WEST JEFFERSON — In an action-packed opening night for the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference basketball tournament, Ashe County came away with a 60-58 win over the Lady Elks in double overtime.
Ashe County sophomore Sam Woods knocked down two free throws in the closing seconds of the second overtime to squeak out a win against Elkin on Thursday night. The game was a tight battle throughout, but at the end of the first three quarters, Ashe held a 37-31 lead going to the final eight minutes of regulation.
The Elks jumped into a full court press on defense that had the Lady Huskies up against the ropes. With 4:57 left in the game, Elkin completed its comeback to take a 41-40 lead.
Both teams traded baskets down the stretch and with 56 seconds left, the Lady Elks were still clinging to a one-point lead at 48-47. Elkin scored again to go up three, but then Ashe got a basket to pull within one point with 25 seconds left.
Elkin drew up the perfect inbounds play for the defense Ashe threw at it, getting a wide open layup to jump back up by three. On Ashe’s next positions, Woods buried a three-pointer to tie the score at 52 with 10 seconds left.
The Lady Elks appeared to hit the go-ahead shot with 4.2 seconds left, but just before the shot, Elkin called a timeout to draw up a play. The final shot of regulation was off target, sending the game to overtime.
Both teams struggled on offense in the first overtime, scoring just one point a piece on a pair of free-throw trips.
With two seconds left, Elkin’s Cameron Beals was fouled inside, giving her two free throws with a chance to win the game. Beals missed both shots, sending the game to a second overtime.
Jayce Miller scored the first points of the second OT with 48 seconds left to put Ashe in front, 55-53. On the next trip down, Kylie Thomas hit a tough layup and was fouled. Her free throw put the Lady Elks back in front, 56-55.
Elkin added a pair of free throws and Ashe was able to get three more free throw makes from Woods to knot the score at 58.
After a defensive stop from Ashe, Woods drew another foul, this time with just two seconds left in the game. She hit both free throws to put Ashe in front, 60-58.
Following an Elkin timeout, the inbounds play did not work as the Lady Elks were unable to get a shot off in the final two seconds, giving Ashe the victory in the first round of the Mountain Valley Conference Tournament.
Woods led all scorers with 22 points. Chloe Sullivan added 15 and Hallie Treva scored 12 with nine of those coming in the second half before she fouled out in overtime. Abby Sullivan finished with five points, Jayce Miller scored four and Sydney Kate Grubb added a free throw.
Laken Brown led the Elks with 12 points. Beals finished with 11, Chloe Osborne added 11, and Thomas finished with nine.
The Lady Huskies will advance to the semifinals to face top-seeded North Wilkes on Wednesday night. The game will tip off at 6 p.m. at West Wilkes High School, this year’s conference tournament host. The women’s championship game will be played on Friday at 6 p.m.
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-489-3062.