The Elkin High School boys basketball team lost Friday night’s game in the first quarter, and their coach knows it.
A late game surge by Elkin pulled the team within five points with 35 seconds to go, but the lead established by North Wilkes High School early in the game was too much to overcome.
The Vikings ultimately defeated the Bucking Elks 66-59, improving their record to 4-8, and 3-1 in conference. Elkin falls to 2-12 and is winless in conference play.
North Wilkes jumped to an 18-8 lead after that key first quarter.
“We suffered in the first half from turnovers, mostly in the first quarter. We did a good job in the first half getting back into it, but the turnovers clearly killed us,” said coach Kenneth Abrams of Elkin.
Elkin was unable to cut into the lead. Elkin stabilized in the second quarter with both teams scoring and giving up the same amount of points, 14 each.
Halftime had the score at 32-22 North Wilkes.
Elkin scored more points over North Wilkes in the third and fourth quarter.
“The kids didn’t give up. You can’t do one good thing and give up two bad though,” said Abrams. “After the game I told the kids to keep the heads up. We’re in a slump. We know that. It can all come together in the second half of the season.”
Abrams said that Elkin is not used to losses, winning 21 games last year. He said each loss puts a knot in their stomach after each game.
“The press. You have to give credit to North Wilkes too. They press, and they press hard,” continued Abrams.
The press turned out to be critical for North Wilkes, which struggled at times to find a solution for a late surging Elkin.
“The press was very important for us,” said coach Marty Behrens of North Wilkes High School. “That first quarter we turned it up a bit and forced a ton of turnovers. They resulted in some easy buckets.
“I think (Elkin) is one of the most talented teams in the conference, despite the record. They truly have a bunch of athletic kids on the team,” said Behrens. “They’re a dangerous team.”
For Elkin, Josiah Blevins led the team with 14 points. Kody King and Tyrek Hayes had 12 points each.
Jordan Church led North Wilkes with a commanding 22 points.
North Wilkes High School heads into a rivalry game on Wednesday at home against West Wilkes.
The Bucking Elks are on the road visiting East Wilkes High School next Friday.
Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org