By Carey Phillips
Pisgah fell behind early Friday but came charging back to defeat Smoky Mountain 63-48 in Mountain Six Conference men’s basketball action at the SM gym.
Matthew Roberts led the Bears with 19 points. Trent Devlin and Devan Dodgin finished with 13 and 12, respectively.
Michael Todd paced the Mustangs (10-7, 4-1), who suffered their first league loss, with 14 points.
“Hats off to Pisgah,” Coach Adam Phillips said. “They played really well. I felt like they got the ball in the paint too many times, and we fouled guys going up to the rim.”
The Bears were 17 of 25 from the foul line to SM’s six of 10.
“The foul count was 21-9,” Phillips said. “They put themselves in situations where they got us off our feet and we fouled them.”
The Mustangs hit just four of 19 three-pointers.
“We had some wide open looks,” Phillips said. “They just didn’t go in. We had our opportunities.”
SM got off to a good start as Ryan Waliezer’s fast break layup capped an 8-2 run for a 10-5 lead with 1:06 to play in the first period.
Devlin’s three-pointer with eight seconds left tied it 10-10 at the quarter break.
Nine unanswered points, including consecutive three-pointers by Max Wait, gave Pisgah a 19-12 advantage with 3:18 to play in the half.
The lead was 21-17 at intermission.
Nine straight points, including five by Roberts, built the lead to 38-26 after Korey Griffith’s fast break layup with 1:21 remaining in the third period.
The Bears led 38-30 entering the fourth quarter.
Wait’s third three-pointer of the game pushed the lead to 50-37 with 3:51 on the clock.
The Mustangs cut the gap to 55-46 on Mitch Wike’s three-pointer at the 1:37 mark.
Pisgah put the game away by going eight of 10 from the line down the stretch. Devlin made four in a row for the largest lead, 63-46, with 23.6 seconds left.
Todd made six field goals, including a three-pointer, and a foul shot.
Wike and Zeb Sink both finished with nine points, Waliezer added seven, Parker Flynn scored six, and Clayton Frady had three.
The Mustang JVs fell to 5-12 with a 44-42 loss. SM led 12-6 after the first quarter and 20-19 at halftime. Pisgah was up 30-26 through three periods.
Brylen Conlin scored 11 points, and Vaughn Ellis had 10.
“That’s a tough game to lose,” Coach Tyler Mulligan said. “As a coach you feel bad for your kids because they play so hard. They did the right things. There were some unfortunate circumstances at the end. Of course there are things we could have done better throughout the course of the game. We played hard, and I’m proud of them. We’ve got to get better, have less turnovers and make our free throws.”