The Smoky Mountain Lady Mustangs did not enter the basketball game on Friday against North Buncombe at the Tuscola Christmas Tournament as the underdog. The Lady Mustangs had come out on top in a brutal match Thursday afternoon against the Tuscola Lady Mountaineers. Shay Tisho had her best game of the season with 20 point performance. She was aided by Taylor Douthitt and Kyra Fowler who each had ten point games.The Lady Mustangs put a close game away in the fourth with a 19 to 12 point advantage. The Varsity Boys battled back from a 17 point deficit to get the game to within two points with six seconds remaining. This was highlighted by a 14 to 4 run by the Mustangs in the fourth quarter. On the final shot the Mountaineers jammed the interior and the Mustangs did not have time on the clock to back off for a longer shot try. The Mountaineers were too formidable to shoot over and escaped with a 73 to 71 win.
On Friday The Lady Mustangs entered the game with North Buncombe with a 9-0 record and a top three ranking in the state 2-A division (depending on the poll) After Tisho’s outstanding performance on Thursday seemed North Buncombe had their defensive scheme focused on her. That opened the opportunity for Keara Fowler who connected three times on three point tries and was successful on all four attempts from the free throw line. Shea Sutton and Shay Tisho each chipped in ten points to give the Lady Mustangs a dominating 68 to 54 point win. They are now 10 and 0 on the season and will be facing a tough Mountain Heritage team on Tuesday.
The Mustangs Varsity knew they had their work cut out for them Friday against North Buncombe but prior to the game Mustangs Player of the Game from the Tuscola Game Nate Crowe summed it up by saying, “If we play our best defensively and get our offense going we should be able to win.” That is exactly what happened. The Mustangs were able to limit North Buncombe’s leading scorer Wren Dyer to 25 points which is six points under his average. Dyer had scored 40 points earlier in the season against Tuscola. The Mustangs took an early 7 to 0 lead which initially took the Black Hawks out of their game plan and made a statement the Mustangs were in the gym to win. Tommy Brennan was the Black Hawk slayer with 21 points including couple of critical three pointers. Also Cole Lamb hit three times with three point shots mostly at times keeping the momentum with the Mustangs after the Black Hawks rally efforts. Nate Coffee had a strong interior game and scored 12 points and Cole Lamb added eleven. Tyler Waliezer had nine points, Nate Crowe with five, Jared Hughes and Cody Lominac each added two each. Tuesday The Mustangs will face powerhouse Mountain Heritage, the team that edged Franklin by one in a Christmas Tournament. Fans will have the opportunity to see two of western North Carolina’s premier football quarterbacks Trey Robinson and Nate Coffee face off in basketball. The Tuesday games will be aired live on 540 WRGC Radio from the New Mustangs Gym.