Darien Bird

Smoky Mountain’s Darien Bird goes to the basket in last week’s loss at Pisgah.

By Carey Phillips


Pisgah outscored Smoky Mountain 21-2 in the second quarter en route to a 71-38 victory over Smoky Mountain in the Mountain Seven Conference men’s basketball opener Dec. 14 at Canton.

Caden Robinson scored 25 points for the Bears. James Lee added 17, and Sawyer Belue had 12.

Matthew Brown had a big night for the Mustangs with 26 points.

“He had a good offensive game,” Coach Jimmy Cleaveland said of Brown. “He shot it well. We did a pretty good job distributing the ball. He took good shots and made them.”

Brown was the only SM player to have a field goal until the fourth quarter.

“There were spurts when we played hard, and there were spurts that we didn’t,” Cleaveland said. “Four quarters; 32 minutes. We have to figure that out.”

Brown scored all of his team’s points in the first quarter and outscored Pisgah by himself in the period 16-13.

The game turned in the second stanza when the Bears outscored the Mustang 21-2 as SM did not make a field goal. Lee had a big quarter with nine points as the lead reached 34-18 at halftime.

Pisgah ended the third period with a 24-2 run, including 12 by Robinson and 10 by Belue. A three-pointer by Belue from just beyond half court as time expired gave the Bears a 66-25 lead putting in effect a running clock the rest of the game.

Half of Brown’s 10 field goals were three-pointers, and he made a foul shot.

Evan Jamison scored seven points, Darien Bird and Brylen Conlin both had two points, and Max Buchanan hit a free throw.

Multiple Mustangs missed the game due to sickness.

The JVs played the next night at Pisgah, and the Bears won 49-38.

SM’s Lincoln Shuler and Sawyer Snider both scored 11 points.

“We got after them and gave them everything they wanted,” Coach Zeb Capps said. “Our defensive effort was excellent. It all boils down to being able to score offensively, being aggressive and getting to the free throw line. It’s going to be a process to be where we want to be.”