Several local basketball teams had a tough start in the conference tournament, which began with play-in games last weekend and put an end to some of their seasons.
Both of North Stokes’ varsity teams were ousted in the first round of the tournament and they will not be heading to the state playoffs in March.
The Lady Vikings lost their game against the Sauras on Saturday 54-46, which put an end to their season. Despite not winning a conference game this season, Lady Wildcats Coach Mitch Reeves said his team worked hard and “stuck together.”
Saturday also spelled the end for the Viking boys, as well.
The team took a 68-50 loss on the road at Surry Central. After playing a tough game the night before at South Stokes, Vikings Coach David Anderson said his team was just “exhausted.”
The Vikings’ position was further hurt by the loss of two starters — Dustin Smith and Jonah Slate — who were out for “disciplinary reasons,” Coach Anderson said.
Anderson said the Vikings started off strong with a 16-4 lead, but the Eagles started to make a comeback. Going into the fourth quarter, the Vikings were down by about 10 points, but the team did not have enough steam left to pull ahead, Anderson said.
South Stokes’ varsity teams suffered a tough first round of the tournament. The Lady Sauras lost to North Surry’s Greyhounds 42-23.
Lady Sauras Coach Mitch Adams said that the team kept it close throughout most of the game, but that North Surry pulled away in the end.
“They are a very big and talented team,” Adams said. “We had trouble putting the ball in the basket.”
Adams said this loss will keep the team “battle-tested” for the upcoming state playoffs in March.
“We play in a very tough and talented conference,” he said.
The Saura boys lost to East Surry’s Cards 72-62. Coach Jason Clark said his team did not play like they wanted to win. After securing a third place ranking in the conference to end the season, he felt the team may have “relaxed” a little.
“We didn’t come out with much energy,” he said. “We just weren’t ready.”
The Sauras played “even” in the first half of the game, Clark said. The team was only down by one point at halftime. But, a lack of good defense hurt the Sauras in the second half.
Despite the loss, Clark said that the team still has a high enough ranking that they will head into the state playoffs.
On Monday night, the Lady Wildcats came up short against Bishop McGuinness’ Villains 61-40.
“We had a great game plan against them,” Lady Wildcats Coach James Holleman said. “We didn’t play nearly as well as I thought we would.”
After a tie of 10-10 at the end of the first quarter, the Villains went on to outscore the Lady Wildcats 19-6 in the second quarter. At halftime, the Villains were up 29-16.
The Villains posted up another 22 points in the third quarter, while they held the Lady Wildcats to nine points.
In the final quarter, the Lady Wildcats outscored the Villains 15-10, but they could not overcome the team’s big lead that was built in the previous three quarters.
The loss against Bishop most likely means the end of the road for West Stokes’ varsity girls team, but Holleman said he won’t know for sure until Saturday.
“There is an outside chance that we will get a spot,” he said. “I’d cherish that playoff spot.”