Anderson reaches milestone, Pisgah wins two WNCAC titles
CANTON — Thursday night’s turned into a “Daily Double” for the Pisgah varsity girls and boys basketball teams as each won the WNC Athletic Conference 3-A Basketball Tournament championship over visiting West Henderson.
Sophomore Brooklyn Allen and senior Sheridan Pressley combined for 39 points in leading the Pisgah girls past the Falcons, 81-36, while senior Jesse Anderson reached the 1,000-point milestone in the boys 81-49 victory.
“It’s rewarding knowing that I will leave my mark on the Pisgah basketball program,” said Anderson. “It was a little more rewarding to reach the mark in the same game we won the conference tournament championship. Now the fun begins with the playoffs. It’s a huge boost for us to have our first round game at home and have the Pisgah Nation behind us.”
Anderson got his 1,000-point on a 3-pointer during a second quarter 11-0 run, which helped propel the Black Bears to a 35-26 halftime lead. He finished with 13 points.
However, Pisgah got an extra boost of motivation during the break when late in the second quarter head coach Casey Kruk was tagged with a rare technical.
“Oh, that motivated us in the locker room,” said Anderson. “We didn’t like it when our coach got the technical. He had our back and we were determined to have his.”
The Black Bears stormed out of the break, outscoring the Falcons, 32-15 in the third quarter and 46-23 in the second half to cruise to the victory.
In addition to Anderson’s 13 points, Pisgah sophomore Peyton Truesdale pumped in a team-high 17 points, while juniors Thomas Tatham scored 11, Josiah Ledford chipped in 10 and Cole Anderson finished with nine. Junior Luke Worley (12 rebounds) and senior McKinley added six points each.
Worley was named the tournament’s M.V.P. while Tuscola’s Woody Cornwell, Ours and Josh VanWingerden from West Henderson, Truesdale from Pisgah rounded out the all-WNCAC boys tournament team.
“West is definitely a good team and we talked a lot today going out and really being winners and trying to finish games,” said Pisgah Assistant Coach Clint McElrath. “We started well tonight and came out and played hard and did a good job at both ends of the court. The added bonus to the win was Jesse getting his 1,000 point. It is a special thing to reach that mark. Not many people achieve it. Jesse has worked hard at improving his game as he has and put so much time into it that we are all excited for him.”
Pisgah finished with a 22-3 overall record and finished second in the WNCAC regular season.
WNCAC Girls championship
West Henderson 36
CANTON — In the girls’ championship game, the Black Bears had a decisive performance in the first eight minutes that sealed the outcome.
Led by Allen and Pressley, the Black Bears scored 23 points and their swarming defensive press allowed only eight in the first quarter.
To matters worse for the Falcons, Pisgah scored 27 points in the second quarter and again held West Henderson to just eight points to take a comfortable, 50-16, halftime lead.
The Black Bears carried a commanding 71-27 lead into the final eight minutes.
“We are really excited and we hope to make a run in the playoffs again,” said Pressley, who was named the WNCAC Tournament’s Most Valuable Player. “We just work hard everyday and that is what we are focus on right now. It was very important to win this part of the conference tournament. What determines the outcome of a games is how we come out and play. Winning the M.V.P. is good thing, but right now we are focusing on the playoffs.”
For Pisgah, juniors Sydney Singleton and Ashley Penland scored eight points each, senior Mariah Lewis chipped in seven and Emily Rhea finished with six points.
Joining Pressley on the All-WNCAC Girls Tournament team were teammates Allen and Lewis, West Henderson’s Jenna Sharrits and Kendall Gilliam.
“I thought that we where well prepared and ready to play, we played very good against them on our court the first time,” said Pisgah Head Coach Brandon Holloway. “I thought we played with a lot of energy and excitement. We created a lot of transition points off of our defense and I am super pleased with their effort.”
Pisgah finished with a 24-1 overall record and were WNCAC regular season co-champions with Franklin.