Elks tip off postseason with championship aspirations
by Matthew Gorry
ELKIN - Elkin kicks off its postseason tonight looking to add another title to its first regular-season Mountain Valley Conference championship in 15 years.
But the quest won’t be easy, evident of the Buckin’ Elks’ final six games of the year. All six contests were decided by seven points or less, with two coming in overtime. Elkin was handed its only league loss in the span to ninth-place Forbush.
“Teams are not playing us full-court man anymore, and that’s what we want them to do,” head coach Kenneth Abrams explained. “They’re dropping back in the half-court and in the zone. And if we don’t rebound well, that takes the running out of our game.
“We haven’t been rebounding the ball well, and that’s why we haven’t been running as much. Rebounding is something you have to work on everyday. You can box out all you want, but you have to want to rebound to get the ball.”
But despite the close calls, Abrams and the Elks are confident heading into the conference tournament, even with a bullseye on their backs.
“We’re very confident and excited heading into the tournament,” he said. “It will be at East Wilkes, so you know there will be a crowd over there. We go into every game like that team is undefeated, and that’s how we’re going to take Ashe County. We’ll take them like they haven’t lost a game all year. Because if you don’t, you’ll get snake bitten again.
“My kids are confident, but we have to go out and finish. That’s the key word in basketball - finishing, you have to finish, especially in this league,” Abrams added.
Elkin takes on eighth-seeded Ashe County in the opening round of the conference tournament tonight at home. The Elks swept the Huskies in the regular season, but had to pull out a hard-fought overtime win when the teams squared off two weeks ago.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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