CLINCHPORT - After struggling through a two-game shooting slump, Rye Cove star guard Adam Hood just wanted "to get in a little bit of a rhythm."
In Friday night's Cumberland District clash with Thomas Walker, he was the whole rhythm section.
Hood flirted with a triple-double and became Rye Cove's all-time scoring leader, firing up 35 points in a 70-41 win over the visiting Pioneers.
"Over the last two games he really hasn't been playing like the Adam of old, for whatever reason," said Rye Cove coach Reagan Mullins. "It's real good to have him back playing the way he's capable of playing."
The Southwest Virginia scoring leader recently was held to six points in a 46-21 loss at St. Paul and to five points in a 38-28 win over Twin Springs.
Friday night, the Eagle bombardier went 6-for-9 outside the arc and 7-for-10 inside it. He hit a jumper in the key and, with 1:12 left in the game, a timeout was called to announce that he had surpassed Kelly Smith as Rye Cove's all-time scorer.
Hood now has 1,793 career points, eclipsing Smith by one point. He passed all-time boys scoring leader Jason Bishop against Sullivan North on Jan. 2.
Headed into Friday's game, Hood wasn't even sure how many points he needed to catch Smith.
"I wasn't expecting to break any records tonight, the way I've been scoring," Hood said.
"I was just trying to make things happen and produce a win. That's my job. To get victories."
Make things happen he did.
Hood led his team on the boards with 10 rebounds. He distributed eight assists, but made enough killer passes to be good for more than 10.
Jon Franklin scored 12 points for the Eagles (11-6, 3-1), another good sign of health for the squad.
"We need that from him. He stepped up and put the ball in the hole for us when we really, really needed it," Mullins said.
"It was good for us to score better than a (team) average of 27 points. It was good to get over that hump."
Franklin also grabbed eight rebounds and handed out two assists. Michael Thacker scored seven points and pulled down five rebounds.
Thomas Walker drew first blood when Dude Overton stroked an NBA-range 3 at 6:33 in the first quarter. Hood answered with a steal and a transition layup followed by an intermediate jumper off the dribble.
The Pioneers (11-5, 2-3) recaptured the lead on Landon Smith's inside bucket at 4:43.
The lead was fleeting.
Hood contributed four downtowners to Rye Cove's subsequent 16-4 blitz.
After scoring 16 points that quarter, he was back to his old self.
"I told our kids for two days that when he steps across halfcourt you've got to be prepared to guard him. There in the first quarter, we didn't do a good job getting a hand in his face," said Pioneers coach Chris Sutphin.
"I thought the first quarter was critical. He got his confidence when he scored all those points."
There was little question that Hood was challenged by Thomas Walker for his next 19. But he got it all the same.
"I just tried to create," Hood said. "My shot was falling tonight, so you know I was going to keep shooting. And they just kept going in, so I was fortunate to break (the record)."
Justin Helton scored 12 points for Thomas Walker. Smith and Travis Hall had eight points apiece.
In Friday's girls game, three Rye Cove players nudged 20 points as the Lady Eagles beat Thomas Walker 77-46.
Kayla Gibson scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Rye Cove (12-4, 3-1). Christi Hood scored 18 points to go with 11 rebounds and five steals. Shasta Edwards had 18 points and seven boards.
Cyndi Hood added 13 points while Shelly McDavid handed out 11 assists.
"This is probably the best we've done in our zone presses all year. We're starting to get the rotation down and we're starting to move together," said Lady Eagles coach Jamie Carter, whose squad hit six 3-pointers.
"The fast break was going pretty good and we got a lot of shots to fall."
Jessica Burke had nine points for the Lady Pioneers (5-9, 2-3) while Jennifer Burke, Tiffany Gibson and Nikki Taylor had seven apiece.