WHC junior varsity tournament begins Monday at Harris MiddleMountain Heritage confirmed its dominance of the Western Highlands Conference junior varsity boy’s league this season with a resounding 62-26 win over Madison in Marshall last week.
The Cougars carry an impressive 18-4 overall record and 13-1 league mark into the WHC-JV Tournament which gets underway Monday at Harris Middle School.
The Cougars exploded out to a 21-2 lead in the first quarter against an outmanned Patriot squad that was shell shocked from the outset by the aggressive Heritage full court press.
Gray McCurry (7 pts), Jared Sellers (6 points) and Colton Garland (5 points) were hot out of the gate and helped allow the Cougars to lead 21-6 going onto the second quarter.
Madison found some breathing room and with Coach Ken McCurry substituting liberally off his deep bench, the Patriots out scored Heritage 10-9 in the 2nd to make the game a little more respectable at the half, trailing the Cougars 30-16. Joseph McIntosh and Luke Antinori came in for Heritage and played good minutes in the second quarter, recording 2 steals and 2 assists total.
The Cougars came out in a scoring frenzy in the 2nd half to push the lead to 25 point following an Ethan Ray three pointer to end the third quarter. Heritage led 47-22 going into the final seven minutes of play.
Another Nick Chandler three early in the 4th, combined with five points in the quarter by Bryson Cooper the Cougar lead grew to over 30 points. Trevor Woods hit a technical free throw to end the scoring for Heritage in the 40 point victory for the WHC regular season champions.
Jared Sellers had 18 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assist a steal and a blocked shot in a very well rounded effort to lead the Cougars while Gray McCurry, who recorded a season high 20 deflections in a little over 3 quarters playing time, added 12 points, 6 rebounds, 7 steals, 7 assists and one blocked shot from his point guard position.
Bryson Coooper, who, made his first career start in place of Brennan Hockaday (the Cougar’s leading scorer) who was attending his grandmother's funeral, was the Cougars other double figure scorer against the Patriots. He finished with 10 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals and one assist.
Heritage, the #1 seed will take on #8 seed Thomas Jefferson at 4 pm on Monday at Harris. A first round win would pit them against the winner of another first round game between #4 Avery County and #5 Mitchell in a 5:15 pm matchup at Harris on Thursday.
The Lady Cougar JV dropped a 38-14 decision to Madison in their regular season finale and will enter the tournament Monday when they take on Hendersonville in a 6:30 pm contest at Harris Middle.
The JV finals will take place at Mitchell High with the girls championship game set for 4:00 pm Friday with the boys to follow at 5:30.
By David Grindstaff