One phrase that might describe the 2022-23 season for the 4 native boys basketball groups is likely to be change.
Whether or not it’s a brand new head boy’s basketball coach or rebuilding after losses to commencement, each staff will likely be coping with change this winter.
Forbush will look to interchange key items from final 12 months’s squad that went to the third spherical of the North Carolina Excessive Faculty Athletic Affiliation 2A playoffs. Starmount will look to construct off final 12 months’s late-season surge, which culminated with a visit to the NCHSAA 1A playoffs below then-new head coach Avery Wallis.
East Wilkes and Elkin can have their sights set on making the playoffs after multi-year absences (the Cardinals haven’t made the playoffs since 2015-16 whereas the Buckin’ Elks haven’t made the postseason because the 2019-20 season).
As a model new season has kicked off, right here’s a have a look at the 4 Yadkin/Elkin groups and the outlook for this coming 12 months.
EAST WILKES CARDINALS
Bradley Hayes, first season with the Cardinals
6-15, 3-9 convention, sixth place within the Northwest 1A Convention.
The Cardinals graduated a pair of seniors from final 12 months’s squad, which included Austin Blackburn, who’s now a member of the Carolina College males’s basketball program. Additionally gone is Mason Lyon, who additionally performed key minutes off the bench.
9 gamers with varsity expertise return this winter for the Cardinals, led by All-Northwest convention picks Braxton Lengthy and Ledger Blackburn — each seniors. The duo every averaged double figures final winter with 13 and 10 factors, respectively (in accordance with stats submitted to MaxPreps)
Seniors and all-conference honorable point out picks Eric Adams and Briggs Gentry additionally return. Adams and Blackburn missed the Cardinals season opener on Nov. 18 whereas nonetheless recovering from accidents throughout soccer season.
Eight seniors are a part of the Cardinals varsity squad, and will likely be joined by Easton Martin, Weston Brown, Daniel Useful and Noah Spriggs. Regardless of being restricted on account of harm final 12 months, Useful averaged 9.2 factors a recreation.
Junior Owen Combs is the ultimate returning varsity participant for the Cardinals. Fellow eleventh-graders Hayden Phillps and Mason Sparks be part of the varsity squad this season.
The Cardinals jumped into the win column with an 81-65 win over Atkins of their season opener on Nov. 18 behind a game-high 38 factors from Lengthy. Useful and Sparks added 12 factors apiece.
East Wilkes will its subsequent three video games in opposition to Wilkes County opponents and began with West Wilkes on Wednesday evening. They’ll host Wilkes Central and North Wilkes on Friday and Tuesday, respectively.
The Cardinals then open up Northwest Convention play on Dec. 9 at Mount Ethereal after which host Elkin on Dec. 13. They’ll play in a neutral-site Christmas match Dec. 27-29 earlier than returning to league play on Jan. 6 in opposition to Alleghany.
East Wilkes will journey to rival Elkin on Jan. 24 and journey to Starmount on Jan. 30. They may conclude the common season on Feb. 10 at residence in opposition to the Rams.
The Cardinals, together with the Buckin’ Elks and Rams, will then compete within the Northwest 1A Convention match the next week. All video games will likely be performed at Alleghany Excessive Faculty.
ELKIN BUCKIN’ ELKS
Marcus Wilmoth, sixth season with the Buckin’ Elks
2-18, 1-11 convention, seventh place within the Northwest 1A Convention.
The Buckin’ Elks must substitute 4 gamers from final 12 months’s staff, together with a trio of seniors in Judah Christian, Jordan Ennis and Joe Snow.
Seniors Logan Norman and Ethan Ford tempo seven returning gamers from final 12 months’s staff, and each guys had been All-Northwest Honorable Point out picks.
Along with Norman and Ford, a quartet of seniors — Maecyn Brooks, Caleb Morgan, Jackson Strudivant and Christian Brown — return from final season and will likely be referred to as on for his or her expertise and management.
Junior Tyler Jenkins is one other Buckin’ Elk again with varsity expertise from final season. He’ll be joined by fellow eleventh-graders William Pilson, Lukas McClamrock and Aaron Caudle.
Charlie Pelkey is the fourth newcomer on Elkin’s varsity basketball squad however the freshman already has varsity expertise, having performed vital minutes for the Buckin’ Elks’ soccer membership this fall.
2022 SEASON OVERVIEW
“We have now an ideal group of younger males who wish to be right here and are going to play arduous each evening. We have now some nice veteran management and a few younger youngsters who’re going to play vital roles on our
staff,” mentioned Wilmoth. “We will likely be relying on a number of gamers this season who don’t have any varsity basketball expertise, so I anticipate us to have some bumps within the highway, however hope to be taking part in our greatest basketball when the convention season rolls round.”
Elkin remains to be looking for its first win within the younger season after dropping its first three video games to Surry Central (77-28), West Iredell (76-53) and North Wilkes (61-43). The Buckin’ Elks hosted Forbush on Tuesday evening and journey to Wilkes Central Thursday earlier than they host Millennium Constitution on Friday. They’ll journey to the Falcons subsequent Tuesday.
The Buckin’ Elks kick off Northwest Convention play on Dec. 9 at residence in opposition to North Stokes and journey to rival East Wilkes on Dec. 13.
After internet hosting West Wilkes and North Wilkes on Dec. 22 and 23, respectively, Elkin will likely be off till Jan. 5 when it hosts defending convention champion South Stokes and travels to Starmount the subsequent evening.
The Buckin’ Elks conclude the common season on Feb. 10 at South Stokes.
Jon Huggins, fourth season with the Falcons
22-7, 9-3 convention, tied for second place within the Foothills 2A Convention (misplaced to Jay M. Robinson within the third spherical of the NCHSAA 2A playoffs)
Commencement hit the Falcons arduous as they graduated three All-Foothills Convention picks in Peyton Compton, present Ferrum School basketball participant Cannon Doub and Noah Crews. Compton, who was the league’s participant of the 12 months and a 1,000-point scorer, was additionally a primary staff choice on the North Carolina Basketball Coaches Affiliation all-district 11 staff.
Compton averaged round 24 factors a recreation and Doub averaged simply over 15 factors a recreation (in accordance with Max Preps). Crews averaged 8.4 factors a recreation. Additionally gone is Joe Hennings, who averaged 9.6 factors a recreation.
All instructed, the Falcons misplaced their high six scorers from final season.
The 2022-23 Falcons are comprised of eight seniors six returning), headlined by Caden Funk, who Huggins mentioned “is the one returning participant who logged vital minutes final 12 months.”
Funk averaged 3.9 factors and 4.3 rebounds final 12 months. Fellow seniors Lance Hutchens, Cody Thompson, Jake Boyles, Josh Brown and Wyatt Graham additionally return this winter with varsity expertise.
Two different seniors — Nick Weisner and Jesse Wooten — be part of the Falcons this season.
Six different newcomers for Forbush this winter are juniors Holden Moxley, C.J. Boyd, Braylon Beane, Yorland Luna, Gavin Maines and freshman Pierce Sprague.
2022 SEASON OVERVIEW
“We misplaced a substantial amount of seniors who logged loads of taking part in time final season however we’ve got a hardworking staff this 12 months,” mentioned Huggins. “Regardless of a scarcity of recreation expertise on the varsity stage, our gamers have labored arduous within the low season and preseason, and we anticipate to be aggressive in convention play.”
The Falcons have gotten off to a gradual begin this winter because it dropped their season opener in opposition to North Forsyth, 60-52, final Tuesday. Then they took half within the Headliners Problem and misplaced to Central Carolina Prep (71-18) and Piedmont Classical (86-39) this previous weekend.
Forbush traveled to Elkin on Tuesday and sq. off with the Buckin’ Elks at residence on Dec. 6 after which journey to former Western Piedmont Convention foe West Stokes.
The Falcons journey to Starmount on Dec. 9 earlier than opening up Foothills 2A Convention play on Dec. 13 at West Wilkes.
Forbush closes out the season at residence on Feb. 10 at Wilkes Central. They’ll play within the Foothills 2A Convention match the next week at North Surry.
Avery Wallis, second season with the Rams
6-16, 4-8 convention, fifth place within the Northwest 1A Convention (misplaced to Hayesville within the first spherical of the NCHSAA 1A playoffs)
The Rams graduated 4 gamers from final 12 months’s staff, however the hardest loss was the departure of Eli Wingler, who all-Northwest Convention performer and the staff’s main scorer final season at 12 factors a recreation.
Quadarius McClinton additionally graduated after averaging double figures at 10.5 factors a recreation.
Seven gamers with varsity expertise return for Starmount this winter, led by seniors Xavier King and Zack Armstrong. King, an all-conference performer, averaged 10.9 factors, 3.5 assists and a pair of.4 steals a recreation (in accordance with MaxPreps); Armstrong averaged 7.5 factors and 4.6 rebounds a recreation.
Senior Zack Dezern (6.3 factors) and junior Jadon Harm-Bailey (3.7 factors) additionally return, together with seniors Anthony Rengel, Darren Shore and junior Preston Williams.
Six gamers be part of the varsity Rams this season, headlined by Cole Longworth. The senior performed at Elkin final season and was an all-Northwest Convention performer.
Fellow seniors Luke Kimmer and Dylan Ball be part of Longworth. Starmount’s newcomers are rounded out by uniors Zion Ramseur and A.J. Pardue and sophomore Colton Allen.
Starmount began off with a thriller final Tuesday within the type of a 54-53 win over West Wilkes, due to a game-winning putback from Armstrong within the waning seconds.
The Rams returned to the court docket on Tuesday at North Wilkes and host the Blackhawks in a rematch on Dec. 6 and open league play on Dec. 13 at North Stokes.
Starmount will then play Surry Central and North Surry within the Chick-fil-A Invitational on Dec. 28-29. After video games in opposition to North Wilkes and at Wilkes Central, the Rams will host Elkin on Jan. 6 earlier than internet hosting defending convention champion South Stokes.
The Rams will host East Wilkes and journey to Elkin on Jan. 30 and 31, respectively. Starmount closes out the common season on Feb. 10 at East Wilkes.