South and West Stokes’ boys teams found success on the court Monday night in their first round basketball playoff games, both advancing with large-margin wins.
South Stokes grabbed the lead early in its first round playoff game against Bishop McGuinness and carried it to a 68-44 win on Monday night at South Stokes High School.
“They played well together,” Sauras Coach Jason Clark said. “I’m proud of everyone.”
The leading scorers for the Sauras were Grant Joyce (16 pts.), Devin Feimster (10 pts.) and Brandon Smith (9 pts.).
The game was tied up 6-6 five minutes into the first quarter on Monday night. With about three minutes left in the first, Feimster took to the free-throw line and sank a shot to put the Sauras ahead by one.
Smith rebounded the ball near the end of the quarter and made a long pass down court to Mitchell Edwards, who drove in for a layup. The Sauras were up by three by the end of the first.
At the beginning of the second, El-J Scales grabbed the ball and made a quick pass to Joyce, who was waiting under the basket. Edwards later followed up by floating one into the basket to put the Sauras up 13-8.
Bishop broke lose and sank a 3-pointer with about two minutes left in the second.
But, South Stokes’ Smith followed up with a trey about a minute before halftime. Saura Austin Price had a fast-break layup to round out the quarter 28-13.
When the Sauras came back to the court after halftime, they were up by 15 points.
Coach Clark said that grabbing the lead early and holding it was crucial to the Sauras’ success.
“It’s good when you can play with the lead,” he said.
Feimster swished a 3-pointer to kick off the third quarter. Scales followed up with a three moments later, which put the Sauras up 34-13.
Bishop had a series of threes midway through the quarter, but South Stokes continued to attack the basket and did not miss a free throw in the second half of the game.
By the final quarter, the Sauras were in command of a 23-point lead. Colby Page and James Smith came off the bench late in the game to relieve tired players. Both came out and shot big threes to round out the game.
Coach Clark said that the Sauras handled the ball well and were not selfish.
“You get 68 points by sharing the ball,” Clark said.
Clark said that his team will enjoy the win, but they need to come out with the same “fire” and intensity in each game.
The West Stokes varsity boys team went up against Forest Hills in the first round of state playoffs at West Stokes High School on Monday night. The Wildcats grabbed the lead early on and carried it to an 87-44 victory.
The Wildcats opened the game by scoring more than 20 points in the first quarter. By halftime, the team was up 35-20.
In the third quarter, the Wildcats were already up by a margin of 15 points. Then, the team went on to score another 30 points in the third.
The Wildcats sailed to an 87-44 win in the final quarter and secured the right to move on to the second round of state playoffs.
“We played very well,” Wildcats Coach Dan Spainhour said. “I really like the way we came out with focus and purpose.”
Spainhour said he was glad that his team did not allow the loss against Winston-Salem Prep at the end of the conference tourney trip them up.
“I thought we did a good job of not having any carry over from Friday night,” Spainhour said.
Spainhour said that the approach the team is bringing into the state playoffs will be the same as it has been all year.
“We have to execute at this time of the year, especially on the defensive end,” Spainhour said.
The Lady Sauras’ road came to an end on Monday night in the first round. South Stokes lost to South Davidson 60-43. Going up against the second seed in the Yadkin Valley Conference, the Lady Sauras (15th seed) had their work cut out for them.
South Davidson came out with two strong quarters of 18 points and 15 points, to put the team ahead by a margin of 14 points.
The Lady Sauras kept the scoring closer in the final two quarters, but it wasn’t enough to grab back the lead in the second half.
“We didn’t do a good job handling their pressure,” Lady Sauras Coach Mitch Adams said. “We got behind early and put ourselves in a big hole. We just weren’t able to get back in the game.”
The top scorers for the Lady Sauras were Hannah Wood (15 pts.) and Kelli Mounce (13 pts.).
The Lady Sauras end their season with a record of 14-13.
“I’m very proud of our team and what we accomplished this year,” Adams said.
Adams thanked his seniors for the skills and leadership they brought to the team for the past three years.
“Hannah Wood, Shay Hampton and Taylor Jones will be missed,” he said.