Pisgah's fast start oust GreyhoundsKruk’s boys dominate, advance after beating ’13 NCHSAA Class 3-A’s runner-up Statesville
CANTON — The Pisgah varsity boys basketball team punched its ticket into the NCHSAA Class 3-A Basketball Tournament’s Sectional “Sweet 16” after dominating 2013 state runner-up Statesville, 83-63, in a spirited Bears’ Den Wednesday night.
Pisgah, which improved to 24-3 overall, will host the No. 5 seed Concord Spiders (23-3) tonight at 8 p.m. in the Bears’ Den. The Greyhounds’ season concluded with a 14-10 record.
Pisgah jumped all over Statesville in the first half and held a 39-28 lead at halftime thanks to senior Jesse Anderson, who scored 21 of his game-high 25 points in the first 16 minutes.
“Jesse is our senior leader and he played great in the first half,” said Pisgah Head Coach Casey Kruk. “We made a few adjustments for the second half and we had several guys step up and play well. That’s what this team has to do. We have to play together. If we will do that, it will be hard to beat us.”
However, two new stars emerged in the second half as sophomore forward Peyton Truesdale and junior “sixth man” Josiah Ledford picked up the bulk of the scoring.
Truesdale scored 10 of his 14 points and Ledford pumped in all of his 13 points in the final 16 minutes as Pisgah carried a commanding 66-47 lead into the fourth quarter.
The main benefactor for the point production of Anderson, Truesdale and Ledford was junior point guard Cole Anderson, who continuously drove into the paint, collasped the defense and kicked it out to his open teammates.
“That’s one thing about Cole is he is a really smart player,” said Kruk. “That’s why we want the ball in his hands. We know he will find the open shot.”
Anderson finished with 10 assists and 12 points, including a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line.
“I just found my teammates and they kept putting the ball in the hole,” said Anderson. “Jesse was the hot man in the first half, while Peyton and Josiah were the guys to get the ball to in the second half. We are playing great basketball and we hope to continue it (tonight).”
For Pisgah, senior Hunter Wike scored eight points, senior McKinley Brown had five, junior Micah Ledford chipped in four and junior Thomas Tatham finished with two points.