VALDESE — The Avery Vikings junior varsity basketball teams have both had successful seasons. On Friday, Jan. 20, they both bested the Draughn Wildcats in a season sweep of 2-0.
The girls kicked off the night with another conference win by a final score of 55-42.
Avery was led by Addison Herbert with 16 points, along with Kesleigh Krege, who contributed with 14 points and Jadyn Whitley who chipped in with 13 points.
The Wildcats’ team leaders were Jacey Davis with 13 points, with 11 points from Kenley Berry.
Kylie Holtsclaw and Melanie Arnett were major pieces to the game, combining to haul down 11 rebounds to contribute to the Lady Viking success.
The girls came out as usual with fierce play, holding Draughn to only three points in the first quarter in opening up an 18-point first-half lead at 21-3. Herbert, Whitley and Arnett all had perfect percentages from the foul line, each knocking down a pair of free throws. Herbert also shot for another five points, whereas Whitley added four points.
As Draughn tried to slow the Avery momentum, the Lady Wildcats battled back to have their biggest quarter of the night with 16 points. Kenley Berry was 4-for-5 from the line, also adding four additional points. Jacey Davis also put up four points, but Draughn still lingered behind Avery 33-19 at halftime.
The Lady Vikings kept their lead running through the last 14 minutes of the game, as the defense held Draughn to less than 10 points through both the third and fourth quarters.
Arnett finished the ballgame with eight points. Herbert and Whitley scored seven points each in the half, and Krege had four in the second half.
Davis hit a three-pointer in the third quarter for Draughn as she scored seven total during the second half. Cali Absher hit a three as well and had five points overall in the game.
The Lady Vikings improved their record to 11-1 overall, with a perfect 4-0 mark in the conference.
Herbert had seven assists and four steals to contribute to the Lady Vikes. Whitley also helped in a great way, as she had four assists and four steals.
Following up the girls victory, the JV boys emerged victorious in a close affair, earning a narrow 42-38 win in Valdese.
Avery led the conference matchup with a 12-6 start. Draughn rallied to excite the home crowd with two three-pointers courtesy of Logan Carswell and Brodie Wooden. Weston Woody had a fiery six-point quarter. Helping out was Hank Johnson with four points and Landon Harmon’s pair for the opening quarter.
The Wildcats outplayed Avery’s boys in the second quarter, outscoring Avery by a 10-4 margin to tie the contest. Wooden hit another three to push for a lead, along with Tate Jensen, Alex Parks and Marshall Brinkley scoring six combined points, as the teams were knotted at 16-16 on the scoreboard at halftime.
After the break, the ballgame still remained close with both teams scoring 11 points each in the third quarter. Weston Woody had two threes to provide power to the Viking offense. Cain Hart pitched in with four, while Harmon added one point for Avery in the stanza.
The Wildcats remained successful from the three-point line in the Friday evening matchup. Tate Jensen poured in three, with Wooden’s five total points in the third after hitting one last three-pointer.
Heading into the fourth, the score stayed tied at 27-27. Draughn was consistent through the last quarter with another 11 points to add to its total, but Avery opened up a lead with a scoring spurt and held off the Wildcats in the closing seconds to take the road win.
Draughn’s Jensen had a singular shot along with a three, to go along with Connor Houston’s four points, including a 2-for-2 effort on free throws.
Oak Markland provided firepower helping in Avery’s win, as he was 2-for-2 in free throws and had four points in the matchup. Johnson added on another three and five total points, while Woody finished out with four points in the quarter.
Woody was the biggest factor of the Vikings’ win over the Wildcats, as he scored 16 points overall. Johnson was the next largest contributor with nine points.
The Wildcats were led by Wooden with 11 points in the losing effort, as DHS fell to 3-9 overall and 1-2 in conference play.
The Vikings continue to improve, extending its win streak to five games, along with an undefeated 6-0 streak in conference play.
Both junior varsity teams will have several days off this week until their next conference matchup on Friday, Jan. 27, at home against Mountain Heritage. The Avery girls will kick off the matchups starting at 4 p.m. and the boys will begin play at 5:15 p.m. in Viking Gym at home in Newland.