Austin Triplette exploded for 28 points Friday night in Hays to lead his West Wilkes Blackhawks to a 70-63 win over county rival North Wilkes.

Triplette lit up the second quarter by connecting on four of his eight total three-pointers as West Wilkes built a 36-24 advantage at the half. Triplette finished the first half with 20 points.

It was Jacob Brown’s turn to pace the Hawks in the third quarter. Thanks in part to his seven points in the period West Wilkes kept the home team at bay, and entered the fourth up 52-39.

But the feisty Vikings had one more run left in them, and by the time Colby Brown drilled a three with under a minute to play in the fourth the lead had shrunk to 65-62. West Wilkes hit enough free throws down the stretch, however, to claim the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference victory.

West Wilkes remained perfect in league play with the win, and now stand at 5-0 and 9-4 overall. Brown finished with 15 points.

Zack Carlton led the Vikings with 15 points, and Matthew Holloway chipped in 14. North Wilkes fell to 5-10 and 1-4.

In the afternoon’s JV contest West Wilkes prevailed 51-38. Jaxon Tribble scored 14 for the Hawks and Chris Kimmell, Zack Wyatt and Brandon Holloway each had nine for the Vikings.

West Wilkes girls 43, North Wilkes 26

West Wilkes used an 18-point third quarter to pull away from North Wilkes Friday night in Hays as the Blackhawks notched a 43-26 win over the Vikings.

The Blackhawks held a two-point lead, at 16-14, heading into the break of the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference showdown. But that came only after a half-court shot from Jamilyn Wilcox sailed through the hoop at the buzzer.

That basket gave the Hawks the momentum they would need to control the third. Wilcox and Carson Ledford led the way, as Ledford scored eight of her game-high 19 in that frame on the strength of two triples and Wilcox added six of her 13 points on the night.

North Wilkes couldn’t recover. Any comeback attempt was snuffed out by the Hawks in the fourth, as West Wilkes controlled the game by milking clock on the offensive end. That helped the Blackhawks’ defense to hold the home team to three points in the final frame.

West Wilkes improved to 11-2 overall and 4-1 in league play. North Wilkes, who was paced by six points from Makayla Cornelius, fell to 9-6 and 1-4.

North Wilkes fared better in the JV game, winning 32-26. Beth Settle scored 13 for the Vikings in the win, and the Blackhawks were led by Lexie Huffman’s nine.

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