ELKIN - The Buckin’ Elks are still learning how to close out a game.
Looking to bounce back from two close, tough losses at the Mt. Airy Thanksgiving Tournament, Elkin was in a prime position to halt an early-season losing streak against South Stokes Tuesday night.
Tied at 35-35 with 2:30 left to play, the Elks saw another victory slip through their fingers as South Stokes escaped with the 37-36 win.
“We struggled tonight. We didn’t shoot the ball well or play good defense. It was an ugly game, but we were still in a position to win,” head coach Kenneth Abrams said.
The loss, Elkin’s third straight, continued a trend. All four games played this season have been decided by three points or less, with the Elks coming up short in three of those contests.
“It hurts. But it’s also telling the team that we are in a position to win every ballgame,” Abrams explained. “We’re putting ourselves in position to win the game - we just haven’t finished. That’s three losses in a row by a combined five points. We’re just not finishing. I have to keep their heads up; we can’t throw in the towel just four games into the season.”
Abrams keyed to several points of emphasis to help the team close out ballgames, but specifically pointed to better shot selection late in the game.
“We have to have better shot selection late in the game. That’s a team thing. We’re just not taking good shots late in the game,” he said. “We’re taking open shots, but they’re not necessarily good shots. It’s a process and we’re going back to the drawing board.”
The Elks return to the court tonight against a tough Mt. Airy team looking to end their losing streak. The Granite Bears topped Elkin in the holiday tournament, 50-49, starting the skid.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.