By Carey Phillips
MaeAnna Norris scored 15 of her 18 points in the second quarter Friday helping Pisgah to a 46-43 Mountain Six Conference women’s basketball victory at Smoky Mountain.
Carter Gibson added 13 points for the Sugar Bears.
Natalie Parris led the Lady Mustangs (10-7, 3-2) with 14 points.
“The kids played hard,” Coach Ollin Dunford said despite the loss. “I can’t criticize their play at all. I was extremely proud. Compared to the last four or five games, it was like night and day. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to pull off the win, but we sure played like we wanted to win. They worked hard.”
Pisgah scored the first basket, but SM ended the first quarter on a 9-1 run, including four by Parris, to lead 9-3.
A three-pointer by Parris increased the margin to 14-3 with 6:12 remaining in the half.
The Sugar Bears quickly turned the game around behind the shooting of Norris. She scored 10, including a pair of three-pointers, in a 15-2 run giving her team an 18-16 lead at the 1:57 mark.
Her trey with 1:11 on the clock put Pisgah up 21-18, and the halftime margin was 23-20.
Pisgah held a 28-24 edge after Alexis Gibson’s steal and layup with 5:24 to go in the third period.
The Lady Mustangs went up 35-34 on Melanie Hoyle’s three-pointer with 54 seconds on the clock.
Emma Deaver’s basket with 32 seconds to go put the Sugar Bears on top 36-35 at the quarter break.
Pisgah’s biggest lead was 45-37 after two foul shots by Cayli Parham at the 2:53 mark.
A three-pointer by Parris followed by Lucy McRae’s three-point play cut the gap to 45-43 with 1:27 on the clock.
The Lady Mustangs had a chance to tie on the final possession, but a desperation three-pointer was off the mark.
Parris hit five field goals, including a three-pointer, and three of three foul shots.
McRae finished with seven points, Macy Wike and Hannah Huddleston both scored six, and Hoyle and Aubrie Miller had five apiece.
The Lady Mustang JVs are 12-2 after a 42-34 win. Aiden Nicholson scored 12 points. Alisha Hall and Becca Corona-Smith both had 10.
SM led at quarter breaks by scores of 14-9, 20-18 and 33-26.
“We knew it was going to be a tougher game this time around, and the atmosphere was more intense as well,” Coach Jason Melvin said. “I’m proud of the girls for finishing the game strong. Even though we were outrebounded for the second straight game, we continued to fight and find ways to score and get the ball back. It was an all-around team effort and a great win.”