North Stokes welcomed Millennium Charter School, a new high school in Mount Airy who is in their second year of playing basketball, to Danbury on Wednesday evening in a non-conference matchup. The Vikings showed no mercy in pressing the Lions to an 82-24 victory in their last home game in December.
“I thought we played well and kept a high energy level throughout the game,” said Viking coach David Anderson. “Our kids have been playing really well together and encouraging others even when they’re not on the floor.”
The Vikings started with Zach Chesnet draining a three-pointer from the right wing. His brother, freshman Ben Chesnet, followed with a layup to take an early 5-0 lead. North pressured the visitors in full court traps, causing the Lions to turn the ball over several times throughout the period. After the first quarter of play, the home team held a 26-9 advantage behind the young Chesnet’s eight points.
“Ben has really given us a lift coming off the bench offensively,” Anderson said. “He crashed the offensive glass and finished around the rim tonight.”
North Stokes ran away with the game in the second period outscoring the Lions 20-6 in the quarter and held a 41-12 halftime edge.
Coming into the second half, the Vikings needed less than three minutes to extend their lead over the Millennium school by 40 points on two free throws by Ethan Bullins. North held their biggest advantage of the game, which happened to be the final score, at 82-23 when freshman Curtis Sands scored his first two points of his high school career on a layup with 1:14 left in the contest.
“I can’t say enough about how happy I am that we are sharing the ball so well,” Anderson said. “We’re getting up and down the floor at a fast pace. Zach (Chesnet) continues to play well offensively and defensively, while guarding the opponent’s best guard. He leads our team in points and assists and gets everyone involved in the game.”
Ben Chesnet led the Vikings with 17 points and three rebounds, while Zach added 15 and seven assists. Senior Layton Helms contributed nine and Austin Pruitt and freshman Christian Shemo had seven each.
The Vikings improved to 5-0 after the win and will have a two week layover between games after their contest against Patrick County was canceled Friday due to the snow storm the county received. Their next game is on Tuesday, December 19 against East Wilkes. This will be the start of a nine game stretch on the road because of air conditioning being installed in the gym at North Stokes.
“We’re going to prepare one game at a time and concentrate on us getting better during the layoff,” said Anderson. “It’s out of our control and we’ll find out what we are made of when we have to go on the road for that many games. We have to be mentally tough throughout the stretch in order to give ourselves a chance.”
Lady Vikings get blowout win
Senior Karley Jessup led the Lady Vikings with 22 points and her team beat the Millennium Charter School in a landslide victory 61-23 on Wednesday.
“The girls came out of the gate really focused and worked hard on defense,” said Viking coach Scott Smith. “We continued to make the extra pass on offensive and pressured them on the defensive end, allowing us to score some easy baskets against them.”
With the score tied at two early on, Jessup ignited the Vikings on an 18-1 run behind her 12 first quarter points to lead 21-5 entering the second period. North applied full court pressure and forced the Lions into a turnover fest. The home team capitalized and extended their advantage to 39-9 at the break.
North Stokes continued to rotate players in and out keeping their team fresh against the visitors. Their lead grew to 40 points when Leann Sessoms made two free throws with 3.4 seconds left in the third. The Lady Vikings continued the momentum in the fourth quarter.
“I thought several players on the team contributed well tonight, but none better than Sarah (McBride),” Smith said. “She continues to do whatever we need on either side of the ball. If we need a defensive stop, a rebound, or someone to score, we can ask that of her. She is a workhorse.”
Jessup led the way with 22 points and five steals and McBride added eight points and three rebounds. Sessoms and Cassie Flinchum finished with six points each, while Sessoms ripped down seven rebounds.
North Stokes improves to 2-3 on the year and will play their next game Tuesday, December 19 at East Wilkes (3-0).
“I’m sure we’ll come up with some things to work on during the long layover,” Smith said. “We’ll make practice like game situations as much as possible. The team will continue to work on shooting and doing the little things to be successful at reaching our goals set for this season.”
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.