WEST JEFFERSON — In their final game of the regular season, the Ashe County Huskies boys basketball team welcomed the West Wilkes Blackhawks to West Jefferson Tuesday, Feb. 11, looking to avenge their previous loss this season.
The Huskies (7-15) were without wing Austin Poe, whose season was over due to a knee injury, according to head coach Nathan Colvard. The Blackhawks (15-7) were working towards improving their seeding before the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference tournament, where they could have nabbed the top seed, if things went their way.
In the early goings, it appeared the Huskies would give the Blackhawks a run for their money, if not pull out the win on senior night. relying on their seniors in their final night like Nate Lee and Colby Greer, the game was tied at 14 after the first quarter.
West Wilkes rode their signature full-court pressing defense to help keep the Huskies from getting too excited. Meanwhile, the Huskies held firm in their own defensive scheme to not allow the Blackhawks to run away with the game. Still, West Wilkes led 25-23 at the half.
By no means the highest scoring quarter of the game, the Blackhawks did their best to pull away from the Huskies. Still, Ashe hung in to keep the deficit to a manageable level, with West Wilkes leading by six heading into the final quarter.
The defensive effort in the third payed off quick, with the Huskies getting the Blackhawks’ lead to two after just 30 seconds, thanks to an and-one from Preston Eller. The Blackhawks however found a fifth gear in the period, dropping 19 points on the Huskies for the 59-49 win.
The loss set the Huskies at the fifth seed in the MVAC Tournament, giving them a road game with Elkin (9-14) Thursday, Feb. 13.