Pisgah boys finally beat Mustangs in SylvaMorgan scores 29, adds impressive rim-rattling slam dunk, Webb pumps in 22 in losing effort
SYLVA — Beating the Smoky Mountain varsity boys basketball team is no easy task. Beating the Mustangs on their home court is much more difficult.
Just ask Pisgah, because nobody on the Black Bears roster has ever defeated Smoky Mountain in Sylva.
Until Thursday night.
Behind the impressive performance of senior Trey Morgan, which included a game-high 29 points, eight rebounds and a rim-rattling slam dunk on a breakaway, Pisgah picked up its first win at Smoky Mountain since Feb. 12, 2009, defeating the Mustangs, 83-77, in a WNC Athletic Conference game.
Not only did the Black Bears (7-4 overall, 5-1 WNCAC) finally beat the Mustangs on the road, they also moved into sole possession of first place in the WNCAC standings, one game ahead of Tuscola (3-2), Franklin (3-2) and North Henderson (3-2). Exams are this week so Pisgah is off until Friday, Jan. 13, when it plays at Brevard.
The game started like the previous seven encounters at Smoky Mountain High with the Mustangs hot on its home court, knocking down six treys to take a 21-15 lead at the end of the first eight minutes.
In the second quarter, Smoky cooled off from the floor whle Pisgah went to Morgan (10 points) and sophomore Kameron Walker (7 points) in the paint that helped the Black Bears outscore Smoky 23-14 and take a 38-35 halftime.
In the third quarter, senior Cody Lovelace chipped in eight points to push the Black Bears’ lead to seven points, 61-54, entering the final eight minutes.
In addition to Morgan’s season-high 29 points, Walker recorded a double-double, scoring 13 points, pulling down 10 rebounds. He also blocked five shots. Lovelace finished with 12 points, sophomore Zeke Long contributed nine points, junior Nathan Whitley had seven points and senior Eli Long finsihed with six points in a winning effort.
Smoky Mountain 58
SYLVA — For every big shot the Pisgah varsity girls basketball team hit Thursday night, there was a missed free throw or a missed rebound to drag things down.
The Black Bears suffered a 58-46 loss to Smoky Mountain as a 46 percent free-throw performance overshadowed a cohesive defensive effort and clutch baskets by senior Maddie Webb, sophomore “Gurdy” Creson and freshman Lani Woods.
Pisgah (8-4 overall, 4-2 WNCAC) was a disappointing 12-of-26 from the charity stripe and gave the Mustangs 24 second chance points compared to the Black Bears’ 10.
Smoky Mountain had a huge rebounding advantage (24-14) at halftime but Pisgah battled back in the second half to close the gap.
Pisgah only led for the first quarter, 18-11, but went into halftime trailing 22-18. The Mustangs padded their lead by outscoring the Black Bears, 22-14, in the third quarter to take a 44-32 lead going into the final eight minutes.
Webb finished with 22 points and nine rebounds, Woods finished with nine points and Creson chipped in six.