BOONVILLE — The Starmount boys varsity team led an offensive attack and played tough defense on Friday, winning 72-42 over East Wilkes in their second meeting of the season. Five players scored in double digits.
The Rams also won in their last match-up against the Cardinals this season but by six points only.
Ram Kyler Gregory, a sophomore, was game high-scorer with 17 points. Other double-digits scorers for the Rams were Luke Shore, contributing 16; James Ashley 14; Trey Bryant 11; and Gunner Cass 10.
For the Cardinals, strong efforts in the first half were contributed by Dillon Gray, who scored three three-point baskets in a row. In addition, Andrew Nance’s first-half tally of seven, kept the half-time margin at eight points with Rams up 28-22.
The Rams executed well in the area of passing, as they pushed the ball inside much of the game. Starmount players spread around the ball all four quarters. When the Cardinals double-teamed, the Rams still found a way to get the pass to an open player or force an opening by making an inside route in net attacks.
As the Cardinals stepped up coverage around the net, the Rams shot good percentages from the perimeter.
Cass played strong defensively breaking up several passes throughout the game, recorded several steals and consistently fed the hungry Rams offense. Rams seniors Josh Houser, Isaiah Billips and Dalton Vestal put in good playing minutes on both sides of the ball.
As they did last week against Elkin, the Rams stayed persistent around the net on rebounds and as a result controlled the numbers. Gregory, Shore, Ashley and company helped win the turf battle around the net for a second week in a row. By the close of the fourth quarter, the Rams led as much as 30 points and kept the distance going into the games finale.
Rams Head Coach Rocky Horton said he felt the Rams came out sluggish in the first half, both teams had not been on the court with school out. However, Horton said he was impressed by how well the Rams controlled the game’s tempo in the second half, calling it upbeat.
“We’ve got 10 guys who can be sparks that can be hard to put out,” said Horton.
East Wilkes Coach Justin Call said, “We did not play on defense. I’ve got to give it to them, they came out, attacked and it worked.” Call said the Cardinals team could expect lots of defense drills in practice as a result. Call did add that Cardinals Dillon Gray and Andrew Nance played a good game.
Starmount (1A) boys varsity basketball team came into Friday’s game tied for third-place with West Wilkes (2A) in the Mountain Valley 1A/2A conference.
On Friday at maxpreps.com, Starmount’s Gunner Cass and James Ashley were listed as leaders in the scoring category ranking third and fourth in the conference. Cass was listed as averaging 11.5 points per game, while Ashley recorded 10.1. East Wilkes’ Will Jolly ranked in the top five, recording 10 points per game. Cass also ranked fifth in assists and Ashley fourth in steals.
East Wilkes’ Andrew Nance and Zach Nixon ranked in the top five in three-point field goals; Nance also ranked second in assists and third in steals.
Starmount’s Luke Shore held a top-five spot in blocks, Kyler Gregory was third in rebounds, Trey Bryant, fourth; and East Wilkes’ Chandler Bare ranked fifth.
Gregory ranked third at 57 percent in the free throw category. So far on maxpreps.com, rivals Elkin High School did not have individual player stats listed for the categories in the season tally.
Stats for the Starmount versus East Wilkes boys varsity game are listed below:
Starmount scorers: James Ashley 14, Jonah Shore 2, Gunner Cass 10, Luke Shore 16, Trey Bryant 11, Kyler Gregory 17, Dalton Vestal 2.
East Wilkes: Dillon Gray 11, Chandler Bare 4, Andrew Nance 14, Zach Nixon 7, Will Jolly 4, Seth Longbottom 2.
Starmount box scores: 11-17-22-22
East Wilkes scores: 6-16-11-9
Starmount is scheduled to play Wilkes Central at home on Monday and West Wilkes away on Tuesday. East Wilkes is scheduled to play on Tuesday at Ashe County.
Tanya Chilton may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @TanyaTDC.