Editor’s note: A full recap of games from this week, including Wednesday, Thursday, and potential Friday games will be in Monday’s Tribune.
Wednesday night featured six total matchups for Elkin, East Wilkes and Starmount High School, and while some of the teams are moving on, for others, it’s the end of the road.
The night started earlier than usual, as both of East Wilkes’ games were pushed to 4 p.m. While the boys team hit the road to Ashe County, the girls earned a home game in the first round against Alleghany.
The girls didn’t start out the game as nicely as they would have liked and were down early, but they tidied things up in a big way. They carried a 13-0 run into the second half and pulled away late for a 51-39 win.
The Trojans put up a fight through the end, but a pair of 3-pointers by Tess Jolly and Chelsea Edwards put the game away. The Cardinals would move on to play North Wilkes Thursday night. At press time, those results were not available.
Meanwhile, the Ashe County Huskies’ domination in the first half led them to a big win over the Cardinals’ boys team. The Huskies started out the game on a 14-0 run, ultimately leading 55-25 at halftime. The Cardinals outscored the Huskies in the second half, but the deficit was far too great as they fell 93-75. With the loss, their state playoff chances have dropped, but they can still make it with some help. They’re currently just below the bubble of making the 64-team field, ranked 67th in 1A play, according to MaxPreps, and based on record they’re 66th.
The Elkin girls also didn’t start out great Wednesday night against West Wilkes, but it was how they finished that proved they’ll be tough to beat in the state playoffs this year. As the top seed in the tournament, the Lady Elks were ahead of the Blackhawks early, but only by three points. That’s when Elkin kicked it into high gear and went on a 27-2 run on its way to a 59-27 win. They moved on to face Wilkes Central Thursday night, outcome was not available at press time.
The Elkin boys closed out their season with a loss at the hands of Starmount 45-24. The Buckin’ Elks couldn’t put a stop to Kyler Gregory, the Rams’ big man up front. Gregory finished with 18 points. Ranked 97th in 1A play, the Buckin’ Elks’ only hope of making the tournament was making a miraculous run in the conference tournament, but it was not meant to be. Starmount still had something to prove Thursday night. Despite winning the regular season championship, MaxPreps has the Rams significantly lower than Alleghany in 1A rankings. Alleghany defeated Starmount in the final game of the regular season last Thursday. Both teams have essentially locked themselves into the state tournament anyway, but taking down the Trojans would be big if the Rams could do it. That result was not available at press time.
The Starmount girls closed out their season with a 70-29 loss to North Wilkes. The team got better every game and will have reason to be confident heading into next year. Most of the varsity roster this year was comprised of players who, based on age alone, would likely be on the junior varsity team. That’s not a knock on them, if anything, it’s a compliment and a reason for promise. They were by far one of the youngest teams in the conference and gave trouble to many of their opponents this year. With some continued growth, the future is bright for the Rams.
Scenario for Friday
If East Wilkes, Elkin, or both girls teams won Thursday night, they would play at Ashe County Friday at 6:30 p.m. for the MVAC Tournament championship.
If Starmount defeated Alleghany in the boys game, it would play the winner of West Wilkes/Ashe County Friday at 8 p.m. at Ashe County for the MVAC Tournament Championship.
Ryan DeCosta can be reached at 336-258-4052 or via Twitter @rsdecosta.