By Carey Phillips
Pisgah scored 26 straight points spanning the second and third quarters and breezed to a 70-44 women’s basketball victory over Smoky Mountain in the Mountain Seven Conference opener Dec. 14 at Canton.
Chloe Burch and Alyssa Smith led the balanced scoring attack for the Sugar Bears with 12 points apiece. Dot Mills added 11, and Emma Deaver had 10.
SM’s Macy Wike topped all scorers with 23 points.
“I went in feeling pretty confident,” Coach Ollin Dunford said. “We’ve had some good practices and preparations. For us to go and just not show up for about three and a half quarters, I was kind of beside myself and didn’t know what to say.”
The Lady Mustangs had two players out sick and were already missing Xaila Spencer, who is out for the season with a shoulder injury.
“We try to stay consistent with defense,” Dunford said. “We appeared to be so fatigued. I’m not saying we didn’t go out there and work hard, but I think we dispersed our energy in the wrong direction.”
SM led 4-3 on Triniti Littlejohn’s steal and layup with 6:11 to play in the first period.
Ashtyn Frady’s three--pointer put Pisgah ahead to stay, 6-4, with 4:35 on the clock.
The Sugar Bears were up 13-8 at the quarter break.
Pisgah opened the second period with 10 straight points for a 23-8 lead on Alexis Gibson’s basket at the 5:06 mark.
After Wike hit back-to-back three-pointers, the Sugar Bears reeled off the last eight points of the half for a 31-14 margin.
“We never got back in it,” Dunford said. “It snowballed the wrong direction on us.”
Pisgah continued the run with the first 18 points of the second half to take the game’s biggest lead, 49-14, with 4:07 remaining in the third quarter, which ended with the Sugar Bears in front 53-27.
Five of Wike’s eight field goals were three-pointers, and she made two foul shots.
Greenlee Flynn added eight points, Kennedy Stewman netted five, Littlejohn scored four, and Lilli Rhoads and Madeline Stevenson both had two.
Stewman pulled down 11 rebounds. Flynn came up with three steals, and Aiden Nicholson had five assists.
Pisgah’s JVs won 41-26. SM led 9-5 after the first quarter, but the Sugar Bears were up 23-14 at halftime and 37-20 entering the fourth period.
Kaitlyn Tahquette had six points for the Lady Mustangs.
“We were nervous coming into our first conference matchup, especially at Pisgah,” Coach Jason Melvin said. “They had been winning games by pretty good margins so we knew it was going to be a tough game. I thought we started out great, but we didn’t win on the boards and we had too many turnovers that led to easy points for Pisgah.”