The Smoky Mountain High School Mustangs girls basketball team was feeling the strain of having lost Aaliyah McCollum for the season due to a torn ACL in her knee. McCollum had surgery on Thursday and early reports are the procedure went well however the recovery time from this particular surgery is several months then rehab requires an additional few months. Hopefully McCollum will be able to perform her senior year.
The Lady Mustangs did get a lift Thursday when Shay Tisho was able to return to the line-up. Tisho had been out the entire season recovering from an injury of her own. Her speed will be a huge addition to the Mustangs. Tisho was a key runner in the relay team which won a state championship for the Mustangs last year. Offensively Tisho scored ten points for the Lady Mustangs who took a 43 to 29 point win over Reynolds Thursday in Sylva. Jhimyah McCollum also scored ten points. The Lady Mustangs were led in scoring by Shay Sutton with eleven points. Taryn Ledford was a key play maker but only hit then basket for five points. Reanna Lehman scored six and Shelby Banks had two. The Mustangs will continue their home stand on Tuesday against Brevard.
The Mustangs Varsity Boys tangled with a tough AC Reynolds team that enjoyed an easy twenty point win earlier in the season. It was not easy day for Reynolds in Sylva. The Mustangs took an early 16 to 12 point lead after the first quarter, kept it at four for the second quarter but pushed the lead to ten after the third quarter. Late in the fourth quarter the Rockets mounted a surge and shaved an eleven point deficit to a tie game with under two minutes to play. However the Mustangs did not collapse under the blitz, instead the Mustangs applied the defense, a spread offense, and found Devon Stephens near the basket for several key and important baskets for a total of eleven total.. Tyler Walizer led the Mustangs with 21 points, Cole Lamb added 12 including three from long range. Tommy Brennen has a seven point night. Trey Hamilton had some excellent minutes along with Nate Coffee and Nate Crowe who all scored two points. Gage Kosnick had an exceptional inside game on the boards but was limited to three points. The Mustangs are creasing closer to a five hundred season. With the win they are now 5 and 6. They will face an improved Brevard team on Tuesday in Sylva.