Cougars Bow Out in Second Round GameAfter whipping the Owen Warhorses in the opening round of the NCHSAA 2A playoffs on Monday night at home the Mountain Heritage varsity boy’s saw their hopes of a spot in the Western Sectional title game come crashing down in a trip to Lincoln County on Wednesday.
The Cougars put the #12 seeded Warhorses out of commission early with a 25 point first quarter as the Heritage offensive machine was hitting on all cylinders, led by three point shooting of Brandon Brown and the inside play of Will Buckner and Bob Taylor.
Heritage, a # 5 seed, led 25-9 after the first seven minutes of play and the Cougars never looked back at the Warhorses, out scoring the visitors from Swannanoa 33-18 in the second half to win going away 66-36.
Bob Taylor led the charge with 14 points while Will Buckner and Brandon Brown added 13 points each.
In a trip to East Lincoln for a second round game, the Mustangs took a 74-43 win over the Cougars on Wednesday in Denver.
The Cougars the top seed from the Western Highlands Conference, behind an aggressive defense, hung tough with the #4 seeded Mustangs for the first 16 minutes. East Lincoln however led 25-18 at halftime and outscored Mountain Heritage 32-19 in the fourth quarter to take the win.
Avery Austin led Mountain Heritage (19-10) with 11 points.
East Lincoln, the top seed from the Southern Piedmont Conference, advanced to the West Sectional championship game against Smoky Mountain, of the Western NC Athletic Conference, where the Mustangs from Sylva took a 78-69 win to go on to regional play next week in Greensboro.
Heritage Coach Hank Newson, in his first season at the helm at the Yancey County school, will have seven players returning to carry on the Cougar tradition come next season including starters Avery Austin, Will Buckner and Grant Buckner as well as a wealth of talent coming up from the WHC champion junior varsity team so you can expect another run at the state playoffs come November 2013.
By David Grindstaff