The West Wilkes Blackhawks grabbed sole possession of first place in the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference with a thrilling 71-58 victory over Starmount Tuesday night in Millers Creek.

Senior Jackson Stinson enjoyed another phenomenal offensive game, tallying 20 points to lead all scorers for the evening. Jacob Brown and Dawson Osborne each chipped in 12 points apiece for the Blackhawks.

The Hawks held a tenuous 50-47 lead after three quarters of play, and the first basket of the final frame belong to the Rams, an Xavier King lay-up that made the margin one.

But Osborne answered with what would be the first of three triples in the fourth, a dagger from the right side that helped spark a decisive 17-4 West run.

West Wilkes now stands at a perfect 4-0 in league play, the lone remaining undefeated Mountain Valley squad. The Hawks are 8-4 overall.

Trey Dezern led the Rams with 15 points. Starmount dropped to 8-5 and 3-1.

West Wilkes girls 64, Starmount 27

West Wilkes broke a two-game losing streak with a command performance Tuesday night in Millers Creek, easily dispatching visiting Starmount 64-27.

With the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference win, the Blackhawks improved to 10-2 overall and 3-1 in league play. The Rams dropped to 3-8 and 1-3.

Defense was the key for the Hawks. West Wilkes held the visitors to single-digit scoring in all four frames, and gradually extended their advantage with several easy transition baskets. 

That defensive pressure helped the home team go up by 20 points, at 31-11, with 48 seconds left before intermission after a hoop from Kendall Stanley, and Starmount never recovered.

Balance was important, too, in the win. Nine out of the ten West players who dressed Tuesday scored, and Jamilyn Wilcox, Stanley, and Parker Childress off the bench each scored 11 points to pace the Blackhawks.

Emma Freed and Olivia Gwyn each had seven points for the Rams in the loss.

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