By Carey Phillips
Pisgah took control in the second half and defeated Smoky Mountain 60-40 in the Mountain Six Conference women’s basketball opener Jan. 23 at the SM gym.
Dot Mills scored 15 points for the Sugar Bears. Whitney Boone and Alexis Gibson both added 11, and Cristina Garcia-De Sivatte had 10.
Xaila Spencer led the Lady Mustangs (0-2, 0-1) with 13 points. Natalie Parris had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Macy Wike also scored 10 points and came up with three steals.
“For us to be playing an impact game, a slow start was understandable,” Coach Ollin Dunford said. “They got their wits together and started playing in the second quarter. It started on the defensive end. We rebounded well, and we forced them into some turnovers that turned the tide.”
He said the team seemed to run out of gas down the stretch.
“It’s like in football when you keep the defense on the field too long,” Dunford said. “They were worn down, and we couldn’t score.”
SM pulled down 43 rebounds and limited turnovers to 14.
“We were right there,” he said. “We just couldn’t hit any shots. We missed too many layups and free throws.”
Pisgah opened the second half on an 11-2 run, including four by Boone, for a 34-23 lead on Mills’ three-point play with 1:40 remaining in the third period.
The margin was 35-28 at the quarter break.
The Sugar Bears started the final period with another 11-2 spurt, including five by Gibson, to go up 46-30 on Mills’ steal and layup at the 5:24 mark.
The game’s largest lead was 60-35 after Boone’s free throw with 1:46 on the clock. It capped an 8-2 run, including five by Garcia-De Sivatte.
Pisgah never trailed as Garcia-De Sivatte and Mills opened the game with three-pointers.
Boone scored seven in an 11-1 spurt for a 17-5 advantage on Mills’ foul shot at the 1:15 mark.
The lead was 19-8 entering the second quarter.
Morgan Putnam’s free throw made it 21-8 with 5:45 on the clock.
The Lady Mustangs reeled off 13 unanswered points, including six by Spencer, for a 21-21 tie with 34 seconds to go in the half.
Ashtyn Frady’s basket with 16 seconds left gave the Sugar Bears a 23-21 halftime edge.
Spencer hit five field goals and three of four foul shots. Parris’ points came on four field goals and two free throws. Wike made three field goals and four foul shots.
Addison Buchanan added three points, and Kennedy Stewman and Aiden Nicholson both had two.
The Lady Mustang JVs opened their season with a 36-19 loss. Pisgah led at quarter breaks by scores of 10-2, 18-7 and 22-14.
Vivian Bell and Becca Corona-Smith both scored six points for SM.
“I thought we did some good things,” Coach Jason Melvin said. “There are obviously some areas of our game that we have to improve on, but nothing surprising given that this was our first game. We only had seven players available, and they all contributed, which is all I can ask for. We know our weaknesses and what we have to work on, and they all are up to the task.”
Friday’s home games with East Henderson have been postponed to Feb. 1 due to COVID-19 concerns at East.
Home games were set for Wednesday against Brevard. Results were not known at press time. The JV men were to have started at 4 p.m. followed by the varsity men and varsity women. No JV women’s game was planned.
Make-up games are slated for Saturday at Mitchell. The JV women will play at 4 p.m., followed by the JV men, varsity women and varsity men.
Games at Hendersonville, which were snowed out Saturday, will be played Monday at Hendersonville Middle School. The JV women will begin at 4 p.m., followed by the JV men, varsity women and varsity men.
That’s the same schedule for games Wednesday, Jan. 27, at Franklin.