WINSTON-SALEM — For a fleeting moment, it seemed like North Surry might have found some answers in its second meeting of the season against new conference rival Walkertown.
This year’s Pepsi Bracket of the Frank Spencer Holiday Classic was filled with teams from the Western Piedmont 2A, and the Greyhounds found themselves pitted against a league opponent on all three nights of the event. Thursday’s assignment was the Wolfpack, a team North had lost to before Christmas, in the fifth-place game of the tournament.
Unfortunately, the Hounds’ bid for revenge didn’t work out. North Surry actually took a 12-11 lead early in the second quarter of what had been a low-scoring affair, surging in front on back-to-back 3-pointers by senior Ryan Ward. However, the Hounds had no answer for the hot-shooting Wolfpack for the rest of the night, and Walkertown gradually pulled away for a 69-44 victory.
The Wolfpack (7-5), who joined the WPAC this season after several years as a member of the Northwest 1A, shot 53 percent from the field (28-53), including five 3-pointers from sophomore point guard Jalen Cone, and maintained a furious scoring pace after halftime which North Surry (3-10) had no answer for.
Walkertown scored 12 seconds into the contest and led throughout, except for during Ward’s flurry early in the second quarter. He dialed long distance off the right wing 24 seconds into the period and then hit again from the top of the key after 72 seconds. This capped off an 8-0 North Surry run and put the Hounds on top 12-11. They led by that score for more than two minutes before Walkertown’s Antoine Lowery scored to put his team back on top. North failed to tally for more than five and a half minutes before North’s Carson Draughn sank two free throws with 1:10 left in the first half to stop an 11-0 run. Draughn made two more right before the break and the Hounds trailed just 22-16 as the half ended.
Neither team scored for almost two minutes as the second half got under way. It was the Wolfpack that finally broke the ice, getting a basket from Lowery and two free throws from Cone to go up by double-digits once more. North tried to make another run at getting back in the game, on a runner by Badgett and a free throw after Walkertown was whistled for a technical foul, but it wasn’t enough. Cone hit another three and the Wolfpack pulled away for good, leading 42-29 at the end of the third quarter. It was 49-36 with six minutes left in the game when Walkertown went on a 16-3 run that blew the game wide open.
Cone led all scorers with 33 points. Anthony Westbury added 15 for the Wolfpack and Lowery had a dozen. For North Surry, Badgett and Draughn had 13 points each and Ward added 11.
The Greyhounds will regroup over the New Year holiday and return to action on Jan. 3 at Surry Central.