Jordan Spell scored four points in the final 1:30, helping Ashe hold off a furious comeback attempt from North Wilkes. The Huskies were 56-48 winners over the Vikings.
Ashe started the game with seven straight points. Matthew Lee scored four on back-to-back layups after Spell opened the game with a long three-pointer.
After North moved to within one point at 9-8, the Huskies ended the quarter with eight straight points. Spell scored five of them while Anderson Moore hit a layup and Eli Gambill netted a free throw to take a 17-8 lead after the first period.
The Huskies started adding to its lead even more in the second. Gambill scored five points and Zach Lawrence added his first shot of the night to take a 24-10 advantage.
North rallied with five points from Jordan Church and a layup from Josh Martin to bring the team’s deficit to just seven points and forced a timeout from Ashe coach Scott Grubb with 5:20 remaining in the first half.
Much like North Wilkes did in the women’s game, the Ashe men answered back in a big way after the timeout. Ashe scored 12 points in the last five minutes and held North to just three. The Huskies were ahead 36-20.
The Vikings stormed back in the third quarter, outscoring Ashe 17-6, thanks in large part to Church’s 13 points in that quarter alone.
North would not let up entering the fourth quarter, putting Ashe back on its heels. A three-pointer from Martin, three free throws from Church and a pair of free throws from Josh Bare gave the Vikings a lead at 46-45, the first time they had led the entire game.
In a game that featured a total of 54 fouls called on both teams, it would be free throw shooting that helped Ashe hang on for the victory. Spell hit a pair from the line to put Ashe back in front. Lawrence connected on one of two, then Gambill netted a pair to take a 50-46 lead with 1:33 left.
On North’s next possession, Ethan Mitchell attempted a long three-pointer that was off target, forcing them to foul.
Ashe missed both free throws, but Spell was there to grab the offensive board and an easy layup to go up 52-46 and put the finishing touches on a big win for Ashe. Spell added two more free throws and Gambill connected on one of two for the final point total.
Ashe upped its record to 4-9 overall and 3-4 in conference.
Spell led the way with 22 points and added two blocked shots on the defensive end. Gambill nearly had a double-double with 16 points and eight rebounds. Moore tallied six points but was a big force on the defensive end with six rebounds and three blocks.
Lee finished with four points, Lawrence had three, Johnathan Cox added two and Devan Sheets added two.
For North Wilkes, Church led all scorers with 29 points, but did not have a whole lot of help from his teammates. Martin finished with eight and Mitchell had seven points.
Ashe will travel to West Wilkes on Friday to battle the Blackhawks.