South Stokes’ varsity teams started the basketball season off right with wins at Atkins High School on Monday night.
South Stokes’ girls varsity team had a close game against Atkins in the first half. But, they settled down in the second half and jumped ahead. The final score of the game was 41-33. Lady Sauras’ Head Coach Mitch Adams said it was a nice start to the season.
“Anytime you can start the season with a win, it’s a good thing,” he said.
South Stokes’ varsity boys team came out with intensity and grabbed the lead early in the game. By halftime, the Sauras led 24-14. Throughout the night, the Sauras’ continued to post up points. The final score of the game was 55-17.
Sauras Head Coach Jason Clark said that the win was a good way to start the season, but he said it’s just one game and no reason to celebrate.
“We won the game handily, but I know we can play better than that,” he said.
On Monday night, Atkins jumped ahead of South Stokes in the first quarter with a 7-6 lead. But the Lady Sauras fought to keep the game close.
In the second quarter, the Lady Sauras began to even the score against the Camels. Saura Hannah Wood shot a 3-pointer from downtown. Wood grabbed a couple of free throws that helped to tie the game up 15-15 with 2:27 to go.
With just two minutes to go in the second, Kelli Mounce posted up back-to-back 3-pointers — one with just 30 seconds left in the quarter. The Lady Sauras headed into halftime leading 21-16.
The Sauras maintained their lead in the third quarter. Early in the third, the Camels drew closer, but they could not jump ahead. South Stokes’ Maddison Clary sank a 3-pointer in the basket, which brought the score to 29-22 with just a minute to go. Mounce finished out the quarter with a drive down the lane for a layup.
In the fourth quarter, the Sauras came out with intensity. They jumped ahead by about 10 points in a series of big plays and free throws. Wood sank another 3-pointer with about five minutes left in the game. The Sauras grabbed some more free throws and kept their lead.The final score of the game was 41-33.
Coach Adams said that this win was a good way to start the season. “Winning brings success,” he said. “This was a good test for us.”
Adams said that the Lady Sauras handled the “pressure” in the second half well and maintained their lead. The girls know they “need to play good fundamental basketball” the entire game, he said.
The Lady Sauras played well, but Adams said there is room for improvement. “We really need to cut down on turnovers,” he said. The Sauras had about 25 turnovers in the game.
Both South Stokes and Atkins started the boys game strong on Monday night. There was a lot of back and forth down the court for the first few minutes of the game. Early on, it looked like the two teams were evenly matched. With two minutes to go in the first quarter, the Sauras were tied with the Camels 4-4.
But, in the final minutes of the first quarter, the Sauras began to gain some momentum. South Stokes’ Devin Feimster nailed a 3-pointer, which helped the Sauras push ahead. Austin Price followed up with a quick drive down court for an extra two points, which brought the score to 9-4.
The camels came out in the second quarter hoping to regain their composure. Atkins sank a couple of free throws, which brought the score to 9-6. But the Sauras used their speed on the court to steal and rebound the ball to post up more points.
Saura Grant Joyce grabbed two clean shots, which brought the score to 13-6. After some quick passes, Price got his hands on the ball and grabbed another two points. In the final moments of the quarter, the Sauras’ J.J. Davis had a quick drive down court for a layup.
The Camels had some free throws at the end of the second quarter, but they could not sink their shots. The Sauras led 24-14 at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Sauras broadened their lead and kept the Camels from scoring big. The Camels managed to get two points in the third. Additionally, the Camels continued to miss their free throw shots. By the end of the third, the Sauras had a 23-point lead over the Camels.
The Sauras continued to limit the Camels’ scoring in the fourth. South Stokes grabbed rebounds from Atkins and put shots in the basket. The Sauras had plenty of fouls called against them that could have added up to some easy points for the Camels, but the Camels kept missing the mark. The Sauras came away with a 55-17 win.
Sauras Head Coach Jason Clark said that he was happy with the win, but he thought the team could execute a lot better than what he saw on the court Monday night. “We’ve got to do better,” he said. “We’ve really got to push the ball.”
Clark said that the Sauras have speed, but they will have to harness that power in coming games to be successful this season.
“This is a great way to start the season,” he said. But, it is no cause to “celebrate” just yet. “It’s just one game.”