ELKIN - With non-conference games officially over, area hoop teams open the bulk of their Mountain Valley Conference schedules.
The Buckin’ Elks, who sit atop the conference standings at 5-3 overall and 2-0 in league play, kick off their slate with a marquee matchup with defending conference tournament champion Wilkes Central Tuesday night.
At 3-1 overall and 2-0 in conference play, the Eagles meet Elkin with the top spot on the line at N.H. Carpenter Gymnasium.
The Elks are coming off a “sweet” revenge win over last season’s 1A champion Alleghany Friday night. Elkin jumped out to a 39-21 at the break before cruising to the 59-46 victory.
Central got points from 13 different players to breeze past West Wilkes 83-63 their last time out to remain perfect in conference play.
The Eagles bested Elkin in last season’s meeting, with Central pulling away in the second half to win 58-43.
In Boonville, the new-look Rams are still searching for elusive win No. 1 in the Rocky Horton era.
Starmount sits at the bottom of the conference standings at 0-3 on the year and 0-1 in MVAC play, but have an ideal chance to pick up their first win Tuesday when they take on Ashe County.
The Huskies, last season’s regular-season conference champs, are just 1-4 and 0-1 this season after losing big man Zeb Richardson to graduation, but can get back on track with a win.
Both squads are coming off disappointing conference losses with Ashe dropping a 63-37 decision to Forbush and Starmount falling 60-47 to West Wilkes.
The Rams and Huskies split their two meetings a year ago, with each team tasting victory on the road, including Starmount’s dramatic 56-53 win late in the season. The Rams will look to capture that same magic Tuesday.
Starmount then squares off with rival Elkin Friday night in the hardwood Battle of the Bridge in Elkin.
The Rams swept both meetings last season, including a 58-45 victory in Elkin.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.