With a big win over Mitchell that clinched the regular season title in the Western Highlands Conference for the third straight season and disappointing first league loss of the year at Avery County, the Mountain Heritage JV boys basketball team now understands the meaning of the statement “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” in what was a rollercoaster ride of emotions for the upstart Cougars last week.
Heritage finished the week with a 17-4 overall and 12-1 in league play following a 66-26 win over the Mountaineers and a 52-35 loss to the Vikings.
In a home contest against the Mountaineers on Tuesday, the Cougars jumped to a 13-8 lead after the first quarter with 5 points from Gray McCurry and 4 apiece on the inside from Brennan Hockaday and Jared Sellers.
Seven different players scored for Heritage in the 2nd quarter as they built a 33-14 half-time lead, led by Colton Garland's 5 pts and strong play by Luke Antinori.
Brennan Hockaday scored 6 if his 16 points for the game in the 3rd quarter to help MHHS maintain a 51-21 lead after 21 minutes of play.
Heritage finished out the game with an outstanding defensive effort and two long 3's, one from Gray McCurry and one from Brennan Hockaday, to take the 40 point win.
Stats for Mitchell Game—Scoring-Gray McCurry 17-Brennan Hockaday 16-Job Kennedy 9-Jared Sellers 8-Colton Garland 7-Luke Antinori 4-Nick Chandler 3-Bryson Cooper 2—Rebounding-Brennan Hockaday 9-Job Kennedy 7-Gray McCurry 6-Jared Sellers 5-Andrew Hall 3-Bryson Cooper 3-Colton Garland 3-Nick Chandler 2-Daniel Sheperd 2-Joseph McIntosh 1—Steals-Gray McCurry 3-Brennan Hockaday 3-Job Kennedy 3-Luke Antinori 2-Nick Chandler 2-Trevor Woods 1-Jared Sellers 1-Assists -Gray McCurry 6-Nick Chandler 4-Brennan Hockaday 2-Jared Sellers 2-Luke Antinori 1-Colton Garland 1-Job Kennedy 1—Blocks-Job Kennedy 5-Jared Sellers 3-Brennan Hockaday 1-Colton Garland 1. Other Stats-- Nick Chandler took 2 charges, caused a 5 second call, caused a double dribble, caused a jump ball, and had 4 deflections (all in the first-half) -Gray McCurry also had a great hustle play in the 3rd quarter where he deflected a pass and slid on the floor, got the steal while maintaining his dribble, while being fouled shooting a layup.
At Avery County Friday night the Cougras started out just fine as Nick Chandler and Bryson Cooper each hit a 3 pointer to help Heritage get out to a 13-11 lead in the first quarter.
Balanced scoring in the second quarter, led by Brennan Hockaday, (with 4pts), and a strong defense helped Heritage go into the half with a 6 pt lead at 24-18.
The Cougar shooting slumped off in the third quarter as two free throws , one by Colton Garland and one by Brennan Hockaday, were the only points the Cougars scored as MHHS fell behind 31-26 going into the 4th.
In the final stanza, Gray McCurry had a 4pt play (hit a 3 and was fouled) and Jared Sellers hit a long three pointer to keep the Cougars close but Avery hit 9 of 14 free throws to break open a close game to hand Heritage its first conference loss of the season.
Stats for Avery Game—Scoring-Jared Sellers 9-Gray McCurry 5-Bryson Cooper 5-Brennan Hockaday 5-Job Kennedy 4-Nick Chandler 3-Colton Garland 3-Andrew Hall 1-Rebounding-Brennan Hockaday 5-Jared Sellers 5-Job Kennedy 3-Gray McCurry 2-Bryson Cooper 2-Steals-Gray McCurry 3-Brennan Hockaday 4-Bryson Cooper 1-Blocks -Gray McCurry 1
The Lady Cougar JV got a big win over rival Mitchell last week, 38-34, as Kassie Gilley lead the team with 8 points and 2 rebounds. Faith Woody followed with 7 points and 9 rebounds. Jessica Laws also had a good game with had 7 steal and 5 points while Madi Johnson was 4 of 6 from the foul line scored 6 points and had 5 rebounds.
Caitllyn Chrisawn did her part with 7 points, 7 rebounds and 4 steals and Sierra Ballew contributed 2 points and 6 rebounds and Allie Tabor had 2 points and 5 rebounds in the four point win.
At Avery County on Friday Kassie Gilley again lead the team with 10 points while Jessica Laws, had 4 points and Allie Tabor went 3 for 3 from the foul line and had 3 points. Caitlyn Chrisawn and Karey Robinson rounded out the Lady Cougar scoring with 2 points apiece.
The Lady Cougars started out very slowly against the Lady Vikings, coming up empty in the first quarter but Heritage came out in the 2nd half ready to play and gave Avery some competition in a game that was closer than the 41-21 score would indicate.
Cougar teams will wind down Western Highlands Conference regular season play at Madison on Tuesday. The WHC Tournament gets underway at Mitchell on Tuesday, February 19.
By David Grindstaff