Zeb Richardson got on track early with the first basket of the game, using his height advantage over a much smaller Wilkes Central squad. The Eagles scored the next four with layups from Calvin Shomaker and Christian Triplett. Nehemiah Stafford evened the score at 4-4 with a jumper halfway through a slow first quarter of play. Teams traded baskets the rest of the way with each side scoring six points before the quarter came to an end. Richardson added a short jumper while Stafford and Andrew Lopp each hit layups. Central got two more points from Triplett and four points from Armin Omanovic.
After baskets from Richardson and Anderson Moore, Wilkes Central captured its only lead of the second quarter after Omanovic drove to the hoop for a layup, then Triplett stepped out behind the three-point line and buried a long jumper to take a 15-14 lead. The Huskies were quick to answer with five straight points. Sam Gammons added a layup while Stafford swished two free throws and Lopp hit one of two from the line, pushing the Ashe advantage to 19-15. Richardson found his interior game in the final few possessions for the Huskies. The senior big man added six points in the final three minutes of play, giving the Huskies a 25-20 lead. Triplett nailed another three-pointer to send a 25-23 game to halftime.
Early in the third, it would be the Eagles who came out hitting shots. Omanovic started the scoring with a layup, then Jashon Lindon added back-to-back three-pointers to give the Eagles a 31-25 lead, and prompting Husky head coach Marc Payne to call a timeout. The Huskies responded from the timeout with, what would turn out to be, a game-changing scoring run. Ashe outscored Central 18-2 to close out the third quarter. Gammons scored eight of the 18 while Stafford added six and both Lopp and Moore found easy layups inside to put the Huskies ahead 43-33.
The fourth quarter belonged to the Huskies as well, outscoring the Eagles 10-4 to get the 53-37 victory. Moore tallied four points, while Gammons, Richardson, and Stafford each had two in the final eight minutes of play.
Stafford and Richardson led all scorers with 14 each. Gammons poured in 12 points, Moore added eight and Lopp finished out the scoring totals with five points.
Wilkes Central got 12 points apiece from Omanovic and Triplett, six points from Lindon, three from Will Cornette, and single baskets from Shomaker and Cameron Williams.
The Huskies improved to 1-1 on the season and 1-1 in the MVAC.
This win marked the 550th victory for Coach Payne, according to assistant coach Daniel Waln.
In JV boys’ action, Ashe earned a huge victory over Wilkes Central in what turned out to be the most exciting game of the day. Sophomore guard Alex Laws drained a three-pointer as the final buzzer sounded to give Ashe a 25-22 victory. Laws led the Huskies with nine points, followed by Cullen Ashley with six. This marked the first victory of the season for the JV boys.
*As of 11-29-11
1. Starmount, 1-0 overall, 1-0 conference
2. Ashe County, 1-1 overall, 1-0 conference
3. Forbush, 1-1 overall, 1-0 conference
4. Elkin, 1-2 overall, 1-0 conference
5. Wilkes Central, 1-1 overall, 0-1 conference
6. East Wilkes, 1-2 overall, 0-1 conference
7. Alleghany, 0-1 overall, 0-0 conference
8. North Wilkes, 0-2 overall, 0-0 conference
9. West Wilkes, 0-2 overall, 0-1 conference