South Stokes, ranked fourth in the latest Maxpreps.com 1A poll, welcomed number five Bishop McGuinness to Walnut Cove in what was another tough Northwest Conference battle. The Sauras survived a fourth quarter rally by the Villains and won 56-48 to remain tied for third place in the conference standings.
“We have got to get better at finishing games,” said Saura coach Jason Clark. “We did the same thing at their place. We didn’t look to score and threw the ball to the corners. We have to make better decisions down the stretch.”
South held an early 5-2 lead before Bishop knotted the score at seven with 3:57 left in the opening period. Senior Ben Bowen went to work down low and tallied six points in the last minutes of the quarter including two free throws after a technical foul was called on the Villains for unsportsmanlike behavior. The free throws closed the home team’s deficit to 16-15.
The Sauras opened the second quarter with Brendyn Spencer scoring two layups and Bowen adding two baskets, forcing the Villains into a timeout. Over the last four minutes of the half, the Sauras hit a dry spell on offense, but still held a 30-25 edge going into the locker room.
“I told them we needed to keep moving the ball and look for layups,” Clark said. “They were being overly aggressive and we knew that we could pick up some easy baskets if we would just execute.”
South came out of the half and led 42-27 on a massive dunk by Bowen forcing another timeout by the visitors with 3:41 left in the quarter. The Villains finished the period on a 7-2 run with the Sauras only points coming from Bowen at the free throw line.
Up 10 points with eight minutes left, South held off a late rally by Bishop when they cut the lead to 48-44 with 2:20 left in the game. Brady Dudley sunk a three-pointer to give his team a 51-44 advantage. The Sauras made 3-out-4 free throws down the stretch and then found PJ Samuels under the basket for two points to put the game away.
“Three tough games in a row with Prep, Mount Airy, and then Bishop, but we survived,” Clark added. “We weathered the storm and got the two wins and that’s the important thing.”
Bowen led the Sauras with 19 points, 13 rebounds, and five blocked shots. Samuels added 10 points and seven rebounds. CJ Cappuccion scored 21 points for the Villains.
South Stokes improves to 16-6 overall and 5-3 in conference play. Bishop McGuinness falls to 17-4 and 4-3. The Sauras will host East Surry on Tuesday for senior night and then close out the regular season at county-rival North Stokes on Friday.
Lady Sauras lose to Villains
South Stokes ladies lost to Bishop McGuinness 58-29 in a Northwest 1A game.
The Villains opened the game on a 22-2 run and led by as many as 30 points early in the third quarter.
Ashley James led the Lady Sauras with 10 points and seven rebounds. Maddie Shore added six points, while Tatyana Childress had five points and seven rebounds. Bishop’s Brianna Paul led the overall scoring with 15 points, all from behind the three point line.
The Sauras fall to 7-15 overall and 3-4 in conference play, while the Villains improve to 11-9 and 5-2.
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.