EAST BEND — It’s been “pick your poison” week for the Surry Central girls, and neither choice was a good one.
Three days after losing to the state’s top-ranked 1A team, the Lady Eagles had to play the state’s sixth-ranked 2A team, both on the road. The trip to Forbush didn’t prove any more fruitful for Central than the one to Mount Airy did, as the Falcons won 81-72 to improve to 17-2 on the season.
Forbush was able to generate consistent offense throughout the game, building a 20-point lead by the end of the third quarter and then cruising during a fourth quarter in which the teams essentially traded baskets. The Falcons are now 9-0 in conference play and closing in on breaking North Surry’s run of seven consecutive Western Piedmont Athletic Conference titles.
Central had hoped to stay in the game with the Falcons with their strong 1-9 depth and ability to bring in several bodies to handle Forbush forward Parkley Hennings in the middle, but the Lady Eagles were done in by poor shooting. The team shot just 22-70 from the field (31 percent) and made an anemic nine of 21 free-throw opportunities. Central did have 37 rebounds as a team, led by Taylor Cochran with 11, and had 17 assists on 22 made baskets, with five each from Cochran and Joley Cabe, but the inability to shoot well meant that Forbush was able to pull away.
The Falcons led 18-11 at the end of the first quarter and 39-28 at the half. Coming out of the break, Forbush kept attacking and put another 23 points on the board. The Falcons pushed the lead to as many as 28 points late in the game.
Cochran had 14 points and Savanah Atkins 11 for Central.
Forbush 77, Surry Central 74
In the boys’ game, Forbush held Central to just a single free throw for more than a minute and a half in the stretch run, turning a 71-70 lead into a 77-71 edge before the Eagles managed to score again in the final seconds.
The Eagles had beaten Forbush easily when the teams met earlier this season in Dobson, but the Falcons were much stronger on their own floor and led 39-33 at halftime. Central had a strong third quarter and went into the final eight minutes ahead 54-52, and the game wasn’t decided until the final two minutes.
Brandon Norman led the Eagles with 19 points, six assists and five rebounds. Nolan McMillen scored 13, while Martin Palacios and Ryan Martin each scored nine.
Central will travel to North Surry on Friday night.