It was a low-scoring regular season finale for Ashe and West Wilkes on Friday, but it would be the Blackhawks that did just enough to fend off an Ashe rally in the fourth quarter to hold on for the victory.
Before the game, Ashe honored its four senior players and senior scorekeeper. Eli Gambill, Anderson Moore, Jordan Spell and Seth Sheets were all playing their final home game of the season. Cole Price, who was on the varsity squad last year, took care of the scorekeeping duties for this season.
The teams combined for just 10 points in the first quarter with the Blackhawks holding a 6-4 lead.
Both squads continued to struggle offensively in the second quarter. West outscored Ashe 9-7, allowing the Hawks to maintain a 15-11 lead at halftime.
In the third quarter, it looked like West Wilkes would slowly pull away, thanks in large part to Alex Greer tallying seven points in the third quarter while holding Ashe to just four points as a team. Overall, the Blackhawks beat the Huskies 13-4 in the third quarter to take a 13-point lead to the fourth.
Ashe finally found some offense in the final frame. Spell buried a trio of three-pointers and Gambill scored three points to bring Ashe right back into it. With about three minutes remaining, Spell fouled out of the game. However, Ashe continued to fight hard. Devan Sheets came off the bench and scored four quick points in the fourth and Johnathan Cox picked up his offensive play with five points in the quarter.
Going down the stretch, West Wilkes handled its business at the free-throw line. The Blackhawks hit eight of 10 free throws to hold on for the 41-40 victory.
Spell was Ashe’s high scorer with 12 points. The senior also added three rebounds and two steals. Gambill finished with nine points, four rebounds and three steals, D. Sheets had seven points and three boards and Cox had five points and three rebounds. Cullen Ashley finished with three points, Moore had two, S. Sheets hit one free throw, as did Matthew Lee.
Greer finished with 13 points to lead West. Sam Allen added 10 and Zack Bell scored nine.
The Huskies ended the regular season with a 6-17 record overall and a 5-11 record in the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference.
Ashe battled Elkin in the first round of the conference tournament on Monday evening. The winner of that game will face the winner of West Wilkes and Starmount on Wednesday at 8 p.m. at East Wilkes.