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Ashe Huskies to host Starmount this week

Originally published: Jan. 30
Last modified: Jan. 30

Steve Behr

Ashe County boys’ basketball coach Scott Grubb knows his Huskies face a key part of their schedule.

The Huskies (6-12, 4-4 MWC) host Starmount today in a game that was postponed from Tuesday because of inclement weather. Ashe plays at North Wilkes on Friday.

The Huskies, who have lost their last two games, need to put together some victories if they want to make a run at a 2-A state play-off berth. Grubb knows that with just a few games left on the regular-season schedule, the Huskies can’t afford to fall too much deeper in the Mountain Valley Conference standings.

“These are really big games for us,” Grubb said. “We’ve got to make some noise if we want to get into the playoffs. West Wilkes and North Wilkes are in front of us and we need to be ahead of at least one of them to get into the playoffs.”

Ashe is coming off a pair of losses last week. The Huskies’ most recent setback was a 42-31 loss at Alleghany on Jan. 24. Ashe did not score more than seven points in three of the four quarters during the game, and was outscored 25-14 in the second half.

Grubb was happy with the defense the Huskies played against Alleghany, which is 12-3 overall, 6-1 MVC.

Offensively, the Huskies shot just 27 percent from the field.

“We held them to 42 points, but you’re not going to get a stop every time,” Grubb said. “Offensively, we’ve been in a drought. We played the best team in the league in Alleghany, and they’ve got some good players. We did a tremendous job holding them to a 17-17 tie at halftime.”

Grubb said the Huskies will have to play the same type of defense against Starmount, which beat Ashe 71-50 on Jan. 15. Starmount’s guards hurt the Huskies with their quickness, and their frontcourt players hurt Ashe with rebounding.

Starmount will use a full-court press to take advantage of its quick guards, but Grubb felt the Huskies did a good job handling the Rams’ pressure. Ashe’s defense must do a better job of keeping the Starmount guards from getting out in transition and driving to the basket, and a better job rebounding.

“Actually, the full-court pressure was not the issue,” Grubb said. “We did a fine job with the full-court pressure. What it boils down to is us not making shots and us not getting back in transition.”

Grubb also hopes the Huskies will shoot the ball better at home.

“We play much better at home,” Grubb said. “We seem to have more of an edge about us and it seems to cut a little deeper at home. We’ve had some big wins at home.”

The scoring was slow at Alleghany. Two Huskies — Conner Bowers and Bradley Lucas — scored six points each. Alex Spencer scored five and Cullen Ashley scored four.

“A lot of it is confidence,” Grubb said. “Hopefully, we can get a few shots to drop early and come out of this funk.”
For more information and stories, see Ashe Mountain Times.