WEST JEFFERSON — Bunker Hill tried to rally back from a big deficit in the fourth quarter, but the Huskies closed out the game strong to earn a 68-59 win in the season opener.
The Huskies put together a nice first half, holding a 36-20 halftime lead. James Bittle and Judd Price had their offensive games on point early on. Bittle and Price both scored nine in the half.
In the third quarter, the Bears were only able to get a couple of points closer while Ashe still held a 14-point lead going to the fourth.
The Bears started to catch fire from the outside. Demarcus Ruff scored 11 of his 14 points in the fourth and Kevin Robinson buried a pair of three pointers and added a layup. Bunker Hill opened the quarter on a 12-2 run that cut the Husky lead down to four points at 54-50.
After a free throw from Price, a basket by Ruff brought the Bears to within three points, but that would be the closest Bunker Hill would get.
Kendall Richardson hit a layup and converted a three-point play with a free throw and then Dante Shuler brought down the house with a thunderous dunk on a fast break that put Ashe up 60-54.
Ruff buried a three-pointer on the next trip down to get within three points again.
The Huskies then closed out strong, scoring eight of the game’s final 10 points to pull away and get the win.
Price was one of three Ashe players to reach double figures. The junior point guard scored 16 points, collected seven steals and pulled down five rebounds.
Bittle finished with 12 points, five rebounds and four blocks and Richardson scored 11 points and added seven rebounds.
Malachi Poe finished with nine points off the bench, Shuler added eight points and Colin Ellis scored six points to go along with a game-high nine rebounds.
Dylan Little scored four points and Tristen Jones hit a pair of free throws to round out the Husky scoring.
For Bunker Hill, Kevin Robinson had a tremendous game, pouring in 30 points to lead all scorers. 17 of those came in the second half. Ruff finished with 14 and Di’Joun Huitt added seven points.
Ashe (1-0) will host Hibriten on Tuesday.
Bunker Hill (1-1) is scheduled to host West Wilkes on Monday.
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-846-7164 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87