Westhusing pumps in 40 in win, Huskey injured in loss
Tuscola senior Anthony Westhusing couldn’t have picked a better night to put on an offensive clinic.
Westhusing pumped in a career-high 40 points in an 87-70 rout of visiting Franklin Tuesday evening on Senior night in the Tuscola gym.
The impressive shooting performance was the highest individual one game point total for the Mountaineers this season, eclipsing the memorable 39 point performance by Landon Henley earlier in the season at Pisgah.
Westhusing scored five points in the first quarter, 19 points in the second, 12 in the third and four in the fourth before Tuscola head coach Nathan Messer emptied his bench with the Mountaineers in front by 22 points with four minutes remaining in the game.
Westhusing was also a perfect 9-of-9 at the free- throw line.
Tuscola sophomore Landon Henley chipped in his usual double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds, while teammate Brooks Wilson finished with 11.
“The thing we are struggling with is getting big leads and then things start happening,” said Messer. “We start doing things we shouldn’t be doing and they score six straight points just like that. We had more than a 20-point lead midway through the third and they had cut the lead going into the fourth quarter to 12.
“After giving up that big lead at West Henderson, we went back to work. My boys did a good job picking good shots at the end and running the clock on their own.”
Tuscola improved to 15-8 overall and 9-5 in the WNCAC. The Mountaineers earned a three seed for the WNCAC Boys Tournament and will host No. 6 seed Franklin again at 6:30 p.m. tonight on their home court.
“I feel good about it,” said Messer. “We’ve had some peaks and valleys. With all the three game weeks, we just didn’t have a lot of time to practice and work on things. That is what helped us in the East Henderson game, we had two days to work on things and it helped us. We have to keep working even at this point and never back up. That is the key.”
In the JV game, Tuscola defeated Franklin, 56-48, completing a respectable 13-7 overall (9-5 WNCAC) regular season for head coach Brandon Brooks.
Franklin 56, Tuscola 49
The Tuscola varsity girls suffered two losses Tuesday night at home against visiting Franklin.
Despite getting 19 points and 20 rebounds from sophomore Shelby Glance and 15 points from Cierra Jackson, the Mountaineers lost to Franklin, 56-49.
The second loss was harder to swallow as midway through the third quarter with Tuscola trailing Franklin by 14 points, junior Mariah Huskey fell into the bleachers while chasing down a loose ball and never got back up.
Huskey suffered an apparent knee injury and had to be transported to Haywood County Hospital for evaluation. At press time, the extent of her injuries were unknown.
“This was the second game we have had to play inspired basketball for Mariah,” said Tuscola Head Coach Ann Gardner. “She had the tragic house fire earlier in the season when we played at Enka, which was probably one of the best games we have played and of course when she went down in this game they came out again and wanted to play for her.
“They all played hard, I can’t fault their effort. But we had some turnovers in some key situations and forced a shot or two here and there and we played inspired tonight.”
For the WNCAC Girls Tournament, Tuscola (13-11 overall, 7-7 WNCAC) earned a fourth seed and will host at 5 p.m. today the No. 5 seed North Henderson Knights.