Starmount and South Stokes didn’t disappoint a crowed gym on Tuesday, Dec. 4 when they tipped off an early season top ten matchup in basketball. Senior Ben Bowen tallied 30 points, 19 rebounds, and five block shots for the Sauras 66-64 double-overtime nonconference win over the Rams.
“Ben made some big plays for us tonight, especially on the offensive boards,” said Saura coach Jason Clark. “They doubled down on him a lot, but he was able to make play-after-play. There was none bigger than the offensive rebound he had in the first overtime. He was able to save it to Tyliq (Hairston) and then he hit the game tying three to send it to another overtime.”
The Sauras looked to take control early in the game when they dashed to a 6-2 lead on four made free throws and an offensive put back by Bowen. The senior scored nine points in the quarter and led the Sauras to a 16-15 lead after the first eight minutes played.
Both teams battled back and forth in the second period. The Rams took their first lead of the game with 3:16 showing on the clock on a bucket by Travis Bridges. Bowen helped South regain their advantage before the half on a free throw and a jump shot. The Sauras led 29-25 at the break.
“They are long and have a lot of length and guarded our three-point shooters well,” said Clark. “They were playing with four guards and that forced me to change my lineup a little. This was a good learning game for us.”
South came out of the locker room and took their largest lead of the game at 36-29 on another offensive rebound by Bowen with 5:17 left in the period. The Sauras kept the Rams at bay when Bowen hit another shot with 12 seconds left in the quarter giving the home team a 42-35 lead. Starmount’s star guard, Trey Dezern, raced down the court and nailed his third three-pointer of the period as the clock expired.
The Sauras looked to blow the game open in the fourth quarter when they took their largest lead of the contest at 49-41 with 6:17 left. A three-pointer and a timeout by the visitors sparked a 9-2 run which included a technical foul on the home team that cut the lead to 51-50 with 4:38 showing on the clock. With South Stokes leading 55-53, the Ram’s Charlie Smythers made a layup with no time showing to send the game to its first overtime.
There was very little scoring in the first overtime and it ended knotted 58-58. The Sauras jumped out to a two-point lead in the second extra period behind Bowen and never trailed with Hairston going 6-for-6 from the charity stripe down the stretch to close out the game.
“Tyliq made things happen for us in the overtime periods,” Clark stated. “He drove the lane and forced them to put him on the free throw line. I’m happy for the win and glad to be where we are right now. They were a huge challenge for us tonight and we need that.”
Behind Bowen’s 30 points was Hairston’s 16 points and Brady Dudley 14. Dezern led the Rams with 16 followed by Griffin Cass and Brendon Eads 11 points each.
On Wednesday, the Sauras picked up their second win over West Wilkes 62-31 and improved to 6-0 on the season. South Stokes will host Woodland Christian School (6-4) on Thursday at 8 p.m.
Lady Sauras lose in fourth quarter
South Stokes hosted Starmount on Tuesday and faltered in the fourth quarter and took a 50-47 loss.
“We are a young team and are making bad decisions right now,” said Saura coach Rodney Matthews. “I like where we are as a team, but our decision making will grow as we gain experience in the new offensive system we are running.”
The Sauras jumped out to an early lead 5-2 lead behind Mallory Tedder’s three-point shot, but the Rams chipped away and converted a basket as time expired for a 13-11 lead after one quarter of play.
The Rams extended their lead in the second period to 22-17 with 3:42 left before the half. South went on an 8-3 run and tied the score at 25 on free throws by Tedder only to see the visitors score a layup and lead 27-25 at the break.
Freshman Tatyana Childress took over for the Sauras offense in the third frame and scored nine points leading the home team to a 38-34 edge entering the fourth quarter.
The Rams began the last period on a 10-2 run that helped them jump back ahead 44-40. With 1:43 left, Childress connected on two free throws and a made jump shot to put the home team back in front at 46-45. The Sauras regained possession and called a timeout with 55 seconds left. A turnover by South gave the ball back to Starmount and Chloe Ford hit a three-pointer with 38 seconds left giving the Rams a two point led.
“We rely a lot on Tatyana (Childress),” said Matthews. “When she goes, we go. Mallory (Tedder) stepped up in a big way tonight and we will need her leadership in order for us to be successful. I believe in this team and I believe we’ll get better.”
Childress led the Sauras with 15 points, while Tedder added nine, Antoinette France seven, and Maddie Shore six. Ford led all scorers with 19 points.
South Stokes dropped their game to West Wilkes on Wednesday 58-30 and is now 1-5 on the season. The Sauras will host Woodland Christian School (0-4) on Thursday at 6 p.m.
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.