ELKIN - After seeing their seven-game win streak snapped Wednesday night, the Buckin’ Elks started a new one Friday.
Elkin bounced back from the humbling loss to Surry Central with a “team performance” Friday night, knocking off defending regular season Mountain Valley Conference champion Ashe County, 59-48.
“The loss to Surry Central was a reality check; it really was. It’s good to be confident, but the loss was a reality check,” head coach Kenneth Abrams explained. “My kids took the loss personal and positive, and that tells me that they’re growing. We had the attitude of ‘we’re going to bounce back’ into tonight’s game. Sometimes it takes a loss to wake you up. It was a good win tonight.”
The Elks put the sting of Wednesday’s loss behind them in a hurry, jumping out to an early 11-0 lead with suffocating defensive pressure and never looked back.
Elkin lead 16-7 after one quarter and grabbed a comfortable 28-17 advantage at the half. After holding the Huskies to nine points in the third, the Elks cruised to a 41-26 lead after three quarters of play.
Ashe wouldn’t go away quietly, however, exploding in the final frame with 22 points. Elkin weathered the burst and held on for the 59-48 victory.
“We got off to a good start. We had great defensive pressure in the first five minutes of the ballgame and went up 11-0. Once we took the lead, we didn’t look back,” Abrams said. “We got most of our points off of transition. We had a good team effort, I’m proud of our kids tonight.
“I’m extremely proud of Josh Strickland, who played real good basketball on both ends of the court. Sam Lane was in a funk, but Chris Hudspeth stepped up tonight and played real well,” he added.
With leading-scorer Lane struggling, Hudspeth turned in a game-high 15 points to lead the Elks. Trey King recorded 10 points, while Lane and Frank Miller finished with nine. Josh Strickland tacked on seven points as 10 players scored on the night.
“Out of the 11 kids on the team, 10 of them scored, and that’s huge for us. That means our team is growing,” Abrams said. “Chris, Josh and Trey stepped up and filled the voids that Sam didn’t fill. I’m pleased with the effort.”
Elkin kept its perfect conference record intact with the win, improving to 6-0 and 9-4 overall. The Elks return to the court with four-straight games on the road in one of their toughest stretches.
The road-trip begins Tuesday night against Forbush before the Elks head to Pilot Mountain to take on East Surry in a non-conference tilt.
“Like I always say, we’re taking it one night at a time,” Abrams said.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.