Both Saura varsity teams scored wins against the Vikings on Jan. 15 at North Stokes High School.
The Lady Sauras came out and grabbed the lead early in the game. By halftime, the team was up 26-18. Then the varsity girls battled to a 57-44 win for the evening.
Top scorers for the Lady Sauras were Hannah Wood (18 pts.) and Michala Purdue (14 pts.). Wood also scored her 1,000th point in the game.
The Saura boys came out strong in the first two quarters and sailed to a 27-20 lead over the Vikings. In the third quarter, the Sauras stayed ahead by 11 points.
In the fourth quarter, the Vikings fought hard to shrink the Sauras’ lead. With some big plays by Matt Hopkins and Jackson Moorefield, the Vikings came within striking distance of the Sauras. But it wasn’t enough to jump ahead. The Sauras grabbed a 57-52 win for the evening.
“Honestly, I don’t like close games,” Saura Coach Jason Clark said. “But, a win is a win.”
Saura Brandon Smith was the top scorer in the game. He had a double-double in the game, with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Smith was followed by Devin Feimster with nine points.
Sauras Grant Joyce and Smith had some impressive fast-break layups to help bring the team ahead 12-6 in the first quarter.
South Stokes’ Jacquan Martin opened up the second quarter posting up two points, which brought the score to 14-6.
Vikings Matt Hopkins and Justin Gravely each hit a 3-pointer in the opening minutes of the second quarter. After Hopkins sank his free throws, the game was tied up 14-14.
Bradley struck again with a three and the Vikings grabbed the lead for the first and last time for the night.
Saura Smith quickly grabbed back the lead with a floater. Smith struck again with another layup seconds later, which brought the score to 21-17.
The Sauras rounded out the second quarter with a seven point lead.
At halftime, Coach Clark told the Sauras that they needed to increase their focus. He said that he had seen too many turnovers and missed shots in the first half of the game.
“You’ve got 16 minutes to give me all you got,” he said in the locker room.
In the third quarter, the Sauras pushed their lead to 42-31.
By the final quarter, the Sauras were up by 11 points. Vikings Hopkins and Moorefield fought to even the score against the Sauras. Each had late game threes that shrank the team’s deficit, but there was not enough time on the clock to make a difference.
The Sauras came away with a 57-52 win for the evening.
Coach Clark said that his team “relaxed” a bit in the fourth quarter, which allowed the Vikings to almost make a comeback. The final score of the game was a little closer than he would have liked.
“We’ve got to clamp down,” he said. “We can’t get comfortable.”
Both teams kept it close in the first quarter. The Lady Sauras had only a one point advantage at the end of the first quarter (14-13).
Lady Saura Kelli Mounce sank her free throws at the beginning of the second quarter. After a 3-pointer by Wood, the Sauras were up 18-13.
Lady Viking Heather Nall made a jumpshot, which shortened the team’s deficit to three points. She also made a 3-pointer to close out the second quarter, but the Vikings still lagged 26-18.
At the beginning of the third quarter, the Sauras were up by eight points. Wood and Purdue continued to play strong and helped push their lead to 12 points by the end of the quarter.
Lady Viking Hannah McBride pushed in for layup to start the final quarter, which brought the score to 38-28. Summer Harris, Rebbecca Gunter and Nall all had some late game treys, but it was not enough to bring the team ahead for the evening.
South Stokes grabbed a 57-44 win on the road at North Stokes.
The Lady Sauras went 3-1 in their past four games — a sign that the Sauras may be gaining momentum.
“We’re playing a lot better now,” Lady Sauras Coach Mitch Adams said. “We’re going in the right direction.”