Tuscola girls take down first place Black Bears
The Pisgah varsity girls basketball team’s undefeated run through the WNC Athletic Conference is over.
Thanks to rival Tuscola and a brilliantly played second half from seniors Taylor Gibson and Shelby Tricoli.
Gibson scored 15 of her game-high 23 points in the second half and Tricoli finished with 21 points as Tuscola roared back from a 34-27 halftime deficit to hand arch-rival Pisgah a 66-53 loss in a key WNCAC matchup Friday night in the Tuscola gym.
“We knew we needed this game if we were to stay in the hunt for the conference championship,” said Tuscola Head Coach Ann Gardner. “Our girls responded and I couldn’t be more proud of them. There is still a lot of basketball left and we need to concentrate on taking care of our piece of the puzzle. The next two weeks should be interesting.”
Now the stretch run for the WNCAC girls championship becomes much more interesting as Pisgah sinks to 9-1 in the WNCAC and 14-6 overall, while the Mountaineers move to 9-2 in the conference and 15-6 overall.
Tricoli chipped in 21 points and senior Alex Swanger added 12 for the Mountaineers, while Pisgah’s Taylor Galyean turned in a team-high 14 points, junior guard Sheridan Pressley finished with 13 and freshman Brooklyn Allen scored 10 for the Black Bears.
Early on the game, it appeared to be a repeat of the matchup earlier this year in Canton that Pisgah dominated, while Tuscola struggled to score.
Again the Black Bears started fast building as much as a 12-point lead. By halftime, Pisgah held a seven point lead, 34-27.
However, in the second half, a combination of Gibson’s hot shooting and ice cold shooting by Pisgah allowed the Mountaineers to tie the game at 37 with four minutes left in the third quarter and take a 46-41 lead going into the final eight minutes.
Tuscola led as much as 18 points in the final quarter.
For Pisgah, which plays at North Henderson Tuesday, Emily Rhea contributed eight points, while Sarah Johnson and Mariah Lewis had three points each.
For Tuscola, which travels to West Henderson Tuesday night, Alex Swanger chipped in 12 points, Peyton Fisher scored five, Tristan Woodall had three and Samantha Beasley finished with two points.