The West Wilkes varsity boys gained a season split with Wilkes Central by downing the Eagles in Millers Creek on Friday, 66-56.

“It was a great team win,” said West Coach Scottie Greene. “Everyone contributed in some way. It was a fun night for our young team. We have been in some really close games over the past few weeks. This group works extremely hard and are learning to play together. From where we started to where we are now, is amazing.”

Dylan Miller paced West with 22 points and Austin Triplette added 19, both season highs for the seniors. “Austin had a great shooting night, as did Dylan,” noted Greene.

Dawson Osborne led the Blackhawks with seven assists. “Dawson didn’t score that many points (five) but his leadership on the floor was awesome with running offense and defense,” said Greene.

Jaxson Tribble, who pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds, “played huge in the middle along with Andrew Dyer (five rebounds). Both were a presence in the paint.”

Carson Edmiston, with six points and six boards, played “perhaps his best and most complete game. He played a lot of minutes and played very well.”

Greene said that Nathan Hall scored only three points, but they were “massive free throws. He also had four massive rebounds that sealed the game.”

The Blackhawks bettered themselves to 3-6 while the Eagles dipped to 5-4 in the Mountain Valley 1A/2A Athletic Conference.

“This team has gotten better and continues to get better each and every day,” said Greene. “These last two weeks are going to be a lot of fun.”

Rams batter Eagles

Starmount defeated Wilkes Central in Boonville on Monday, 68-56.

The Rams better to 5-4 while the Eagles slip to 5-5.

“The last two games (Starmount and West Wilkes losses) haven’t been our best,” admitted Matt Hagaman, the Eagle coach. “We have to collectively keep our heads up and give our best effort moving forward.

“We are doing good things, too. We just need to be more consistent with the good stuff.{/span}”

Central and North Wilkes are both two and a half games behind Ashe County in the race for the MVAC’s lone 2A playoff berth. Ashe is 7-2 but has lost two straight games.

“We have four regular season games left and have to start doing the little things, better, and help ourselves out,” said Hagaman. “One place we really need to improve is the free throw line. The most important thing moving forward is that we finish strong, and we will.”

East clips Alleghany

East Wilkes knocked off homestanding Alleghany on Monday, 51-39.

The Cardinals improved to 4-5 with the win in Sparta, while the hosts dipped to 2-5.

East is a game behind Elkin and Starmount (both 5-4) for the only guaranteed 1A playoff berth in the MVAC.

North shuts down Alleghany

North Wilkes evened its season mark with a 39-24 victory over Alleghany on Saturday in Hays.

The Vikings improved to 5-5 while Alleghany, which was held to single digits in three of four quarters, fell to 2-4.

“We defended as well as we have all season,” said North coach Logan Call, whose club allowed 55 points last month against the Trojans. Call said that earlier game was “one of our worst efforts of the year.”

Call said that Reese Cleary “has really stepped into his role and was great against Ashe and Alleghany” with eight points, 13 rebounds and seven blocks against the Trojans. “Our perimeter defense was great but Reese did a great job of protecting the rim when we did allow the ball into the paint.”

Trenton Sidden led North in assists for the third game in a row and “continues to be a coach on the floor for our team,” said Call. Zach Carlton had a team-high 11 points, and “his consistency over the past few weeks has made us a better offensive team.”

Rams edge CardinalsIn a game deadlocked after three periods, Starmount executed better in the fourth quarter of a 49-41 win Friday over East Wilkes in Boonville.

Starmount improved to 4-4 and the Cardinals slipped to 3-5.

North WILKES upsets Ashe

North Wilkes upset league-leading and previously unbeaten Ashe County on Friday in Hays, 60-50.

“I was really proud of our kids’ mental toughness against Ashe,” said North Coach Logan Call. “We got down big early in the game. Our guys never stopped believing and kept battling on the defensive end when shots weren’t falling.”

Call continued, “Several guys made big shots in the second half to get us back in the game, and our defensive effort was great down the stretch. We wanted to emphasize attacking the rim and I thought we did the best job we have all year of putting pressure on the defense and making the other team guard.”

North went to the line 33 times, and Call noted that and Colby Brown and Zack Carlton made big free throws down the stretch to maintain the club’s lead.

Carlton led the Vikings with 20 points and “attacked the rim the best he has all year. He can really shoot the basketball but he is at his best when he is attacking the rim and rebounding, and he did both of those for us against Ashe.”

Brown also made a “couple big shots at big points in the game. He had 16 points and really helped giving us a second option on offense,” said Call.

Caleb Souther had only one point but Call said he was the main reason North won the game. “Dawson Cox is the best offensive rebounder in our conference and Caleb battled with him the entire game and kept him off the glass. He has been a great leader for this team and has played a huge role in our turn around over the past few games.”

Grayson Lamb, said Call, has “really stepped up the past two games, and I am not sure we beat Elkin or Ashe without his ability to handle pressure and control the pace of the game.”

Call added, “It was a great week for us after a tough stretch the past week and a half. Winning three games in a week was huge for our guys and I really think it can be attributed to our leaders stepping up and guys starting to get more comfortable in their roles.”

Ashe fell to 7-1 and North improved to 4-5.

CENTRAL Eagles topple Trojans

Wilkes Central posted a 59-35 win over Alleghany in Sparta on Jan. 3, improving to 5-3 and second place in the MVAC.

“I thought it was a solid team win for us,” said Eagles coach Matt Hagaman. “Our guys continue to work hard and improve. I can’t say enough about the tremendous teamwork that we are seeing—everyone is understanding their roles and playing well together. We just have to stay focused and keep this thing going.”

Junior Spencer Leatherman had four 3-pointers in the first half en route to a team-high 18 points. Sophomore point guard Anthony Graham chipped in with 13 points, and seniors Zach Mastin and Jonah Brooks added eight apiece. Austin Love paced the Trojans, who fell to 2-2, with 13 points.

Elkin thwarts West, 51-37

Host Elkin outscored West Wilkes in every period to take a 51-37 win on Feb. 2.

With the season sweep of West, the Buckin’ Elks improve to 3-4 while the Blackhawks slip to 2-6.

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