SPARTA — The East Wilkes boys basketball team had three days to prepare for upcoming Friday night’s game against Elkin, but if Head Coach Brad Davis’ comments after a 67-45 loss to Alleghany this past Tuesday are any indication, those three days were tough.
“We have to prepare really, really hard, because Elkin will beat is if we play like that right there,” Davis said.
Despite leading early on in the game, Alleghany went on a 9-0 run late in the first quarter, and never let the foot off of the gas the rest of the way. In last Friday night’s loss to Ashe County, the team nearly completed a 17-point comeback. This time, the Cardinals did not come close, and the frustration was obvious as the time ticked down.
“We stopped them defensively in the first half, but couldn’t score,” Davis said. “We looked for excuses instead of playing basketball.”
The Cardinals (2-10, 0-5 MVAC) have periods of time in games where they’re putting pressure on defense and keeping pace with their opposition, but on Tuesday night, that period was very short. Their opponent Friday night also has had similar issues. Elkin (1-13, 0-5 MVAC) is also looking for its first conference win of the season, but has struggled many times to play a complete 32 minutes of tough basketball.
Both teams haven’t fallen too far back from the rest of the conference yet, but a loss Friday night is something that neither team can afford right now. Each team has gradually improved but still has lingering issues where it let its opposition go on runs, and if the athletes are not playing with confidence, they don’t really recover from it for the remainder of their games.
Whoever comes out of Friday night’s game the winner won’t immediately be in good shape suddenly in the conference, but especially at the high school level, a confidence boost could help any team out immensely.
The game is scheduled to begin shortly after the conclusion of the girls basketball game.
Ryan DeCosta can be reached at 336-258-4052 or via Twitter @rsdecosta.