Courtney Beals had a critical rebound and a critical steal late and Miracle Walters scored 18 points as Elkin survived a late rally by Wilkes Central to take a 46-44 Mountain Valley conference win Monday night.
The Lady Elks built a 17-point lead midway through the third quarter and then came unraveled as the Eagles scored 10 straight points to start the fourth quarter.
Walters found Beals inside to stop the run with 4:08 to play in the game. Then, with just over two minutes to play, Beals held onto a defensive rebound between two Eagles that led to a fastbreak layup by Mikayla Dimmette and a 44-39 Elkin lead.
The Eagles crept within two twice in the final minute-and-a-half, but a steal by Beals, two free throws by Dimmette, and an Eagle turnover helped the Lady Elks hold on.
“They kept scrapping,” Elkin Coach Derek Carter said of Wilkes Central. “And we hung on.
“We learned from it. We’re young. It’s a win. I was proud of them.”
Beals finished with 11 rebounds, while Dimmette added 12 points. Of Walters’ performance, Carter said, “That’s what we needed from her.”
Amber Godfrey scored 20 points as Wilkes Central took a 56-42 win over Elkin Jan. 21 in Wilkesboro. Godfrey was limited to nine points Monday night. “We did a nice job on her,” Carter said.
Elkin was bouncing back from a 54-36 loss to East Wilkes Feb. 11.
“We talked about taking care of the basketball,” Carter said. “We wanted to make sure we got a shot. For the first three quarters, we did a nice job.”
The game, originally scheduled for Friday, decided the fourth and fifth seed in the conference tournament that starts Tuesday night. Had Wilkes Central won, Elkin would have traveled to Wilkes Central. The Eagles now have to travel back to Elkin.
The winner advances to Thursday night’s conference semifinals at North Wilkes.
Wilkes Central (14-10, 7-7): Salem Blair 0-2-2, Taylor Mastin 3-0-8, Antonia Graham 3-0-7, Brooke Bentley 0-2-2, Amber Godfrey 4-0-9, Laken Blackburn 6-1-13, Hannah Williams 0-2-2, Kailey McNeil 0-1-1. Totals: 16-FG 8-13-FT 44.
Elkin (12-12, 8-6):Mikayla Dimmette 3-6-12, Miracle Walters 7-4-18, Madeline Carter 1-0-3, Courtney Beals 2-0-4, Kylie Thomas 2-0-4, Carrie Brown 2-1-5. Totals: 17-FG 11-19-FT 46.
WC 8 3 13 20 - 44
E 8 11 19 8 - 46
3-Pt. FG: WC 4 (Mastin 2, Graham, Godfrey); E 1 (Carter). Total Fouls: WC 18, E 16. Fouled Out: None: Technicals: None. Officials: Whitaker, Lewis, Atkins.