ELKIN — The Buckin’ Elks poured in 25 points in a fourth-quarter charge against Ashe County Tuesday night in the Mountain Valley Conference opener for both squads.
But an early hole proved to be too steep for the new-look team to climb out of as the Huskies knocked off the defending champs, 60-50.
“We didn’t play ball in the first quarter. We had one point in the first and 25 in the fourth — a big difference,” Head Coach Kenneth Abrams said. “We started the game too slow. If we played all four quarters like we did the fourth, it wouldn’t have been a close game.
“You can’t do that and expect to win ball games. You have to play four quarters.”
In a sluggish first quarter, Elkin managed a single point — a free throw by Josiah Blevins — while the Huskies raced out to a 13-1 advantage.
Ashe pushed the lead out to 24-13 at the break before dropping 22 points in the third to grab a convincing 47-25 advantage heading into the fourth.
Before the start of the final period, Abrams told his young team “you can either lay down and they can get a bigger lead, or you can fight, and that’s the truth.”
The Elks fought. In an impressive 25-point out-burst, Elkin cut the deficit all the way down to eight points at 58-50 with 23.6 seconds left.
But the Elks ran out of gas as Ashe hung on for the 60-50 triumph to keep Elkin winless on the season.
“We scratched at it and tried to get it back piece by piece, but we just ran out of gas and time,” Abrams explained. “We’re kind of young, so the mental portion of the game is what we have to work on. We have to correct the mistakes — getting set better, starting the game at 100 percent instead of 50 percent, dragging our feet down the court.
“We got out-played in the first half and dug ourselves a hole,” he continued. “We let this one slip away. But we just played so bad in the first half and it cost us the game.”
Jamiles Hayes tallied a team-high 14 points on the night, while Kody King added 12 with eight coming in the final frame. Tyrek Hayes finished with eight, while Daniel Brinegar added six.
The Elks return to the court tonight against a tough Surry Central squad. The Golden Eagles won 52-40 in the first meeting between the teams last Friday.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or email@example.com.