BOONVILLE — Gunner Cass led three Rams in double-figures with 14 points, but it wasn’t enough as visiting East Surry left the Starmount gym with a 56-52, second-round 1A Midwest win last Wednesday night.
“I’m still proud,” Starmount Coach Rocky Horton said of his third-seeded team. “I saw white jerseys playing hard all night long.
“A back and forth game the whole way. A good game by both teams.”
“They get after it,” East Surry Coach Jason Anderson said of the Rams. “They did a good job of executing their offense.”
The Rams took a 52-49 lead with 4:34 to play when James Ashley (10 points) drove to the basket for two. Six turnovers followed — three by each team.
“We jump-trapped them some and they turned it over,” Anderson said. “But then we turned it over.
“I think some legs were getting tired on both sides.”
East Surry’s Jacob Bowman hit only one field goal all night, but his 3 with 2:10 to play tied it at 52. With 1:26, Ashley was called for a charge that could have been called either way. The officials met briefly and the charge call stood.
East Surry’s Seth Brim (15 points) then scored inside to make it 54-52 with 1:14 to play. The Rams couldn’t get anything to go down and the Cardinals finished the scoring by going 2-for-5 from the free-throw line.
“Only one team gets to end with a win,” Horton said. “I thought our guys played their hearts out. I couldn’t ask for anything more.
“You couldn’t blame it on one play. We played hard for 32 minutes.”
Scott Meredith led the Cardinals with 17 points. Brim led East Surry on the boards with five.
“You get to this point of the season,” Anderson said, “you take a win any way you can get it.”
It was a relatively turnover-free game until midway through the fourth quarter. East Surry, which came in as the No. 6 seed, committed 14 turnovers (five in the fourth); and Starmount committed eight (four in the fourth.)
It was fairly even on the boards, with the Rams holding a 26-24 advantage.
Kyler Gregory added 12 points and nine rebounds for the Rams, who end their season at 18-9.
“I’m proud of what they accomplished,” Horton said. “A lot of people haven’t seen us play. They remember a team that started 0-9 a year ago.
“These guys worked hard all year. Every bit of success they earned.”
The Rams went 15-4 after Christmas this season.
East Surry (22-6): Scott Meredith 6-3-17, Jacob Bowman 1-1-4, Carson Long 3-0-7, Tyler Smith 1-0-3, Jack Edwards 1-2-4, Cody Ashburn 1-0-2, Garrett Vass 2-0-4, Seth Brim 7-1-15. Totals: 22-FG 7-13 56.
Starmount (18-9): James Ashley 4-2-10, Gunner Cass 5-2-14, Luke Shore 3-0-7, Trey Bryant 1-1-3, Kyler Gregory 6-0-12, Josh Houser 3-0-6. Totals: 22-FG 5-5-FT 52.
ES 15 13 14 14 - 56
S 13 20 13 6 - 52
3-Pt FG: ES 5 (Meredith 2, Bowman, Long, Smith), S 3 (Cass 2, Shore). Total Fouls: ES 10, S 17. Fouled Out: None. Technicals: None.
Jim Fuller may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @elkinareasports.