JV Cougars still undefeated in WHC—JV Girls in 4th placeThe Heritage JV boys basketball team has had a bulls-eye on its chest since the season began and in spite of the pressure the young Cougars continue to impress with outstanding play in the clutch.
The Cougars got the best shot of the second place Owen Warhorses in a key Western Highlands Conference game in Burnsville on Tuesday.
Heritage came out hot, hitting six 3 pointers, three each by Gray McCurry and Nick Chandler early in the contest. Jared Sellers had 10 points in the first quarter as well as it looked like the Cougars would waltz to their 11th straight league win with a 28-13 lead after the first seven minutes of play.
But the Warhorses would not go away and after getting the Cougars into foul trouble in the second quarter Owen was able to whittle the lead down to four points at the intermission.
In the third the Cougar defense buckled down and Heritage out scored the Warhorses 17-12 to gain some breathing room heading into the 4th quarter. Colton Garland scored 6 points off the bench for Heritage in the third as the Cougars led by 9.
The final stanza was a battle as Owen cut the lead to three on a 3 pointer midway through the 4th quarter but Heritage responded back with a Gray McCurry 3 pointer to push the lead back out to six.
Heritage took good care of the basketball down the stretch and hit 12 of 15 free throws (including 6 of 6 from Nick Chandler) late to secure an 82-68 victory.
Gray McCurry had a triple-double, with 24 points, 11 assists, and 10 steals to pace the Cougars while Brennan Hockaday had 6 points and 10 rebounds in spite of an aggressive diamond-n-one defense employed by Owen.. Nick Chandler also pitched in with a career high 17 points filling in for the injured Ethan Ray.
Jared Sellers and Colton Garland also scored in double figures for the Cougars finishing with 17 and 10 points respectively.
At Thomas Jefferson on Thursday, Gray McCurry and Jared Sellers each scored 4 points in a quick 1st quarter to give Heritage a 9-2 lead as the Gryphons missed opportunities, going 2 of 4 from the line.
In the second quarter, Bryson Cooper netted 8 points (including 6 of 7 from the line) and Brennan Hockaday had 6 as Heritage outscored Thomas Jefferson 18-0 in the 2nd to lead 27-2 at halftime.
Coach Ken McCurry emptied his bench to start the second half as Job Kennedy had 4 points and the Cougars led 33-6 going into the 4th where Bryson Cooper, Colton Garland, and Daniel Sheperd rounded out the scoring in a 41-10 victory.
Bryson Cooper scored 12 points and 5 rebounds to lead the team while Gray McCurry added 8 points, 4 steals and 4 assists and Brennan Hockaday contributed 7 points and 5 rebounds to the winning effort.
The Lady Cougar JV stands at 4-7 in league play, in 4th place behind Polk County (7-3), Hendersonville (7-3) and Avery County (9-1) as they enter the home stretch. Heritage posted a 15-6 win over Thomas Jefferson this week while falling 47-35 to Owen.
Because of the impending bad weather, Thomas Jefferson ran a continuous clock ( with the exception of the final 2 minutes in each half), in both the JV games. Combined, there were 36 foul shots and the clock did not stop during foul shots. “It was like playing a full game in only half the time. I was proud of the way the guys responded in such adverse circumstances. But it was unfair to our players, especially our bench, Cougar Coach Ken McCurry noted.
By David Grindsrtaf