By: Terry Harris | Email: Click Here
Posted: March 4, 2019 | 3:15 p.m.
Altavista falters as Surry scores 32 unanswered points beginning Q2
SURRY – The Surry County HS Lady Cougars continue their push toward state titles after defeating the Altavista High School Lady Colonels in convincing fashion by a score of 51-13 in the VHSL Class 1 state quarterfinals in front of what was essentially a home-crowd inside Sussex Central High School’s gymnasium, the host venue for the match-up.
That near capacity crowd served to electrify the Lady Cougars on the court as, beginning the second quarter of action, Surry County went on an overwhelming 32-0 run against their opponents, giving Altavista a look at the potent offense and solid defense that propelled the Lady Cougars to the position they are in, on the cusp of competing for the state titles.
Prior to Surry’s nearly three-dozen unanswered points on the scoreboard, Altavista had kept the score close as the first quarter wrapped with a score of 11-6 in favor of the Lady Cougars. It would take until the final quarter of the game for the Lady Colonels to make into the double digits as the game wrapped with a final score of 51-13.
On the sidelines, Lady Cougar’s Coach Chris Brown had high praise for the team and their state quarterfinals performance.
#12 Bre’Cha Byrd makes a loooooong shot!
“When they went out into the second quarter, they played 18 minutes of some of the best basketball I’ve ever coached,” Brown remarked after the game. “It’s very gratifying because the girls have put in a lot of work since last season – team camps, individual training. They’ve given up a lot. So it’s particularly gratifying to see it coming into fruition for them now.”
Earlier in the week, Brown and a number of the Lady Cougars received regional honors, with Brown being named Virginia High School League Region 1A Coach of the Year and Bre’Cha Byrd being named the region’s player of the year.
Byrd also joined Jasmyn Pierce, Alexis Nelson, and NeOndra Kelly on the 1st Team All-Region roster, with JeRhonda King being named to the 2nd Team All-Region roster and Maya Drew receiving honorable mention.
Friday night’s game might have been played in Sussex County but the building was packed with support for Surry High School and, for the coach, the way the community has rallied around their student-athletes during this championship push has been overwhelming.
“We’ve had some of the best fan support I’ve ever seen in all my years of coaching,” Brown remarked. “It’s awesome and very important for the kids to know they had the support. Churches have been donating meals. People were pledging to help provide transport if we had to travel to games.”
Coach Brown reminds team that focus is key
Following their rout of Altavista, Brown said their eyes are fixed toward their next opponent with the semifinals on the not-too-far-off horizon, Riverheads High School out of Augusta County.
“We are 25-4 going into the semifinals – definitely the place we really want to be. We’ll focus on one game at time. I’m so proud of the girls, peaking at the right time. #RoadToRichmond has been the team goal all year long, and now it’s fun times at SCHS as we’re working hard to finish the sequence,” he remarked.
Brown added that they are excited about continuing the legacy that legendary coach Joseph Ellis brought into the county, saying, “We just vow to take it one game at a time. Work hard. Support our boys’ team. We’re all in this together, and our goal is to create history – one day at a time.”
As of this report, the Lady Cougars are set to take on the Riverheads Gladiators in the VSHL Class 1 state semifinals at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5, at Sussex Central High School. The winner will play in the Virginia High School League Class 1 state final at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 9 at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond for the championship.