Prep Basketball

‘Mr. Double-Double’ Hay leads Mountaineers to victory

Senior center scores career-high 24 points, pulls down 20 boards
By Dennis Smathers | Dec 16, 2012
Photo by: Leonard Lollis Tuscola senior Thomas Hay, left, puts back a missed shot for two points against Brevard Friday night.

Prior to the varsity boys basketball game with Brevard, Tuscola honored seniors Logan Hardin and Shelby Tricoli, two of its newest members of the “1,000 Point Club.”
But the story of the game was senior Thomas Hay, who poured in a game-high and career-high 24 points to go with his 20 rebounds in leading the Mountaineers past Brevard, 61-52.
Tuscola improved to 8-1 overall and 2-0 in the WNCAC, while the Blue Devils slipped to 2-4 and 0-2 in the conference.
As for Hay, it was his seventh double-double of the season.
As for the game itself, it turned into a classic matchup of two distinctive styles.
The Blue Devils play the traditionally deliberate style that kept the usually prolific Tuscola up-tempo game at bay most of the contest.
The Brevard defense combined with an uncommonly poor shooting night for the Mountaineers resulted in their lowest point total this season.
But that was a good thing for Hay as he made a lot of lemonade out of lemons, picking up most of his points in put backs inside the paint.
Tuscola took a one point lead at 12-11 at the end of the first quarter and held on through a frustrating second quarter to take a 21-20 lead at the break.  
The third quarter, however, started out well enough for the Mountaineers as they built the lead to 28-20 before Brevard Head Coach Tim Trantham called a time out to stop the momentum.  
From that point, which was midway through the quarter, the Blue Devils methodically cut into the lead, then took the lead near the end of the quarter and expanded it to 39-32 as the quarter expired.  
Brevard took as much as a ten point lead early in the fourth quarter before the Mountaineers decided to change its tactic and slow down the pace using solid defense and a productive half-court offense.
The changed worked as Tuscola erased the lead with a 12-0 run.
“We knew if we could keep the score out of the 80s we would have a chance,” said Trantham. “And we did that. We played our game, at our tempo but just couldn’t finish.”
Tuscola took the lead with about three minutes remaining in the game (52-50) and pulled away for the win.  
“First, I would like to congratulate Brevard for a good game plan and a  great effort,” said Tuscola Head Coach Nathan Messer. “Sometimes you have to win ugly.  We were faced with  the adversity of playing a style we weren’t comfortable with, add in the frustration of missed shot after missed shot, but in the end, we held together and  it paid off.”
Joining Hay in double-figures for Tuscola were Hardin (12 points), Kendrall Harlan (11 points) and Aaron Westhusing (10 points).
Tuscola will return to action Tuesday, Dec 18, in a WNCAC game at North Henderson.
In the JV boys game, Brevard won, 41-37.

Varsity Girls
Tuscola 69
Brevard 49

Missing two starters really didn’t wasn’t a problem for the Tuscola varsity girls basketball team as the Mountaineers had no trouble beating visiting Brevard, 69-49, in a WNCAC game Friday night.
Tricoli hit a game-high 27 points and senior Taylor Gibson contributed 22 in the win.  The rest of Mountaineer scoring was evenly distributed as six Mountaineers chipped in points.  
Brevard had three players score in double figures with Hannah Sexton  (17), Brittany Berkshire (12) and Peyton Bailey (10).
With the WNCAC victory, Tuscola improved to 7-2 overall and 2-0 in the conference, while Brevard falls to 1-5 and 0-2.  
Tuscola Head Coach Ann Gardner’s girls will return to action Tuesday, Dec 18, with a WNCAC game at North Henderson.
In the junior varsity girls game, Tuscola beat Brevard, 36-24.