WEST JEFFERSON - Starmount is still searching for that elusive first win under new head coach Rocky Horton.
In a defensive-minded contest, the Rams allowed a late layup to a scrappy Ashe County side and dropped a tough 38-36 decision Friday night in West Jefferson.
With the score tied at 36-36 late in the fourth, Johnathan Cox hit a contested layup to put the Huskies up by two. After Ashe missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with five seconds remaining, AC’s Alex Laws grabbed the offensive rebound and ran out the clock to preserve the win.
Josh Houser led Starmount with 11 points on the night, while Ben Combs and Gunner Cass added seven and five, respectively. Nine Rams scored in the game.
Ashe jumped out to a quick 10-2 lead in the first quarter before Horton called a timeout. Coming out of the huddle, Starmount battled back and trimmed the lead down to 12-8 after one.
The Rams finally pulled ahead after closing the quarter on a 5-0 burst to take a 22-20 advantage into the locker room.
In a back-and-forth third quarter, Ashe pushed ahead at 34-31 heading to the fourth.
With neither team able to produce much offense in the final quarter, the Huskies led until Houser scored four-straight points for the Rams to pull even at 36-36.
But Starmount was unable to keep Cox out of the lane on the final possession, falling 38-36.
With the loss, the Rams dropped to 0-4 on the season and 0-2 in the Mountain Valley Conference.
Things do not get easier for Starmount as they head to red-hot cross-town rival Elkin (6-3, 3-0) tonight in the hardwood edition of the Battle of the Bridge.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org