Although the Falcons set the offensive tone early, the Ashe County Huskies battled their way back and eventually held on for the 49-48 win.
“It’s a great atmosphere. It’s tough to play here,” said Falcon Coach Jon Huggins.
Cody Eller gave an all-star performance, knocking down 19 points, and posing an inside threat against the Husky defense.
“He did a great job inside,” Huggins said.
In the first quarter alone, Eller hit six of Forbush’s 15 points to help lead the team.
Despite the early Falcon lead, the Huskies roared back for 24 points in the second quarter to hold the 36-28 lead by halftime.
Bryson Payne helped boost the Husky offense, adding seven points, including a three-pointer to start the second quarter.
Building on Payne’s three-pointer, the Huskies capitalized on a 15-3 run to put the Falcons in a bind on the scoreboard.
While the first half ended with the Huskies’ offensive surge, the third quarter was relatively slow for both teams.
The Falcons were able to put seven more points on the board, while holding Ashe to just four.
The two squads continued to battle into the fourth quarter.
With less than a minute to go, and down 46-45, the Falcons were forced to foul, sending Bryson Payne to the line.
In his three trips to the stripe, Payne hit 3-5 in the attempts giving the Huskies a 49-45 lead with just over 30 seconds left.
With time dwindling, Michael Scott hit a three with seven seconds left to keep the Falcons alive.
Still down 49-48, a quick foul sent Andrew Lopp to the line to shoot the double bonus for Ashe.
After both misses, the Falcons took a timeout with two ticks left on the clock to set up the final play.
Once the inbounds pass was made, Forbush fired a final three-point attempt, but took a bad bounce off the iron, giving Ashe the narrow 49-48 win.
“Sometimes the game is just that close,” Huggins said.
Despite the loss, the Falcons hoped to keep their season alive and make a run in the playoffs. However, the only way Forbush could have made the playoffs was if Ashe County defeated Wilkes Central in the tournament championship.
However, Central narrowly escaped the Huskies, 49-48, to win the tournament championship, and to keep their season alive.
After the conclusion of the games on Friday night, Michael Scott was named as the MVAC MVP on the mens’ side, while Starmount’s Kelli Bonner was awarded the honors for the women.
Ashe County- 12 24 4 9- 49
Forbush- 15 13 7 13- 48
Ashe County: Bryson Payne 15, Zeb Richardson 9, Dylan Carter 8, Matt Nichols 8, Sam Gammons 5, Andrew Lopp 2, Zach Richardson 2
Forbush: Cody Eller 19, Michael Scott 12, Avery Ravit 9, Matt Cain 6, Josh Beverly 2