BOONVILLE - For the second-straight night, the Rams fell behind early and were unable to claw their way back into a game.
Tuesday night against West Wilkes in the Mountain Valley Conference opener, Starmount fell behind 38-20 at halftime, courtesy of a six-point second quarter.
The Rams rebounded and outscored the Blackhawks 27-22 in the second half, but the deficit was too much to overcome. West finished off the 60-47 victory.
The theme was no different Wednesday night against Northwest Conference power North Surry.
Starmount fell behind quickly 17-5 after one quarter of play and trailed by as much as 21 in the half before battling back in the second half. The Rams cut the deficit down to 10 in the fourth quarter, but dropped the 65-51 decision.
“We dug a hole early; dug a big hole,” head coach Rocky Horton said. “It was the same thing that happened [Tuesday]. We got down big but our guys kept fighting and cut it to 14. We came out in halftime and I think we might have won by one in the second half, like last night where we won by five.
“I’m just proud of our guys and love our guys to death to keep fighting,” he continued. “They could have easily just quit, but they kept fighting and fighting and fighting, and I love it. I told them that if I could, I’d go out there and fight with them.”
Starmount opened on a quick 3-0 run two minutes into the game before the Greyhounds exploded. North used a 17-2 run over the final six minutes of the frame, highlighted by a four-point play at the buzzer.
The Rams were kept off the scoreboard until the 4:23 mark of the second on a Josh Houser free throw cut the deficit to 26-6.
Starmount started its comeback in the final four minutes of the half, outscoring North in the span 15-9 to head to the locker room within striking distance at 35-21.
The teams traded baskets in the third quarter with the Rams hanging around. The Greyhounds took a 15-point advantage to the fourth up 52-37.
Starmount opened the decisive frame on a 7-2 run to trim the lead down to 10 at 54-44, forcing six-straight turnovers on the defensive end of the floor.
The Rams kept the game close but were never able to get closer than 10 points as North knocked down crucial free throws to ice the game and leave with a 65-51 win despite being outscored in the fourth, 14-13.
“We just need to trust each other in the offense and just letting the offense work,” Horton said. “I feel like we’re dribbling too much right now and that just comes with youth and pressure. We just have to keep trusting and keep working like we did in the third quarter.
In a balanced scoring night, Houser led the way with 11 points, while Ben Combs added 10. James Ashley and Gunner Cass tacked on nine points apiece.
“We just have to produce and stop digging ourselves in holes. We’re young and I told them that good things will happen with experience. I told them to learn from this one and lets get ready for next Tuesday,” Horton added.
Starmount is off tonight but returns to the floor Tuesday in West Jefferson to take on Ashe County.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or email@example.com.