Prep Basketball

Hardin ties school record in win over Smoky Mountain

Senior guard scores 39 points against the Mustangs
By Dennis Smathers | Jan 24, 2013
Photo by: File Tuscola's Logan Hardin.

With the Tuscola varsity basketball team hanging on to a five-point lead in a crucial WNCAC matchup with second place Smoky Mountain as the third quarter drew to a close,  the Mountaineer faithful knew it was going to be their night when Logan Hardin made a 50-foot prayer as the buzzer sounded to extend Tuscola’s lead to eight points (54-46).
The Mountaineers used Hardin’s momentum boost effectively in the fourth quarter en route to defeating the Mustangs, 78-59, in a WNCAC game Tuesday night.
First-place Tuscola improved  to 8-0 in the WNCAC and 16-2 overall, while Smoky sinks to 6-2.  
The Mustangs led 19-17 after the first quar improved  to 8-0 in the WNCAC and 16-2 overall, while Smoky sinks to 6-2 in the conference (both losses to the Mountaineers) and 15-3 overall.
In addition to that long trey, Hardin poured in a career-high 39 points and pulled down 14 rebounds.   
According to school records available at Tuscola, that 39 point outburst tied the previous school record of 39 set by Jody Lee, a former standout in the mid-1970s.
Senior Thomas Hay recorded another double-double with 18  points and 14 rebounds for Tuscola. Junior Woody Cornwall chipped in nine points, while seniors Kendrall Harlan and Aaron Westhusing had five points each in the win.
From the outset, the contest was a physical and stayed close until Hardin blew it open for the Mountaineers. But it was Smoky who held the advantage in the first half as the Mustangs led 19-17 after the first quarter and 33-32 at the half.
In the JV game, Smoky Mountain beat Tuscola, 51-40.
Because of the forecast for bad weather, tonight’s Tuscola at Brevard game was moved back to Thursday night. At press time, no results were available.

Varsity Girls
The Tuscola varsity girls basketball team used a withering full court press and 28 points from senior guard Shelby Tricoli to cruise to a 73-56 WNCAC victory over visiting Smoky Mountain Tuesday night.
With the victory, Tuscola improves to 12-6 and 6-2 in the WNCAC,  while the Mustangs fall to 4-11 overall and 3-5 in the conference standings.  
The Mountaineers jumped out to an 8-0 lead before Smoky Mountain could even get the ball into their side of the court.  After a timeout, the Mustangs settled down and chipped away at the Tuscola lead as Tuscola led 23-18 after the first quarter and 39-35 at the break.
But the Mountaineers outscored Smoky, 17-7, in the third quarter to take a 56-42 lead going into the final eight minutes.  
Maris Ridenour was the top scorer for Smoky Mountain, finishing with a game-high 25 points.
Tuscola had two other players to join Tricoli in double figures as seniors Taylor Gibson, who returned to the lineup from an illness, contributed 18 points and Alex Swanger poured in 12 points.
In the JV game, the Mustangs defeated the Mountaineers, 40-32.