Pisgah boys hand Tuscola first loss in WNCAC
In sports, just like in life, things don’t always work out like anyone hopes or expects. That was the Pisgah at Tuscola varsity boys basketball game in a nutshell.
In front of a spirited, “White Out” standing room only crowd, third-place Pisgah took control of the game early, building a lead of 23 points in the third quarter (53-30) over heavily favored Tuscola, and the Black Bears withstood a withering Tuscola comeback attempt to earn a 67-61 upset victory Friday night in the Tuscola gym.
The loss dropped the Mountaineers to 10-1 in the WNC Athletic Conference and 18-2 overall, while Pisgah improved to 7-3 in the WNCAC and 13-7 overall.
“Pisgah did what they had to do to win, and we didn’t. Its as simple,” said Tuscola Head Coach Nathan Messer. “Hats off to Pisgah. They played well ... We are capable of playing better than we showed (tonight).”
In the first quarter, hot-shooting Pisgah junior Jesse Anderson and senior Dalton Scott, who finished with 20 points each, made nearly every shot they took, while Tuscola had trouble finding the basket as the Black Bears built a 19-12 lead.
In the second quarter, it was more of the same as Pisgah took an 18 point lead into the locker room at halftime, 41-24.
Pisgah maintained its 14-point lead going into the final quarter, 53-36. But in the final eight minutes, it was Tuscola which finally turned up the pressure and slowly cut into the Pisgah lead with Logan Hardin scoring 10 of his 20 points.
Late in the game, with 1:36 left, it appeared that the Mountaineers might just pull off a miracle comeback, when they found themselves down by only four with the ball, 60-56.
But a Hardin long-range three-point attempt fell short and along with it, hopes for an undefeated WNCAC season for Tuscola.
From that point, Tuscola was forced to foul and Anderson made the most of his opportunities at the line hitting 5-of-6 free throws in that key fourth quarter stretch.
For Pisgah, which plays at North Henderson Tuesday night (Feb. 5), sophomore Thomas Tatham scored a dozen points, while junior McKinley Brown senior Christian Bryant chipped in four points each.
For the Mountaineers, which plays at West Henderson Tuesday night (Feb. 5), seniors Thomas Hay posted a double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds, Aaron Westhusing chipped in 10 points, junior Woody Cornwall scored nine and senior Kendrall Harlan finished with four points.
In the JV boys game, Pisgah beat the Mountaineers, 57-48.