WINSTON-SALEM — It was another team from Surry County doing battle with a powerhouse from the big city.
Last week, Mount Airy High School did battle with West Forsyth, then the state’s top-ranked team according to MaxPreps, and took the Titans to double overtime before coming up short.
Surry Homeschool’s Lady Patriots had their turn on Tuesday night, and it turned out much the same way, as Surry battled the undefeated Forsyth Home Educators Hawks four four quarters before falling 64-55.
Forsyth, now 15-0 on the season, was held to a single-digit margin of victory for only the second time this season by the Lady Patriots, who might have pulled off the upset if they had been able to do anything to slow down 5’6” junior guard Lauren Bevis, who entered the game averaging 30.8 points per game and torched Surry for another 39.
Bevis was reportedly being checked out by college scouts during the game, and Lady Patriots head coach Todd Hill felt like his team made a mistake in letting the Hawks’ star get into a rhythm early on.
“She shoots the ball really well, and we let her get two really good looks early,” said Hill. “After that, we dogged her, but she kept on scoring. I just told my girls ‘when she does that, shake her hand, (because) she did a good job.’”
Surry actually did better than most teams have done against Bevis recently. She topped 40 points in three of her last four games, and was “held” to 25 in the other one only because Forsyth won by 53 points.
On Tuesday night, with Surry (7-4) playing in the Hawks’ gym, the Lady Patriots hung tough but fell behind early on, due to foul trouble, and Forsyth led 36-24 at the half. Surry fought to get back into the game and closed to within seven in the third quarter, only to see Bevis keep making shots and keep the Lady Patriots at bay.
Ultimately, the hosts were able to ride out their first-half advantage on the scoreboard and win the game, but it turned out to be one of only a very few games in which any opponent has given the Hawks a competitive game.
Based on its MaxPreps power rating, if Forsyth Home Educators was an NCHSAA 1A school, it would currently be ranked No. 2 in the state, behind Riverside-Martin.
Jill Boyd led the Lady Patriots with 17 points. Krissa Hill, Trinity Thompson, Kayleigh Cooper and Karlie Effler all scored eight, and Katie Effler added six. Thompson contributed 11 rebounds and six steals, while Boyd had seven assists and Hill five. Boyd was within shouting distance of a triple-double, with nine rebounds and seven assists.
Earlier in the week, Surry was playing a conference game with Guilford and was well on its way to victory when the roof in the gym leaked and forced the game to be suspended. The Lady Patriots were ahead by 16 points with 2:33 left in the third quarter of the game, which will be resumed when Surry meets Guilford again in January.
The Lady Patriots travel to High Point Home Educators tonight for their last game before Christmas, and then resume play on Thursday night in the Triad Baptist Christmas Tournament in High Point on Dec. 28-29.
Reach John via Twitter at @johncate73.