North Stokes basketball team hosted East Wilkes on Monday night and won 68-48 to extend their four-game win streak this season. The last time the Vikings began with a similar record, in 2005-06, they finished 24-2 and made it to the state 1A title game.
“It’s been fun so far,” said Viking coach David Anderson. “We came out flat tonight after probably playing one of the best games I’ve ever been a part of against Patrick County on Friday. We broke a school record with 15 three-pointers and tonight we struggled to make half of that.”
After both teams were tied on three different occasions in the first period, the Vikings took the lead when Zack Chesnet made a free throw to put the home team up 9-8 with 5:11 on the clock. North took an 18-11 advantage on four consecutive free throws and then finished the quarter with a 21-15 edge.
The home team opened the second period on a 12-4 run and led 33-19 after Joshua McQuinn slammed his first two-points of the game on a massive fast break dunk. The Vikings and Cardinals traded baskets throughout the rest of the quarter and Vikings led 37-26 at the break.
After coming out of the locker room North’s shooting went cold. The Cardinals managed to cut the lead to eight points on two different occasions before Anderson rallied his team and called a timeout. Minutes later, after resetting their offense North crept ahead 53-41 at the close of the quarter.
“We need to take better care of the ball down the stretch,” Anderson said. “We got sloppy on offense and took some quick shots, but the defense really stepped up tonight. I’m just tickled to get out of this game with a win.”
Austin Pruitt led his team with 17 points, Chesnet finished with 16 and Smith and McQuinn chipped in 10.
“The kids worked hard and competed. It’s fun to win on a night where maybe you weren’t playing your best,” Anderson added.
North Stokes (4-0) will host the Millennium Charter Academy on Tuesday and then travel to Patrick County on Friday for their first road game of the year.
Lady Vikings fall to Cardinals
North Stokes Lady Vikings hosted East Wilkes on Monday and lost 67-27 on some streaky outside shooting by the visitors.
“East Wilkes is a solid team with good basketball fundamentals,” said Viking coach Scott Smith. “We have to work on things that will make us better. Our motto this year is to be all in and give everything we have and not let any circumstances define who we are.”
The Cardinals opened the game with quick three-pointers and a bucket to take an 11-0 lead at the 5:42 mark of the first quarter. North Stokes Karley Jessup tried to keep her team close by scoring the first seven points of the contest, but it wasn’t enough and the Cardinals closed out the period 24-10.
East Wilkes continued their hot shooting in the second quarter and ran away with a 39-13 lead by halftime.
“We need to continue to work on our fundamentals,” Smith said. “Our ball fakes, bounce passes, jump stop, and we need to simply control the tempo of the game.”
Jessup led the Vikings with 14 points, while Natalie Dodson and Kaitlyn Johnson added four points each.
North Stokes falls to 1-3 and will host the Millennium Charter School on Tuesday and then travel to Patrick County on Friday.
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.