By Carey Phillips
Smoky Mountain’s men’s basketball team broke into the win column Saturday with a 70-65 overtime victory over Roberson in non-conference action at the SM gym.
Mitch Wike scored 19 points for the Mustangs (1-3). Clayton Frady had a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Conner Seagraves added 12 points.
Luke Ward led the Rams with 17 points. Austin Johnson scored 13, and Cameron Phillips had 10.
“Our kids showed grit and perseverance,” Coach Adam Phillips said. “We kept getting down and battled back. We knew they had some athletic big men, but our post guys did a good job. It was our most complete game of the year by far. We got stops in overtime and made some crucial free throws.”
He said the team hit eight of 16 three-pointers.
“They are a very coachable bunch and a lot of fun to be around,” he said.
Wike said it was important to get a win after starting the season with three losses.
“It was the key to our week,” he said. “We came in early this morning and got some shots up then we rested all day. We knew how big this was. We were looking forward to this game from the start of last week. We know this is just the start for us.
“We cut down on our turnovers tremendously,” he added. “We played more as a team and trusted each other more on screens. We played more disciplined all around.”
Seagraves’ three-pointer gave SM the lead for good, 64-61, with 2:55 to play in overtime.
Cameron Phillips’ follow shot cut the deficit to 66-65 at the 1:32 mark.
Michael Todd and Wike both made two free throws in the final 17 seconds to seal the win.
Roberson led 55-49 on Spencer Cable’s two free throws with 4:51 remaining in regulation.
The Mustangs went on a 10-2 run, including five by Frady, to take a 59-57 edge with 46 seconds on the clock.
Phillips scored with 20 seconds left for a 59-59 tie to force OT.
There were six lead changes and two ties in the third quarter. Davin Miller-Madden’s steal and layup put the Rams up 48-46 at the 1:59 mark, and they led 51-48 entering the fourth period.
Roberson used an early 11-1 spurt, including eight by Ward, to go up 11-4 on Johnson’s basket with 4:17 to play in the first quarter.
SM reeled off eight straight points, including four by Hunter Cabe, for a 12-11 edge when Jameson Madden scored with 1:54 on the clock.
Johnson’s three-pointer out the Rams up 15-12 at the 1:14 mark and they led 17-12 going into the second period.
Consecutive three-pointers by Seagraves gave the Mustangs a 29-26 lead with 3:06 to play in the half.
Roberson led 36-33 at halftime after baskets by Ward and Cable in the last 30 seconds.
Wike hit seven field goals, including a trio of three-pointers, and two foul shots. Frady had seven field goals and two free throws. Seagraves made four three-pointers.
Todd added eight points, Parker Flynn followed with seven, Cabe scored four, and Madden and Lawson Wike both had two.
Todd handed out four assists, and Seagraves came up with four steals.
The Mustang JVs fell to 1-3 with a 60-50 loss. The Rams led at quarter breaks by scores of 18-14, 31-26 and 42-40.
Max Buchanan scored 14 points, and Brylen Conlin had 11.
“Yesterday we got beat pretty bad, and I was wondering how I would respond and how my kids would respond,” Coach Tyler Mulligan said. “I think overall we responded very well. I never questioned my team’s effort at any point in the game. We were down at halftime and made a run in the third quarter and took the lead. Unfortunately, we couldn’t hold that lead. We were down two players so a lot of kids stepped up.”