MILLERS CREEK - Round three.
Fifth-seeded Starmount held on for the wild 46-43 upset victory over No. 4 West Wilkes Monday night in the Mountain Valley Conference tournament opener to punch its ticket into the semifinals Wednesday night.
The win, coupled with top-seeded Elkin’s rout of Ashe County, set up an intriguing third meeting between the bitter rivals with a trip to the finals on the the line.
Against the Blackhawks, Starmount used a dominating edge on the boards (16 offensive rebounds) in the first half to mount a three-point 26-23 lead at the break.
West chipped away at the lead, cutting the deficit to 38-36 at the end of three and looked to make a charge in the fourth quarter.
But Starmount pushed its advantage out to five at 44-39 late in the period before holding off the Blackhawks to pull the 46-43 upset.
Nathan Williams powered the Rams with a team-high 15 points, while Luke Shore added 10. Gunner Cass tacked on six with Kyler Gregory adding five more.
Starmount, which pushed its win-streak to five games with the win, will look to continue its hot play against Elkin in the semis.
The Elks swept the two regular-season meetings between the programs, but escaped with a 66-63 buzzer-beating win in the last matchup in Boonville.
The two rivals will square off Wednesday night at East Wilkes with tip off set at 8:00 p.m. following the girls semifinal.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or email@example.com.