South Stokes trio of Brady Dudley, PJ Samuels, and Ben Bowen scored 58 of their team’s 63 points in a Northwest 1A Conference matchup against East Surry on Wednesday. The Sauras sprinted to an early lead and won 63-44 in Pilot Mountain.
“We played well tonight,” said Saura coach Jason Clark. “Ben (Bowen) has had a rough go at it lately, but he got his mojo back a little tonight. In this conference, we have to be ready to play night in, night out. Every team is coached well and any team can win on a given night.”
The Cardinals had their hands full right out of the gate. South Stokes jumped out to a 7-0 lead, with each of the Sauras big three getting on the board.
John Marion broke the ice for East Surry with a put-back at 5:13. Marion scored the same way a minute later to cut into the Saura lead before another three-pointer from Dudley.
It wasn’t until Quincy Smith entered the game that the Cardinals became energized. Smith knocked down back-to-back three-pointers to bring East within four.
Bowen and Samuels continued to dominate the paint and South Stokes led 21-13 after a quarter of play.
Jefferson Boaz struck first in the second quarter at the 7:42 mark. It would be the Cardinal’s only points for more than six minutes of game time.
Bowen and Samuels worked both ends of the floor in the second quarter to extend the Sauras lead. The 6-foot-9 Bowen rejected a number of Cardinal shots in the paint. The blocks set up shots for either of the big men down court.
South Stokes pulled ahead 29-15 before Smith converted on a pair of free throws. Smith scored again with a rebound and put-back on the next possession.
South led 31-20 at halftime.
Bowen showed no signs of fatigue in the third when he scored the first points of the quarter and proceeded to get a block on the other end.
Boaz built momentum by dropping seven of his 13 points with a pair of free throws and from beyond the arc, but South outran the Cards in transition and took advantage of miscues to score down low.
The Sauras held a comfortable 49-31 lead moving into the fourth quarter.
East Surry took their shot at mounting a comeback when Colby Guy showed his versatility and hit three baskets. Guy first split a pair of defenders for a layup, then knocked down a three-pointer, and grabbed a steal and heaved the ball to a teammate for a layup.
With the lead cut to 51-38, South Stokes took a timeout at 4:36 to regroup. Out of the timeout, the Sauras outscored East Surry 12-6 to leave with a 63-44 victory.
Bowen and Dudley tied for a game-high 20 points, followed by Samuels with 18, Boaz 13, and Smith nine.
South Stokes improved to 14-5 overall and 3-2 in conference play. East Surry (11-7, 1-4) dropped its second straight conference matchup and has lost four of their last five games. The Sauras will travel to Mount Airy on Tuesday and then host Bishop McGuinness on Friday.