It’s been a trying season for the Elkin boys’ basketball team, but the Buckin’ Elks will have reason to take pride in the second half they played at Mount Airy in a rare late-season nonconference tilt on Monday night.
The Bears, who are the state’s eighth-ranked 1A team in the NCPreps.com media poll, had rolled to a 54-24 halftime lead over struggling Elkin, but the visitors came out and played some of their best basketball of the season. In the next eight minutes, the Elks outscored Mount Airy 19-16, all the while with the Granite Bears (17-5) playing either their starting five or one or two of their top reserves. In fact, it took a Gregory Greene 3-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer for Mount Airy to get within three in the quarter.
Of course, there was nothing Elkin could do about the first half, and the Bears went on to claim a convincing 82-56 victory in a game that they likely saw as little more than a tune-up for their final regular-season games, tonight at home against rival East Surry and on Friday at Atkins, but it was something that the struggling Elks can build on.
The Bears came out strong and made a statement in the early going. Mount Airy led 12-0 after three minutes when Beau Burgess finally got Elkin on the board. When he scored again moments later, Donavon Greene answered with a dunk for the Bears, one of two he would have on the night. Mount Airy was frequently able to get numbers on the fastbreak and turn it into easy layups, and the home team led 29-8 after one quarter of play.
The Elks showed some impressive fight-back in the third, which opened with a 7-2 Elkin run capped by a Burgess 3-pointer. From that point until the end of the game, Mount Airy would only outscore the Elks by a point. Colt Henderson and Tevin Harris each had a three later in the third quarter, which ended with the Bears on top 70-43.
Elkin will travel to East Wilkes tonight. A victory for Mount Airy tonight would mean that the Bears clinch the second spot in the Northwest 1A Conference for both next week’s conference tournament and the upcoming state playoffs.
Reach John via Twitter at @johncate73.