Cabarrus last week, the team is 1-0 in conference play as well.
Head coach Todd Hill, who returns five players from last year’s team and adds three newcomers this season. said the main issue with the team in the early going was actually injuries that forced some key players to play out of position. However, the team responded well to the adversity and is now stronger for having had the experience.
“The kids are are pretty experienced are meshing well with the new kids,” said Hill. “The chemistry has been really good. What happened early in the season could have made us come together or fly apart, and they chose to come together.”
After the bad start, Surry started to get on track in the week before Thanksgiving. On Nov. 14, the Lady Patriots knocked off Millennium Charter Academy at the Armfield Center, then faced Sheets Memorial two nights later. Surry came out flat for that game, and after three quarters of play, trailed by 14 points.
“We pretty much took off the first three quarters of that game,” said Hill. “But it turned out to be the turning point of our season.”
In the final eight minutes, the Lady Patriots turned up the intensity and smothered Sheets, scoring more points in the fourth quarter (23) than they had in the first three combined (18). Down 32-18 going into the quarter, Surry rallied for a 41-38 victory.
Back in the fold for this season are veterans Krissa Hill, the long-time point guard for the team; shooting guard Jill Boyd, forward Trinity Thompson, Amelia Cox and Kayleigh Cooper.
“I like the way these kids are playing,” said Hill. “I think everyone on the team is capable of scoring in double figures on a given night. Sometimes teams throw a box-and-one or triangle-and-two defense on us, but we’re getting good at handling that. I told them I don’t care who is scoring, as long as we’re lighting up the scoreboard.”
Included in the winning streak are two wins over Millennium (61-49 and 63-35), Triad Baptist Christian (52-39), Noble Academy (76-8) and the Cabarrus Stallions last Friday, a 66-40 win in the team’s conference opener. Against Cabarrus, Surry busted the game open with a 25-point second quarter and cruised to the win.
The Lady Patriots face some challenging games before the Christmas holiday, starting with tonight’s home game with Asheville. This game will be played at the St. Paul School in Cana. Most Surry home games are played at the Armfield Center, but the Patriots and Lady Patriots occasionally play at other venues in the area.
Surry hosts Guilford and travels to Millers Creek next week, and then travels to Forsyth and High Point in the week before Christmas. Following the holiday, the Lady Patriots are hosting a Christmas tournament on Dec. 27 and 28. The regular season continues until Feb. 12, 2018, when the team rematches with Sheets. The regional tournament for the N.C. Home Educators Athletic Conference will be held Feb. 16-17, with the state tournament following the next weekend. If Surry qualifies for national competition by winning the state title, that will be in March.
Reach John via Twitter at @johncate73.