WEST JEFFERSON — Ashe County shot nearly 60-percent from the field and had no problem handing West Wilkes an 81-45 defeat on Thursday night.
Junior Dante Shuler had a career-high 34 points on 10-of-15 shooting to help Ashe clinch the third seed in the upcoming Mountain Valley Athletic Conference Tournament.
“Dante showed how good he can be if he’s aggressive and doesn’t settle for jump shots,” said Ashe County head coach Nathan Colvard.
Judd Price added 12 points and three assists and Colin Ellis had 11 points to go with four assists and three steals.
The Huskies’ only senior on this year’s team, Kendall Richardson, added nine points and team-high six rebounds. Grant Thompson finished with five points, Noah Blevins scored four, Malachi Poe scored four and Dylan Little added two points.
“This was probably our best offensive game of the year,” said Colvard. “I was excited for Kendall to get a win on senior night.”
Ashe did lose sophomore Caleb Key early on with a foot injury, but according to Colvard, x-rays came back negative and hopefully he will be able to play in the conference tournament.
The Blackhawks got 20 of its 45 points from senior Alex Greer. Jesse Brown and Cole Skabo scored four points each off the bench.
Ashe finished the regular season at 11-13 overall and 9-5 in MVAC play while West Wilkes ended the year at 7-16 overall and 5-9 in MVAC play.
Next up will be the MVAC Tournament with the semifinals and finals to be played at Ashe County High School.
“Hopefully the community will come out and support our teams. The boys and girls teams both feed off of a big home crowd,” added Colvard.
Ashe will be at home playing sixth-seeded East Wilkes with tipoff set for 6:30 p.m.
Final MVAC standings
1. Starmount: 13-10, 11-3
2. North Wilkes: 16-8, 11-3
3. Ashe County: 11-13, 9-5
4. Alleghany: 15-8, 8-6
5. Wilkes Central: 7-16, 6-8
6. East Wilkes: 9-15, 5-9
7. West Wilkes: 7-16, 5-9
8. Elkin: 2-21, 1-13
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-846-7164 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87