MVAC Tournament tips off Monday night
by Matthew Gorry
EAST BEND - With the regular season officially in the books, the postseason tips off Monday night.
The Mountain Valley Conference Tournament opens Monday around the area as seven of the eight area hoops squads made the cut. The Forbush boys finished ninth at 5-11.
On the boys side, regular-season champion Elkin (15-1) looks to add a tournament title to its remarkable run though the league. The Buckin’ Elks host eighth-seeded Ashe County (5-11) in their opening-round matchup.
Elkin swept the Huskies in their two meetings this season, mostly recently escaping West Jefferson with a 50-47 overtime victory earlier this month to clinch the program’s first title in 15 years.
After dropping its first five conference games to open the season, Starmount rolled through the second half of its slate to finish 7-9 and capture the No. 5 seed.
The Rams, who advanced to the tournament semifinals a year ago, will tip off this postseason run Monday against No. 4 West Wilkes (7-9) on the road in Millers Creek.
Starmount was swept by the Blackhawks during the regular season, with both losses coming by double figures.
East Wilkes (5-11) rounds out the boys side, notching the No. 7 seed in the tourney.
The Cardinals will open against runner-up Wilkes Central (14-2) in Moravian Falls. East was swept by their county rivals in the first two matchups.
On the girls side, all four area teams will battle in the conference tournament as the bottom four seeds.
Forbush captured the No. 5 seed with an even 8-8 record after a strong second-half push.
The Lady Falcons will take on No. 4 Ashe County (10-6) in the opening round, looking to make some noise. The teams split the regular-season meetings with the road club winning each game.
East Wilkes (7-9) earned the No. 6 seed in the tournament and will open tourney play against rival third-seeded Wilkes Central (11-5).
The Eagles swept their county neighbors in the two regular-season matchups.
Freshmen-laden Starmount will tip off the playoffs as the No. 7 seed with a 5-11 mark.
The Lady Rams will head to second-seeded West Wilkes (12-4) in the opening round. Starmount knocked off the Blackhawks in its conference opener in December.
Elkin (2-14) was the final team to punch its ticket into the conference tournament, edging Alleghany on the final night by virtue of its victory over Wilkes Central in January.
The Lady Elks will battle champion North Wilkes (15-1) in the first round. The Vikings swept the regular-season meetings.
The opening-round games will be played at the higher-seed school, while the semifinals and finals will played later in the week at East Wilkes in Ronda.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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