The West Wilkes varsity girls completed an undefeated league campaign by nearly tripling the output of Ashe County in Millers Creek on Feb. 17.
The Blackhawks won 66-23 to finish 11-0 in the Mountain Valley 1A/2A Athletic Conference’s shortened season.
“It was a good game to end the season,” said West Coach Allie Greene. “Everyone got playing time and everyone contributed to the win. We knew we were playing a team composed of mostly JV players but we still came out with the intensity that I want our girls to play with each game.”
Carson Ledford paced West with 15 points despite playing almost none of the second half. “It was good to have Carson back on the floor with us,” said Greene. “After some rest her knee felt great and her play showed it.”
Parker Childress canned four 3-pointers and finished with 12 points. Kendall Stanley added a pair of treys and had 10 points. Cheyenne Clonch added 11 points and six rebounds, the same corralled by point guard Jamesyn Bell. “I’m used to Cheyenne dominating the boards but Jamesyn, being the smallest on the court, has a knack for rebounding and did another great job last night.”
Jamilyn Wilcox, said Greene, “as always, had a great night defensively with four steals and several deflections.”
Greene summarized, “We pushed the ball up the court well and shot the ball from the outside well. I think our ball movement really opened us up for those outside shots.
“Defensively, we put pressure and didn’t give up easy shots and when the shot did go up we rebounded well. As always, I’m super proud of all of my girls. This has been a stressful season with everything going on but my girls have kept focused and worked hard.”
West will host 9-3 North Surry in the opening round of the 2A state playoffs on Tuesday. The Greyhounds landed an at-large berth after finishing second in the Western Piedmont 2A Conference.
Wilkes Central closed out the regular season Friday with a 61-36 win over Elkin in Moravian Falls.
“We played really well as a team,” noted Eagle Coach Greg Davenport. “Once again, every player scored.”
The 11-2 Eagles earned an at-large bid into the 2A state playoffs and will play at 8-2 Mountain Heritage, another at-large team, in Burnsville on Tuesday. “Hopefully, we can give Mountain Heritage a game,” added Davenport. Against Elkin, Zoe Susi led the way with 16 points, five assists and six steals. Karlie Anderson backed her with 12 points—including a pair of 3-pointers—and seven rebounds.
Jacklyn Richardson, had nine points and a team-best eight rebounds.
North bumps East
North Wilkes closed out its season Friday with a 51-45 win over East Wilkes in Ronda.
Senior Shelby Roal returned to the Viking lineup and led her club with 19 points and seven rebounds. Senior McKenzie Johnson added 18 points, six rebounds, 14 deflections and 10 steals.
“It was a great boost getting Shelby back, as she had a nice game and carried us early,” said Steven Phillips, the Viking coach. “And then McKenzie carried us late; she was everywhere. They both played extremely hard and were both great in their last high school game—they left it all out there. It has been a joy working with them at North. They will both be successful at whatever they do.”
Phillips continued, “The season was frustrating, with only 12 games, and some kids only played seven games. But, I still feel like it was a success. We had some great practices, bus trips and games. The kids needed that, and hopefully they some positive memories from the season. I am excited to get back at it (next year).”
The Vikings finished with a 5-7, good for fourth in the league. East, at 5-8, finished tied with Ashe County for fifth.
Wilkes Central had no trouble dispatching Ashe County in West Jefferson on Feb. 16, 59-29.
Zoe Susi and Jayla Smoker led a balanced Eagle scoring effort with 12 points apiece. Sarah Lowe and Jacklyn Richardson each had 10 and Karlie Anderson chipped in with seven points.
“It was another balanced attack,” said Eagle Coach Greg Davenport. “For the second game in a row everyone scored. Everyone played well and contributed.”
Richardson led the victors with eight rebounds. Susi had six assists and Makenna Freeman made four steals. “I thought our defensive pressure was a big difference in the game,” said Davenport. “We created several turnovers that led to easy baskets.”
Lowe also had four rebounds and an assist and was named Davenport’s player of the game.
The Eagles improved to 10-2 while the Huskies slipped to 5-7. “As of now we are in line for the one wild card berth in the West,” noted Davenport. “If we take care of business (Thursday) against Elkin we should get it.”
East bumps Elkin
Avenging a loss to Elkin a day earlier, East Wilkes dropped the Buckin’ Elks in Ronda on Feb. 16, 32-28.
With the game tied at 28-all with 2:01 to play, East’s Peyton Mastin hit two free throws in the double bonus after an Elkin reach-in foul.
East’s Kierstin Johnson blocked an Elkin shot and gathered the ball on the next possession.
After another Elkin reach-in, Killian Warren made 1-of-2 free throws with 1:29 remaining for a 31-28 Cardinal lead. Warren rebounded the ensuing Elkin misfire. Mastin then drove to the basket and was fouled with 26.7 ticks left. She made 1-of-2 foul shots to make it a two-possession game. On the next possession, Elkin misfired on a 3-pointer and Lilly Adams made a steal with 12 seconds to go. Elkin got the ball back but was unable to get off a shot as time expired. Audrey Jennings led Elkin with 17 points.
Rams STOP Vikings
Starmount dropped North Wilkes in the Vikings’ home finale on Feb. 16, 57-53. The Vikings trailed by as many as 20 points in the fourth quarter before mounting a comeback on senior night.
Emma Freed paced the Rams with 26 points and Layken Mathis added 20.