KING — A rare Saturday evening of high school basketball brought a split decision for East Surry in the first contests of the New Year.
The Lady Cardinals opened things up at West Stokes with an easy 48-32 victory over the hosts, but the boys dropped their game 43-41 to the Wildcats on a basket with just 2.6 seconds remaining.
The Easy Surry girls (8-6) took an early lead and led 21-14 at halftime, gradually pulling away in the second half of what became a free-throw shooting contest for the Lady Cardinals, who attempted 14 foul shots after intermission. More decisive, however, may have been three second-half 3-pointers from senior guard Serena Pickens, accounting for all of her nine points.
Sydney Marion led the team with 10 points. Bryce Smith and Maddi Pennington added eight each, Karley Jessup six, Cheyenne Fresch five and Madison Bowman two.
The boys game was more cleanly played and more competitive. The teams matched each other point for point in a defense-oriented first half that ended tied at 18. West Stokes (8-6) nudged ahead by three going into the fourth quarter, but the game was tied at 41 when the Wildcats scored with too little time for a successful response by the Cardinals.
Shooting proved to make a big difference in the outcome, namely the outside shooting of West Stokes and the free-throw marksmanship of East Surry. The Wildcats hit six threes in their win, including three in the second quarter that accounted for all of their points in that period. Meanwhile, the Cardinals (8-5) damaged their chances badly by going just 4-for-9 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter.
Shawn Creed led the team with 13 points. Kim Taylor added 12, Tyler Smith nine, Trace Simmons three, and John Marion and Adam Burke two each.
East Surry returns to Northwest 1-A Conference play on Tuesday night, hosting Bishop McGuinness.