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Hounds run wild on Carver

It took North Surry a while to get its offense going on Friday night.

But once the Greyhounds did, it was lights-out for visiting Carver in the first game of the New Year. After falling behind by 10 points after just four minutes of play, North outscored the Yellowjackets by 38 points over the next 16:10 of game time and cruised to an 84-59 blowout victory on Foothills Fury Night.

The win was the second straight for North Surry (7-3, 2-1 Western Piedmont 2A) and was a decisive statement against a team which, like the Hounds, had competed in the Frank Spencer Holiday Classic right after Christmas. North and Carver had played two of the same opponents, and based on the outcomes of those games, anyone would have tabbed the Hounds as slight favorites when they met.

The Yellowjackets came out aggressively, attacking the basket for two easy scores in the opening minute and getting the lead to 8-0 before North coach Todd Bentley called a time-out after two and a half minutes. Jahreece Lynch got North on the board, but two more easy baskets from Carver’s Curtis Wilborn and Jaquez Sims had the visitors up 12-2 with 4:02 left in the first quarter.

Nick Badgett finally got the Hounds out of their shooting slump when he knocked down a 3-pointer off the right wing 23 seconds later. This allowed North to set a full-court press and challenge Carver’s shaky ball-handling. It paid dividends down the stretch of the first quarter, as Badgett and James McCreary both scored easy baskets after the Hounds forced Yellowjacket turnovers. Then Brett Johnson hit two 3-pointers in the last 75 seconds of the period, the last one from 24 feet out right before the buzzer. By this time, North had whittled the Carver lead down to 18-15.

“We got off to a slow start and then our defense picked us up,” said Bentley. “Once we started seeing the ball go in a couple of times because of our defense, the three-balls started falling a little bit more.

“We had to call a time-out because we were being too passive against their zone. We started to attack the gaps and that created some more open looks for us.”

The second quarter was a veritable clinic on Greyhound basketball. North spent virtually the entire eight minutes executing at a high level on both ends of the floor, and outscored Carver 26-6 in the quarter. Baskets by Lynch and Badgett gave North its first lead of the night at 19-18 with 6:49 left in the first half, and that would prove to be both the first and last lead change of the game. On the offensive end, North Surry spent the remainder of the quarter working the ball toward the middle and kicking out to open shooters behind the 3-point arc, or passing the ball around the perimeter until they caught a Yellowjacket napping. While the Hound press kept giving Carver fits, Chase Swartz, McCreary, Kolby Watson, Johnson, Clay Tompkins and then Johnson again knocked down 3-pointers. Swartz lined up for another inside of one second left and was fouled in the act of shooting. He made two of three as the Hounds led 41-24 at the half.

North Surry eventually ended up with 12 made 3-pointers in the game. Carver adjusted its defense after allowing nine treys in the first half alone, but the Hounds responded by driving the ball to the basket more, and actually scored more points after the break than it had before.

At halftime, the members of the Foothills Fury teams were recognized. The Fury is a youth basketball program created to help future Greyhounds improve their basketball skills and play at a higher level. The teams representing grades 3-5 were present and were introduced; there is also a 7th grade team that wasn’t able to attend.

Bentley was no doubt happy to have them present as his team continued to put on a clinic after halftime. North’s lead peaked at 28 points, a margin the Hounds reached twice, at 57-29 in the third quarter and 67-39 at one point in the fourth. When Lynch drove to the basket for a layup at the 3:50 mark of the third quarter, North Surry had gone on a 55-17 run over a period of 12:12 of game time.

“I didn’t realize it was that much, but I knew for us to get going, it started with our defense,” Bentley said. “The good thing is that we’re starting to shoot the ball a little bit better. It took our football guys a while to get into basketball form, and ever since Christmas break, we have shot the ball better all-around.”

The coaching staff started to back off with the game well in hand, and Carver whittled the lead down to 19 points at one point in the fourth quarter, but the Hounds kept scoring no matter who was in there, ending up with by far their highest point total of the season.

No one North Surry player dominated the scoring, as the Hounds just took whatever the Yellowjackets gave them, and exploited it ruthlessly. Badgett and Lynch led the team with 19 points each, with Johnson getting 17 thanks to five made 3-pointers. Eight other players scored for the Hounds, most with no more than one or two made baskets.

Steven Thon and Sims tied with 15 to lead Carver. Dashawn Johnson added 13 and Curtis Wilborn 11. The rest of the Yellowjackets combined for just five points.

North Surry will host North Forsyth (9-4, 2-1 WPAC) on Tuesday. The Vikings won the title in their bracket of the Frank Spencer last week, but lost 62-51 at Atkins on Friday night.

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North Surry’s Nick Badgett drives into the lane on Friday night against Carver. The Yellowjackets cut him off, but Badgett was able to kick out to a shooter for an open 3-pointer.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/web1_DSC_0307.jpgNorth Surry’s Nick Badgett drives into the lane on Friday night against Carver. The Yellowjackets cut him off, but Badgett was able to kick out to a shooter for an open 3-pointer. John Cate | The News

North Surry’s Chase Swartz recovers a free ball along the baseline and gets ready to pass to a teammate.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/web1_DSC_0297.jpgNorth Surry’s Chase Swartz recovers a free ball along the baseline and gets ready to pass to a teammate. John Cate | The News

The Hounds’ Jahreece Lynch gets airborne for an easy layup against Carver during Friday night’s 84-59 rout of the Yellowjackets.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/web1_DSC_0300.jpgThe Hounds’ Jahreece Lynch gets airborne for an easy layup against Carver during Friday night’s 84-59 rout of the Yellowjackets. John Cate | The News
After a slow start, North rolls to 84-59 win

By John Cate

jcate@mtairynews.com

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Source: https://www.mtairynews.com

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