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Bowers' layup gives Ashe win over Alleghany

Originally published: Dec. 21
Last modified: Dec. 21

Steve Behr

WEST JEFFERSON — Ashe County’s boys’ basketball team is getting used to winning close games.

The Huskies got a game-winning layup from Connor Bowers with 3.3 seconds left in the game and beat visiting Alleghany 44-42 in a Mountain Valley Conference showdown Friday.

Alleghany (5-4, 1-1 MVC) took a 42-40 lead with 2:04 left in the game, but would not score again. Ashe County’s Cullen Ashley tied the game with two foul shots with 1:36 left, but did not score again until Bowers drove to the basket and got his shot to fall with 1.9 seconds showing on the scoreboard clock.

“We did exactly what we wanted to do,” Ashe coach Scott Grubb said. “We wanted to run the clock down to inside 10 seconds and then we dropped Connor Bowers down low and let him go to the basket. If he drew help, he could pitch it, but I was hoping he would be able to take it and score.”

The game’s officials put 3.3 seconds on the clock, which gave Alleghany enough time to get the ball to Austin Sprinkle. He got a guarded, but good look at the basket, but his 3-point shot was no good and the Huskies survived.

Sprinkle scored 36 points Tuesday in a win over East Wilkes, but managed just 10 points against Ashe County (3-7, 2-0). Although Sprinkle did not light up the Huskies with offense, Grubb still held his breath until Sprinkle’s final shot bounced off the rim.

Grubb credited Maison McNeill and Gavin Woodie for guarding Sprinkle.

“The No. 1 was we to keep Austin Sprinkle at bay,” Grubb said. “He killed us last year in a game and he had 36 Tuesday night against East Wilkes. We faced guarded him all night and did and outstanding job. We ran a lot of people at him.”

Bowers scored eight points for the Huskies. Ashley scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds against a bigger Alleghany front line that included Fabian Santos and Avery Hash. Devan Sheets and Bradley Lucas, who also battled Santos and Hash, each scored six points.

Santos scored 10 points and Hash settled for six points after scoring 13 against East Wilkes.

“I’ve had the privilege of coaching Cullen Ashley for four years, two on the junior varsity and then two on the varsity,” Grubb said. “That’s the best game I’ve ever seen him play. He hit all of his free throws. He was a dominant presence on the boards against guys who were much bigger than them.”

Scoring was at a premium in the first half. Ashe made just 6-of-23 shots from the field, but still held a 14-11 halftime lead. Alleghany was equally cold in the first half by making just 3-of-8 foul shots in the second quarter and 3-of-15 from the field in the first half.

The scoring picked up in the second half when Alleghany outscored Ashe 16-13 in the third quarter, which forged a 41-41 tie going into the fourth.

Ashe, which hosts the Colvard Oil Tournament Dec. 27-28, opens with Hibriten on Dec. 27.

 

Ashe County boys 44, Alleghany 42

Alleghany 42 (5-4, 1-1)

Hash 2 2-8 6, Santos 5 0-0 10, McKnight 1 1-2 3, Sprinkle 2 5-5 10, Lyons 5 1-2 11, Solis 1 0-1 2, Hanks 0 0-0 0, Panueu 0 0-0 0, Lawson 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 9-18 42.

Ashe 44 (3-7, 2-0)

Bowers 3 1-1 8, Spencer 1 2-2 4, Sheets 2 1-2 6, McNeill 2 0-0 5, Shelton 90 1-2 1, Ashley 5 4-4 14, Lucas 3 0-2 6, Sexton 0 0-0 0, Woodie 0 0-0 0, Owen 0 0-0 0, Winebarger 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 9-13 44.

Alleghany        4 7 16 15 — 42

Ashe County  7 7 13 17 — 44

3-point goals—Alleghany 1 (Sprinkle), Ashe 3 (Bowers, Sheets, McNeill). Rebounds—Alleghany 22 (Hash 6), Ashe 26 (Ashley 6). Turnovers—Alleghany 13, Ashe 10. Total fouls—Alleghany 13, Ashe 19. Fouled out—None.

 
For more information and stories, see Ashe Mountain Times.