Wilkes Central overcame a double-digit deficit and a milestone night from West Wilkes’ Jacob Brown to earn a 58-57 victory on Tuesday night in Millers Creek.
The Eagles, who moved into a second-place tie in the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference at 8-2, trailed 19-6 after one quarter but used an 11-2 run to cut the Blackhawks’ lead to 25-23 at halftime.
After a deep two from Jackson Stinson right out of the break, a fade away from Jakob Gowan, sparked a 10-2 Central run.
Zach Mastin, who paced Central (10-7, 8-2) with 20 points, gave Central the lead (28-27) and Marcus Lopez connected on an up and under to give the Eagles a 36-32 lead after three.
In between Central taking the lead, Brown connected on a pull-up jumper with less than 30 seconds to play in the third for his 1,000th point.
The two teams traded the lead in the fourth quarter before the Eagles took the lead (48-46) for good with 2:05 to play on a JoRaye Morrison layup.
The Eagles were 13-for-17 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter, which proved to be enough to hold the Blackhawks’ charge, which included Brown’s half court basket.
Marcus Lopez pumped in 16 points and Jonah Brooks added 10 for the Eagles, who will travel to Alleghany on Friday.
Stinson and Dylan Miller added 13 and 10, respectively, for the Blackhawks, who travel to current MVAC leading Starmount on Friday.
West Wilkes girls 52, Wilkes Central 36
The defending Mountain Valley Athletic Conference co-champs felt a sense of urgency as West Wilkes hosted the league-leading Wilkes Central.
The Blackhawks scored the first four points of the game and never trailed on their way to a 52-36 victory. With the win, West Wilkes pulled within a game of the Eagles.
As the first quarter ended the Blackhawks held a 13-7 advantage, largely due to strong defensive play. They held the Eagles to 2-of-13 from the field while Carson Ledford blocked three shots.
The Eagles (15-3, 9-1) cut the lead to a single point (16-15) midway through the second period but Jamilyn Wilcox teamed with Ledford to score six points over the last 2:30 to take a 24-19 halftime lead.
The third quarter saw the Hawks (15-3, 8-2) outpace Wilkes Central 14-3. Again, West’s defense limited the visitors to a single field goal and one free throw in the stanza. West shared the wealth offensively as four different players score.
The Eagles made a run to open the final period and cut the 16-point lead to 11 in the first two minutes. The Blackhawks slowed down the run as they connected on 8-of-10 free throws in the final four minutes to rebuild the lead.
Jamesyn Bell went 4-for-4 from the line and Parker Childress hit a pair to go along with Wilcox who made 2-of-4.
Wilcox led all scorers with 17 points and Ledford backed her with 12. Sarah Lowe led the Eagles with 10 points.