Starmount falls in fourth round

By Kristian Russell - krussell@elkintribune.com
Trey Dezern had five points in Starmount’s fourth-round game. - Kristian Russell | The Tribune
Eric Wiles had seven points for the Rams on Tuesday night. - Kristian Russell | The Tribune

DENVER — The Starmount Rams (24-4) basketball team travelled to Lincoln Charter (25-4) last week to take on the defending 1A State Champions in the fourth round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Playoffs. The home team proved why they were crowned champions last season, as Lincoln Charter took a 79-35 win over the Rams.

The game started off in Starmount’s favor as Griffin Cass put up a two-point shot as he drove to the basket. Cass’ shot would be the lone Starmount basket for three minutes as Lincoln Charter took control of the first quarter. The Eagles put up seven points before the Rams were able to score again. Tavis Bridges was fouled and sent to the free-throw line where he made one of his shots. With the game sitting at 7-3, Lincoln Charter kept driving at the basket as the Rams were playing defense.

On offense, Cass was able to put up another shot, which cut the Eagles’ lead to five points. Cass’ basket would be the last Starmount basket of the first quarter, as Lincoln Charter once again went on a scoring run. The Eagles were able to put up shot after shot to take a 22-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Before halftime, Starmount put up seven points while Lincoln Charter put up 16. Bridges got things started for the Rams with a strong drive to the basket to make the score 22-8. On the next Starmount offensive play, Bridges put up another strong shot from the post for a 22-10 game. While Lincoln Charter had the advantage, the Rams never gave up as Trey Dezern knocked in a three-point shot from beyond the arc to make the score 32-13 with 4:29 left in the second quarter.

The Rams kept fighting for the baskets in the second quarter, but the Eagles defense stood strong and didn’t allow another Starmount basket for the rest of the quarter. As halftime approached, Lincoln Charter had a 38-13 lead over Starmount.

As the game went on, Starmount put up 11 points in the third quarter while Lincoln Charter put up 28 points. Eric Wiles, Bridges, Barnes and Brendon Eads put up points in the third quarter for Starmount. Wiles put up the first basket for the Rams with a jump-shot fade, then put down the last basket of the quarter with a three-point shot.

Bridges was able to use his size to maneuver to the basket for a shot, while Barnes also used his size to drive for a two-point basket. From the charity stripe, Eads put down two shots for the Rams. When the third quarter ended, Lincoln Charter had a 66-24 lead over the Rams.

The final quarter saw both teams pick up the intensity, but the hole was too big for the Rams to climb out of. The Rams were able to put up 11 points, as the Eagles were able to score 13. When all was said and done, Lincoln Charter took a 79-35 win over Starmount to move on to the next round of the NCHSAA Playoffs.

The Rams had a tremendous season on the court, as they ended the 2017-2018 season with an overall record of 24-4 and a Mountain Valley Athletic Conference record of 13-1. Starmount won the MVAC Regular season, the 2018 Cook’s Classic Tournament, and came in second in the MVAC Tournament.

Starmount stats:

E. Wiles – 7 points and 4 rebounds

T. Bridges – 7 points and 6 rebounds

G. Vestal – 5 points and 2 rebounds

T. Dezern – 5 points and 2 rebounds

G. Cass – 5 points and 5 rebounds

P. Mullins – 2 points and 1 rebound

B. Eads – 2 points and 2 rebounds

E. Barnes – 2 points and 4 rebounds

C. Smythers – 5 rebounds

Trey Dezern had five points in Starmount’s fourth-round game.
https://www.elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_DSC_0003.jpgTrey Dezern had five points in Starmount’s fourth-round game. Kristian Russell | The Tribune

Eric Wiles had seven points for the Rams on Tuesday night.
https://www.elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_DSC_0025.jpgEric Wiles had seven points for the Rams on Tuesday night. Kristian Russell | The Tribune
Defending 1A State Champions take 79-35 win over Rams

By Kristian Russell

krussell@elkintribune.com