ELKINS -- Elkins blitzed Charleston from the outset Friday to earn a three-way share of the 3A-1 West Conference championship.
Paxton Barnett scored 24 points to lead Elkins to a 62-51 victory over Charleston before a large crowd at the Elks' gym. With the win, Elkins gained a share of the league title with Charleston and Waldron, which defeated Greenland 68-51 on Friday.
Waldron will be the No. 1 seed, Elkins the No. 2 seed, and Charleston the No. 3 seed for the conference tournament next week at Waldron.
Friday's game was a rematch after freshman Brandon Scott dribbled down court and hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Charleston a 51-50 victory earlier this season. But the outcome Friday did not come down to the final seconds after Elkins hit four 3-pointers to take a 16-3 lead in the first quarter.
Charleston fought back and tied the game early in the third quarter. But the Elks (24-3, 12-2) regained control behind Barnett, who made two 3-pointers from the corner to put Elkins ahead 45-37.
"I thought our intensity was awesome," Elkins coach Jared Porter said. "We came out ready to play and the guys were shooting the ball well. At times, we found some droughts but our defense just stayed with us."
Brayden Ross overcame a slow start to score 21 points to lead Charleston (15-7, 12-2). Kain Johnson added 14 for Elkins.
The second half was often a scoring battle between Ross and Barnett, two of the top players in the league. Ross powered inside while Barnett scored inside and outside effectively.
Elkins still clung to a 29-26 lead at halftime after roaring to a 16-3 lead. Chance Sneathern began Charleston comeback in the second quarter with a baseline drive for a basket. Ross began to warm up and he found Sneathern for two 3-pointers when Charleston closed to within 25-24 late in the second quarter. But Elkins went into the locker room with the lead after Kain Johnson fought through traffic and banked in a short jumper in front of the rim.
Charleston 8 18 13 12 -- 62
Elkins 16 13 16 17 -- 51
Charleston (15-7, 12-2): Ross 21, Sneathern 10, Fenner 8, Scott 4, B. Scott 8.
Elkins (24-3, 12-2): Barnett 24, Johnson 14, Perrenoud 11, Vaught 5, Wheeler 6, Andrews 2.
CHARLESTON 42, ELKINS 25
Charleston jumped to a 10-0 lead and beat Elkins to finish undefeated in 3A-1 West Conference play for the second-consecutive season.
Brooke Groen scored 14 points for Charleston (23-2, 14-0), which led 12-4 after one quarter and 22-10 at halftime. Groen made four of the six 3-pointers for Charleston while Kingslee Kester had 7 points to lead Elkins (19-6, 11-3).
Elkins Ashley Brink (11) passes, Friday, February 14, 2020 during a basketball game at Elkins High School in Elkins. Check out nwaonline.com/prepbball/ for today's photo gallery. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Charlie Kaijo)
Groen made two early 3-pointers to help Charleston to a 10-0 lead. Elkins was held scoreless for over the first seven minutes of the game and the Lady Elks didn't reach double digits until Tiara Jackson made two free throws with 57 seconds left before halftime.
Groen opened the second half with a 3-pointer as Charleston increased its lead to 33-18 after three quarters.
Charleston (23-3, 14-0): Groen 14, Ross 8, Koch 7, King 5, Grandison 2, Newhort 6.
Elkins (19-6, 11-3): Kestner 7, Jackson 5, Moore 4, Boaz 5, Phillip 2, Hughes 2.
Preps Sports on 02/15/2020
Print Headline: Elkins start fast to earn three-way tie for league title