Pisgah parlays two WNCAC titlesBlack Bears top the Panthers in tournament championship
Pisgah Head Coach Brandon Holloway’s main objective at a problems. Our scoring in the first half came from our defense. Mariah Lewis played the best game all year on defense as she shut down probably the best post player in the conference in Franklin’s Maggie Stewart. The girls really game in and played outstanding basketball and sophomore Ashley Penland coming off the bench with a hot-shooting hand in the first half also help. All and all, I think they played the best defense of the year. Defense wins championship and tonight the girls deserve this and hopefully this will continue in the playoffs.”
Pisgah, which was 6-5 after its first 11 games, won for the 15th time in its last 16 games. The Black Bears improved to 21-6 overall and will begin the NCHSAA Class 2-A West playoffs tonight as a No. 4 seed when they host at 6:30 p.m. the No. 13 seed West Lincoln Rebels (11-13).
The Pisgah boys, which was seeded eighth, will host at 8 p.m. the No. 9 seed Lincolnton Wolves (13-11).
Against the Panthers, junior Sheridan Pressley produced a game-high 18 points, while freshman Brooklyn Allen finished with 17, Penland sophomore scored 12, senior Taylor Galyean had nine points and Lewis chipped in three points to go with her 12 rebounds.
Pressley’s brilliantly played three games earned her the WNCAC Girls Tournament Most Valuable Player. Joining her on the All-WNCAC Tournament team from Pisgah’s Allen and Lewis, Tuscola senior guard Shelby Tricoli and Franklin seniors Stewart and Sarah Henson.
“It’s a great honor to be the M.V.P., but I could not have done it with out my teammates,” said Pressley. “This was important to our team to beat Franklin and win the conference tournament championship to go with our regular season championship. We got to accomplish a couple of our team goals and that’s always a rewarding thing to do. I hope we can keep the momentum going into the state playoffs.
“Despite my offensive struggles in the first half, my defense never suffered. As a matter of fact, it was our team defense that jump started us.”
One other important stat for Pressley was she drew four charging calls against three different Panthers.
At the end of the first, Pisgah led 11-5, and thanks to a 17-2 run and Penland’s 10 points in the second quarter, the Black Bears stretched their lead to 34-16 by halftime.
The Pisgah defense proved to be too much for the Panthers to handle as the Black Bears maintained a double-digit lead going into the final quarter, 46-31.
“This is great and just a great way the finish the regular season,” said Galyean. “We really wanted this and we played well. As a senior on the team, this is a great way to finish the regular season as we go into the state playoffs.”