North Stokes’ varsity boys team went up against Atkins in a home game on Friday night. In the last game before conference play, the Vikings brought the Camels to their knees 51-38.
Head Coach David Anderson said he was happy with the team’s effort but that the team is going to have to get better quickly in order to make it far in the tough Northwest 1A/2A conference this season.
The top scorers for the evening were Matt Hopkins (24 points), Dustin Smith (8 points) and Jonah Slate (6 points).
The Lady Vikings had a tough time Friday night. They came out strong and took the lead in the first quarter, but after some careless turnovers, the Camels took back the lead before the end of the first and kept it the rest of the night.
The Lady Vikings struggled to make a comeback, but came up short against the Camels’ height and defense on the court.
Head Coach Mitch Reeves said he was disappointed with the loss. He said he had trouble getting five players to play “consistently” all night. Reeves said the team is going to have to get a lot better before conference play starts next week.
North Stokes grabbed the first score of the game against Atkins last Friday night when Heather Nall dropped one in the basket at the 6:46 marker. Minutes later, Nall struck again, which brought the score to 4-0.
Early in the first quarter, the Lady Vikings led 6-0, but after a series of turnovers, Atkins tied the game up 6-6. The Lady Vikings and the Camels kept it close for the rest of the first quarter. At the end of the first, the Vikings trailed 11-10.
At the beginning of the second quarter, Atkins fought to keep the lead. With five minutes to go in the second, Atkins had already grabbed a 15-13 lead over North Stokes. Viking Summer Harris tied the game up 15-15 and offered up a hopeful sign of a Viking comeback.
But, the Camels grabbed back the lead and ended the quarter on top 23-17.
The Lady Vikings trailed at the beginning of the third quarter and struggled to overcome the Camels’ height and speed on the court. Then the Camels began to turn up the pressure in the third and widened their lead even more. By the end of the third, the Camels were sitting comfy with a 40-25 lead.
By the fourth quarter, it seemed that the Lady Vikings’ fate was sealed. Atkins showed their defensive prowess and continued to keep North Stokes off the scoreboard. With their quick passes and momentum on their side, the Camels ended the game with a 56-34 win over the Lady Vikings.
Reeves said that the Lady Vikings took the lead early in the game, but lost it because of “lazy” passing and turnovers.
“I’m still looking for positives in this game,” he said. “We didn’t do anything in this game that will help us. I’m disappointed.”
North Stokes’ boys varsity team had better luck against Atkins. The Vikings came out of the gate with the kind of speed and intensity that wins games. Still, the Camels proved that they were no easy match on the court.
Atkins had a 8-6 lead over North Stokes with about two minutes to go in the first. But, with about a minute left Matt Hopkins put one in the basket and tied the game up 8-8. With only a few seconds left in the first, Hopkins blistered his way down the court and made a layup, grabbing back the lead for the Vikings.
The Camels took back the lead early in the second quarter, but it didn’t last long. North Stokes racked up some shots near the end of the second that brought them ahead 19-16.
The Vikings began to really take control of the ball in the third quarter. Jonah Slate put one in the basket to kick off the third quarter. Garrett Wood had a floating layup moments later, which brought the score to 23-16. The Vikings were gaining steam. Hopkins followed up by grabbing a couple of free throws for the team.
Again and again the Vikings barreled down the court to put the ball in the basket. The Vikings defense also worked hard to keep the Camels off the scoreboard. The Camels only managed to eke out a few points in the quarter. The Vikings ended the third on a high note when Hopkins dropped a 3-pointer in the basket, which brought the score to 36-21.
In the fourth quarter, the Camels struggled to regain their footing on the court. The Vikings continued to grab rebounds and take them down the lane to rack up points. The final score for the evening was 51-38, Vikings win.
Anderson said that last Friday night’s win was the last “tune-up” before conference play starts. “Hopefully we learned something,” he said.
“I was proud of their effort tonight,” he said. “We played four quarters of basketball.”