Cougars Face Patriots In Regular Season Finale 2-10-14

Cougars Have Tough Week On Basketball Court
By David Grindstaff

After recently pulling off two very tight WHC victories over Hendersonville and Polk County, the difficulties continued last week for the Cougars in league losses to Owen, Mitchell and Avery County.
A Heritage comeback came up a little bit short in a trip to Swannanoa where the host Warhorses used a 30 point performance by Michael Pomeroy to post a 69-66 win over the Cougars.
Owen constructed a 44-31 lead by intermission but the Cougars came roaring back in the second half, outscoring the Warhorses 35-25 behind the scoring of Avery Austin. Austin knocked down three treys and connected on 8 of his 15 shots from the floor and 10 of 14 free throws to score 29 points to pace the Cougars. He also dealt five of the Cougars 12 assists in the game.
Grant Buckner hit 6 of 8 free throws and scored 12 points to go along with 5 assist and 3 steals while Job Kennedy added 7 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals and Blake Elkins chipped in 8 points which included two three pointers against the Owen defense.
The Cougars hit only 18 of 30 free throws in the game and were out rebounded 44-20 by the Warhorses.
In Ledger on Tuesday night, the Mountaineers jumped on the Cougars early and never let up, using a 20-11 advantage in the third quarter to secure the 73-55 victory.
Avery Austin again led the Cougars with 26 points, hitting 10 of 15 free throws and 5 of 7 two point shots, while Grant Buckner scored 9 points, connecting on 5 of his 7 free throw attempts in the game. Shelby Silver hit two three pointers and finished with 6 points for the Cougars who saw the mountaineers hold a 41-18 edge in rebounding in the game.
Mitchell was led by the 23 point performance of Sam McKinney while Mountaineer leading scorer and rebounder, Austin Mask added 21 points and 16 rebounds to the winning effort.
The Cougars finished off the week with senior night in Burnsville where visiting Avery County continued their tear through the WHC, keeping their unbeaten league record intact with a 58-45 win over the Cougars.
The Vikings doubled up the score on the Vikings in the first half as Avery led 31-15 at the break behind the scoring of Chance Watson and James Stewart.
The Cougars outscored the Vikings 20-13 in the final eight minutes but it was too little too late as Avery County now needs a victory over Mitchell this week to finish off a perfect Western highlands Conference campaign and enter the 1A state playoffs as a high seed.
The Vikings held Avery Austin to only 12 points while Job Kennedy added 11 and Alex Cash chipped in 9 points for the Cougars.
The Cougars will wind down regular season play this Tuesday at Madison.

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