MOORESVILLE — There’s a reason why teams from the Northwest 1A Conference have won the last dozen state championships in 1A girls’ basketball.
While East Surry hasn’t claimed any of those titles, it’s made plenty of noise in the postseason over the years. It made a little more on Tuesday night, when the 19th-seeded Lady Cardinals traveled down to Pine Lake Prep for their playoff opener, and positively clobbered the 14th-seeded Pride, 49-19.
East Surry, now 14-12 on the season, was never seriously challenged by Pine Lake, who were the runners-up in the PAC-7 1A Conference and came in with an overall record of 18-8. The Pride had not played an especially challenging schedule this season, and the Lady Cardinals quickly proved to be the greatly superior team. East Surry, which played the fifth-toughest schedule among teams in the MaxPreps top 20, gradually built a large lead and cruised into a second-round contest.
The two NW1A teams that played in the opening round of the playoffs both won by 30 points on Tuesday night. Bishop McGuinness, the 11th seed, hammered Community School of Davidson 71-41.
The Lady Cardinals could have won this game even if no one except senior Bethany Clayton had taken a shot. Clayton outscored the Pride all by herself, earning her 20th double-double of the season with 23 points and 13 rebounds. She also found time to dis out two assists, make two steals and block three Pine Lake shots.
Freshman Dasia Lambert was next with 10 points, while Madison Bowman added eight. Sophomore Sarah Mann got in on the fun at the defensive end with four blocked shots, while Morgan Smith, Sheridan Kraft and Lambert all grabbed five rebounds.
The Lady Cardinals will hit the road tonight to face Murphy (24-2), the champions of the Smoky Mountain Conference and the state’s third-ranked 1A team.
East Lincoln 83, North Surry 60
It was a victory of sorts for North Surry’s boys’ basketball team to overcome a poor start to their season and earn a berth in the 2A state playoffs, coming off a season where the Greyhounds lost nine seniors and were basically starting over.
North won its final two conference games in order to finish fourth in the Western Piedmont Athletic Conference and slip into this year’s field as the 30th seed, but the Hounds’ season came to an end against South Fork Conference champion East Lincoln and senior guard Coleson Leach, 83-60, on Tuesday night.
The Mustangs (23-5) led for most of the night against the Hounds, with Leach leading the way with 27 points and five assists.
North Surry ends its season with a 9-17 record. It was the final game for seniors Evan Marion, Ryan Ward and Cameron Smith.