North Stokes dropped their third consecutive game on Friday when they welcomed Northwest Conference foe East Surry to Danbury. Both teams battled throughout the game, but it was the Cardinals who gained the 60-55 victory with their play in the fourth quarter.
“We played hard and I’m proud of them,” said Viking coach David Anderson. “We were a lot better on defense tonight, but committed too many unforced turnovers. We’ve got to find a way to cut our turnovers if we want to win.”
The Cardinals led 15-11 after the first quarter, but a barrage of three-pointers by the Vikings in the second period by Layton Helms and Weston Fulp gave the green and white a 27-23 halftime advantage.
“I thought Layton played with a lot of energy again tonight,” Anderson said. “He made some key defensive plays and knocked some outside shots down.”
East Surry’s John Marion pushed the Cardinals ahead in the third quarter with eight points to pace his team. Helms and sophomore Isaac Wood tried to help the Vikings keep up with the visitors, but a 15-10 edge by the Cards in the period gave them a 38-37 lead with eight minutes to play.
North Stokes went ahead 46-44 with three minutes left, but back-to-back three-pointers by the Cardinal’s Jefferson Boaz put his team up for good.
“Those three’s gave them the upper hand and we could never overcome that,” voiced Anderson. “We got some really good looks down the stretch, but they just didn’t fall for us. We have three games coming up next week and we have to start valuing the ball a little better.”
Helms led the Vikings with 18 points, while Wood added 15 and Ben Chesnet seven. Boaz led the Cards with 23 points and Marion chipped in 16 with 11 coming in the second half.
The Vikings fall to 10-4 on the season and 0-3 in conference play. The Cardinals improve to 11-5 and 1-2. The Northwest 1A is arguably the best basketball conference in the state with four of their teams ranked in the top six. North Stokes will play Millennium Charter School on Tuesday in Mount Airy.
Lady Vikings can’t overcome early lead
“These girls continue to hustle and compete each game they play,” said Viking coach Scott Smith. “We had a pretty good first quarter, but struggled defensively in the second.”
The Lady Vikings allowed East Surry to jump out to a 31-17 lead at half. North Stokes outscored East Surry in the third quarter of play and cut a 20 point Cardinal lead down to eight points.
“We changed our defense in the third quarter and that seemed to spark us,” Smith said. “I should have changed it earlier and that might have made a difference. We’re getting better; we just have to believe in ourselves. “
Senior Karley Jessup continues to lead the Vikings this season and scored 20 points with a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw. Sarah McBride chipped in seven points, while Addie Bryant and Natalie Dodson added four each.
The Vikings fall to 4-10 overall and 0-3 in conference play. East Surry improved to 8-8 and 1-2. North will travel to the Millennium Charter School on Tuesday.
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.