RONDA — The East Wilkes men’s basketball team has struggled to find a win all season. The Cardinals have fought at every turn, but the final score never seems to go East Wilkes’ way. Last Tuesday night the Cardinals hosted Wilkes Central in a Mountain Valley Athletic Conference game that saw the Eagles take a 59-31 win.
Things went well for the Cardinals in the first quarter as they outscored Wilkes Central 11-10. Ben Longbottom put up the first two baskets for East Wilkes, which made the game 4-4. Bryce Vestal put East Wilkes ahead 7-4 as he knocked down a three-point shot with 5:52 left in the quarter. The Cardinals kept building off their momentum as Jaylen Salters drove to the basket and put in a shot for a 9-4 game.
Wilkes Central was able to answer back and scored a two-point shot on its next drive, but East Wilkes didn’t let the basket deter it. Longbottom once again went up for a shot and put in his third basket of the quarter for an 11-9 lead. Wilkes Central knocked in a free throw to make the score 11-10 at the end of the quarter.
Wilkes Central took the momentum in the second quarter as it went on a scoring run and put up 14 points. East Wilkes put up six points as Vestal, Sean Sidden and Longbottom put up points. Their baskets were not enough as Wilkes Central had taken a 24-17 lead at halftime.
In the final two quarters, East Wilkes put forth its best effort to take the lead back, but nothing could stop Wilkes Central. The Eagles put up 16 points in the third and 19 points in the fourth. East Wilkes scored 11 points in the third, and three points in the fourth. When it was all said and done, Wilkes Central took a 59-31 win over East Wilkes.
The Cardinals went 2-for-10 from the free-throw line, 1-for-5 in three-pointers, 14-for-26 in field goals, with 20 points in the paint, and 14 personal fouls.
The Cardinals have an overall record of 0-17, and a MVAC record of 0-8. East Wilkes will host West Wilkes on Wednesday night, and travel to Starmount on Friday night.
East Wilkes stats:
B. Vestal – 15 points and 4 rebounds
B. Longbottom – 10 points and 3 rebounds
M. Boyd – 2 pints and 1 rebound
S. Sidden – 2 points and 2 rebounds
J. Salters – 2 points and 5 rebounds
Z. Lovette – 4 rebounds