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Lady Bears end slump with 44-28 win

After winning their first six games of the season, the young Mount Airy Lady Bears hit some rough sledding, and came into Friday night’s Northwest 1A Conference opener on a four-game losing streak.

However, when conference play begins, they say it’s a whole new season, and the team got that season off to a 1-0 beginning with a 44-28 victory over North Stokes.

The Lady Bears’ offensive struggles of late carried over into this game, but a strong effort defensively and on the glass was enough to maintain a comfortable lead. Mount Airy (7-4) had at least a three-possession lead at every point during the second half, with the Lady Vikings never getting closer than seven.

“What we needed more than anything was a win to get things rolling again,” said Mount Airy coach Angela Mayfield, whose team had struggled badly on offense in its most recent outing, a loss to 4A North Forsyth two nights earlier. The Lady Bears had some issues scoring again on Friday, but did the other things well enough to win.

“It still wasn’t great by any means, but we did a great job on the boards,” she said. “I had us with 27 offensive rebounds, which tells me that the effort is there, but we’ve got to get the ball to fall. I don’t know what it is, we take plenty of shots in practice, which tells me it’s just a mental thing.”

The game with North Stokes (4-11, 0-1 NW1A) started out ugly as well. Mount Airy got just two baskets, one from Tessa Stovall and another from Kylie Hollingsworth, missed three of four chances at the free-throw line, and trailed 6-5 at the end of the first quarter.

They had an 10-0 run to take control at the start of the second. Kenzie Hodges started things off with two baskets, and then Morgan Mayfield had an and-one drive to the basket. After another stop, the Lady Vikings forgot about Grey Moore in the corner and she knocked down a 3-pointer for a 15-6 lead. North’s Elizabeth McBride stopped the bleeding with a 3-pointer of her own, but Mount Airy continued in the ascendant for the rest of the first half and carried a 23-13 lead into intermission.

The Lady Bears opened the second half with Hodges stealing the ball and taking it the other way for two, and led by 13 before McBride hit another three with 5:44 left in the quarter. Then North’s Morgan Hairston and Mount Airy’s Addie Phipps traded threes before back-to-back baskets by Sydney Mabe and McBride made it 31-24 at the 2:25 mark.

However, that was as close as the Lady Vikings ever got. Morgan Mayfield drove the lane and hit a jumper, and then Phipps got her second 3-pointer of the quarter. Mayfield led Phipps on a fastbreak for two more points, and when the quarter ended, the home team was ahead 38-26.

A relatively uneventful fourth quarter followed, in which the Lady Bears had two possessions that featured four offensive rebounds each before the younger Mayfield scored, and Mount Airy held North scoreless in the final 4:25.

Morgan Mayfield led the Lady Bears with 15 points. Phipps added 11, Hodges six and Stovall four. North Stokes was led by McBride, who also had 15.

The Lady Bears, who are still ranked No. 7 in 1A by MaxPreps despite losing four games, will travel to Surry Central on Wednesday night.

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The Lady Bears’ Addie Phipps blows by a defender on her way to the basket. Phipps had 10 points in the second half to help her team end a four-game losing streak.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/web1_DSC_0523.jpgThe Lady Bears’ Addie Phipps blows by a defender on her way to the basket. Phipps had 10 points in the second half to help her team end a four-game losing streak. John Cate | The News

Mount Airy’s Kenzie Hodges (4) kicks out to teammate Tessa Stovall (5) during Friday night’s win over North Stokes.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/web1_DSC_0518.jpgMount Airy’s Kenzie Hodges (4) kicks out to teammate Tessa Stovall (5) during Friday night’s win over North Stokes. John Cate | The News

By John Cate

jcate@mtairynews.com

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Source: https://www.mtairynews.com

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