RONDA – Fabian Santos scored 15 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to lead visiting Alleghany to a 57-33 Conference 6 win over East Wilkes on Senior Night Friday.
“We really wanted to get on the boards and get after it,” Alleghany coach Tommy McKnight said. “And we did.”
The Trojans did most of their damage with second- and third-chance opportunities throughout the first three periods as they built a 47-14 lead. Alleghany finished with 19 offensive rebounds.
“I wish we could have played a little bit better,” East Wilkes coach Justin Call said. “I thought our diamond-and-one was pretty good. We couldn’t stay in it. We couldn’t rebound out of it.
“Rebounding has been our Achilles heel all year.”
The diamond-and-one was designed to stop Trojan sharpshooter Austin Sprinkle, who torched the Cardinals for 36 points the last time the two teams met.
Call described what Alleghany has as “skilled size.” He extended his praise beyond the Trojan front court. “They are good in several positions,” Call said. “Their coach does a good job with them.”
The Cardinals were led by Clint Henderson with seven points. Dillon Gray and Andrew Nance each added six.
Down 33 going into the fourth quarter, the Cardinals didn’t quit. Seth Longbottom and Zach Nixon both hits 3s to open the period to get the Trojan lead under 30 and Henderson’s 3 with 2:41 to play brought it under 30 for good.
The Cardinals acknowledged their two seniors, Jathan Sales, and Kehlyn Jarvis, before the game. Call also acknowledged their contributions when he took them out of the game in the fourth quarter. “I told them how much I appreciated how hard they’ve worked day in and day out,” Call said. “It’s been a tough year, but they’ve been great leaders.”
Santos brought the Alleghany fans to their feet with a contested dunk that put the Trojans up 39-12 midway through the third quarter.
The Cardinals host Wilkes Central tonight, with the junior varsity action beginning at 4 p.m. The Cardinals are at Elkin Tuesday and conclude the regular season at North Wilkes Friday.
“We just got to keep playing,” said Call, whose team is still looking for its first win. “We got to get better. I just want to see effort and no quit.
“I’ll be proud of them if that happens.”
McKnight said he knows what Call is going through. McKnight coached back-to-back 0-24 and 1-23 teams. “Justin Call is one of the best coaches in this conference,” McKnight said. “He’s a good man. I’ll be his assistant any time he wants me to.”
Alleghany (15-4, 10-2): Erik Lyons 2-0-4, Austin Sprinkle 2-0-5, Nick McKnight 2-0-4, Khalil Lawson 1-2-4, Chase Galyean 2-2-6, Fabian Santos 7-1-15, Eric Solis 3-3-9, Avery Hash 5-0-10. Totals: 24-FG 8-16-FT 57.
East Wilkes (0-20, 0-11): Dillon Gray 3-0-6, Andrew Nance 2-1-6, Jathan Sales 1-3-5, Zach Nixon 1-0-3, Seth Longbottom 1-2-5, Clint Henderson 3-0-7, Kehlyn Jarvis 0-1-1. Totals: 11-FG 7-10-FT 33.
A 16 10 21 10 – 57
EW 7 3 4 19 – 33
3-Pt. FG: A 1 (Sprinkle); EW 4 (Nance, Nixon, Longbottom, Henderson). Total Fouls: A 11, EW 13. Fouled out: None. Technicals: None. Officials: Hill, Sneider, Livinggood.