BOONVILLE — The lasting image of Starmount and Forbush’s final Mountain Valley Conference showdown in Boonville last February was a sea of orange and blue rushing the court.
A pair of free throws in the waning seconds by Gunner Cass gave the Rams a thrilling 54-52 victory over their county rival as the student section filled the floor to celebrate.
The Falcons will get their shot at revenge Friday night on their home court in the 2013-14 season opener for both squads, who are now non-conference foes after the recent North Carolina High School Athletic Association realignment.
Starmount only lost two players off that 9-17 squad that finished fifth in the league at 9-7 a year ago, returning both All-Mountain Valley Conference honorees in Luke Shore and James Ashley.
Cass, a prolific scorer, leads a solid senior class that also features Dalton Vestal and Isaiah Billips. Eight juniors fill out a deep roster under second-year skipper Rocky Horton.
The Lady Rams will have a new look in 2013 after the departure of the Walters sisters.
Heaven, now at Guilford College, averaged 21.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game last year and garnered Starmount’s lone all-conference nod, while freshman honorable mention Miracle Walters transferred down the road to Elkin.
Senior Whitney Pardue, a returning honorable mention performer, and senior Christy Reavis will lead the Lady Rams this season with first-year juniors Ashley Dewees, Asuka Takadate and Breanna Combs.
Starmount opens with six non-conference games before tipping off league play against rival Elkin.
The Rams also will hit the floor in Christmas tournaments with the boys heading to Mount Airy and the girls playing in the Alleghany Christmas Tournament.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.