Coach Wendy Shumate of North Wilkes High School girls basketball team wasn’t happy.
Shumate’s girls were facing Elkin and down 24-20 at halftime.
The Lady Elks controlled the ball throughout the first half on Friday night. Elkin went into the game 8-6 and 4-0 in conference. The Vikings were 8-4 and 3-0 in conference.
Someone was going to lose its first conference game. The undefeated would stand alone at first place in the Mountain Valley 2A/1A division.
In the end, the Vikings defeated the Lady Elks 56-51.
Heading into the game, the Vikings were already handicapped, down its leading scorer, Jackie Denny, who was not playing due to an ACL injury.
In the first half, the Vikings made many mistakes early on with turnovers. The Lady Elks capitalized on second chance points.
“I told them to take it to them,” said Shumate on her discussions with the team at halftime. “I didn’t think we were aggressive enough on offense. We needed to stay in front of them a bit and watch the ball fakes and get things done.”
The second half showcased a synchronized Viking team.
With five minutes to go in the game, Shumate’s Vikings had a slight lead and she called for her team to run out the clock.
The Vikings scored only three buckets in the fourth quarter. The additional eleven points in the fourth quarter were scored from free throws, as Elkin was forced to chase the Vikings and foul them in order to stop the clock.
“She actually did that to Ashe this week. She pulled it out and spread it out. They have a lot of guard play,” said coach Elkin Derek Carter.
“We almost had an opportunity to steal the ball on occasion. We tried to get some dribble drives. They got some plays in a short span in the third quarter,” said Carter.
The strategy almost failed and Elkin nearly turned the tide. With 6.1 seconds to go in the game, Coutney Beals of Elkin was fouled beyond the three point line attempting a basket for Elkin.
Beals missed two of three free throws, leaving Elkin four points behind.
“If you hit those buckets, anything can happen. All it gives is an opportunity for us to tie the game,” said Carter.
Beals was six of eight on the free throw line for the game.
“Beal did her part. It was the team who lost,” said Carter. “We have to make a few adjustments. We will.”
Alley Shumate led the Vikings in scoring with 16 points.
Beals led the Lady Elks in scoring with 12 points.
Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org