Cougar Hoop Teams Tip Off Season With Non-Conference Games 11-25-13
Cougar Hoops Season Underway
by David Grindstaff
In the basketball season opener at Patton last week the varsity Cougars got in trouble in the first-quarter as the host Panthers built a 30-15 lead and it as an uphill battle the rest of the way as Heritage fell 87-59 in Morganton.
The first few minutes of Wednesday’s nightcap went Patton’s way, with the Panthers swishing three three-pointers and adding two free throws for an early 13-5 advantage.
The Cougars rebounded to outscore Patton 16-14 in the second quarter off nine points from Grant Buckner but trailed the Panthers at the halftime break, 44-31.
The Panthers went on a run to kickoff the second half and the Cougars continued to struggle in spite of a game high 26 points from junior guard Avery Austin.
The Cougars also had trouble getting started in Friday night’s non-conference contest with North Buncombe as the Hawks outscored the Cougars 13-5 in the first eight minutes of play in Burnsville.
Heritage (0-2) outscored North Buncombe (1-0) 20-19 in the second quarter and gained some ground in the 3rd behind scoring from Avery Austin (16 points), Grant Buckner (14 points) and Job Kennedy (8 points), the the Black Hawks pulled away for the 74-55 win with a 22-13 4th quarter.
The Lady Cougars found a very tough opponent waiting for them in their season opener Wednesday at Patton where in spite of a poor night shooting the basketball Mountain Heritage found a way to win 58-52 over the Lady Panthers.
The Lady Panthers (0-1) scored the first three points off a free throw and layup before Mountain Heritage hit four consecutive free throws in what would be a back and forth first quarter. Patton earned the lead back off a Katie LeCroy 3-pointer and a steal and basket while the Lady Cougars beat the first quarter buzzer with a layup by Nyssa Freeman for a 12-12 tie after the opening eight minutes of play.
Mountain Heritage outscored Patton 15-10 in the second quarter for a 27-22 halftime advantage, with 13 of those points coming from free throws.
The Lady Cougars started the third quarter strong and were able to able to maintain the lead till the end with the help of a strong performance at the charity stripe by Destiny Elkins, who led Mountain Heritage with a game-high 22 points, and Nyssa Freeman who added 18.
Heritage JV girls saw the JV Lady Panthers pull ahead by 15 at halftime en route to a 43-26 victory in the season opener.
The JV girls rebounded with an exciting 38-36 win over North Buncombe of Friday night to move to 1-1 on the young season.
In spite of a solid performance in their opener, the Heritage JV boy’s could not stop an 11-0 run by the Panthers in the 4th quarter that allowed the Panthers to pull away for a 35-29 win over the Cougars. Patton trailed 23-18 early in the final period before they went on a tear to take over the game.
The JV boys were no match for a talented North Buncombe JV who took advantage of the Cougars 61-41 on Friday night.
Cougar hoop teams will get a chance to get even with the Black Hawks when they travel to North Buncombe on Tuesday night. JV Games get started at 4:00 p.m.