Mountaineers, Black Bears advance into semifinals
After Brevard jumped out to an 8-2 lead early in the game the Tuscola varsity girls basketball team woke up and quickly dispatched the Blue Devils, 68-41, Friday night in the first round game of the WNCAC Girls Basketball Tournament.
With the victory, the No. 2 seed Mountaineers improved to 19-6 overall, while Brevard ends its basketball season at 3-18. Tuscola will host No. 3 seed Franklin at 4 p.m. in a semifinal showdown.
The Mountaineers split the two previous meetings with Franklin, with the Panthers taking the opening game in double overtime in Franklin and Tuscola winning the final regular season game last week.
Franklin defeated West Henderson,
Senior point guard Shelby Tricoli led all scorers in the game with 16, while Brevard’s Peyton Bailey led the Blue Devils with 15 points in the loss.
Alex Swanger added 14 points under the basket, while Peyton Fisher chipped in 12 points and Taylor Gibson scored her usual double figures with 10 points for the Mountaineers.
Also for Tuscola, Tristan Woodall and Samantha Beasley finished with six points each while Jasmine Duncan added four points.
East Henderson 35
CANTON — East Henderson’s Stephanie Smith was a one girl show, scoring 34 of the Eagles’ 35 points in the opening round game of the WNC Athletic Conference Girls Basketball Tournament.
But Pisgah wasn’t phased by Smith performance as eight Black Bears scored en route to a 63-35 victory over East Henderson to advance into the semifinals at Tuscola Tuesday night.
The No. 1 seed Pisgah girls, which improved to 19-6 overall, will play at 4 p.m. against No. 4 seed North Henderson, which defeated Smoky Mountain, 50-38.
The Black Bears roared out to a 22-6 lead at the first eight minutes and a 34-21 lead by halftime.
In the second half, Pisgah outscored East Henderson, 17-6, in the third quarter to take a commanding 51-27 lead going into the final eight minutes.
Sheridan Pressley and Brooklyn Allen shared team-high honors for Pisgah with 19 points each and Mariah Lewis chipped in 10 points.
Also scoring for the Black Bears were Ashley Thompson (five points), Taylor Galyean (two points), Sarah Johnson (two points), Ashley Penland (three points), and Sydney Singleton (three points).
If the regular season champion Black Bears can beat North Henderson Tuesday afternoon, they will punch their ticket into the championship game to face the Tuscola-Franklin winner Friday night at 7 p.m. in the Tuscola gym.
The Tuscola varsity boys basketball team defeated Brevard, 91-74, Friday evening in a first round of the WNCAC Boys Basketball Tournament.
Senior Aaron Westhusing drained seven three-point shots in a career-high 30 point performance, which matched Logan Hardin’s 30 point night, while senior Thomas Hay recorded another double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds.
Brevard’s Tyler Queen was all but unstoppable under the basket with 34 points to lead all scorers, but there was just too many Mountaineers to offset Queen’s offensive production.
The depleted Blue Devils’ strategy was to keep the game within reach consisted of trying to stop Hardin, mostly by fouling him early and often. But Brevard failed to account for Westhusing.
Tuscola shot 24-of-29 free throws in the game as a team, with Logan Hardin scoring 12 of his 30 points from the line, including 11 straight in the second half to pull away in the end.
Tuscola improved to 22-3 with the victory, while the Blue Devils closed out their season at 5-19.
The top-seed Mountaineers will advance to the WNCAC semifinal round in the WNCAC tournament to play the No. 4 seed Franklin Panthers, which defeated North Henderson in its first round game, 69-41.
Tuscola won the two previous meetings this season, including an overtime thriller last week at home.
All remaining games in the tournament will be played at Tuscola with the championship games set for Friday night.
West Henderson 48
CANTON — Revenge. Retribution. Reprisal.
Judging from its intensity level, it was on the minds of the Pisgah varsity boys basketball team during Friday night’s 80-48 victory over West Henderson in a first round game of the WNCAC Boys Basketball Tournament.
And a game-high 26 points from junior guard Jesse Anderson also helped the Pisgah cause.
Just two weeks ago, the Black Bears were stunned in a double overtime thriller on their home court by the Falcons, 65-63.
The No. 3 seed Black Bears, which improved to 16-9 overall, plays No. 2 seed Smoky Mountain at 8:30 p.m. in a WNCAC Tournament semifinal at host Tuscola High School Tuesday night. The Mustangs defeated East Henderson, 78-62.
Pisgah jumped out to a 22-13 lead at the end of the first quarter and 40-22 by halftime.
The Black Bears kept the pressure on and never let up on the Falcons, taking a 62-37 advantage going into the final quarter.
Pisgah senior Christian Bryant joined Anderson in double-figures with 14 points, freshman Peyton Truesdale chipped in nine points, senior Dalton Scott scored eight, while junior McKinley Brown and sophomore Thomas Tatham had six points each.
Guard Zack Bell led West Henderson with 19 points.