By Carey Phillips
Brevard finished the game on a 10-2 run over the last four minutes to claim a 45-40 Mountain Six Conference men’s basketball victory from Smoky Mountain on Jan. 28 at Brevard.
The Mustangs (10-8, 4-2) scored 18 points in the second quarter but were held to 22 points in the other three periods combined.
Keishon Couch led the Blue Devils with 16 points, and Drew Scott had 12.
SM’s Mitch Wike scored 14 points.
“We executed really well in the second quarter,” Coach Adam Phillips said.
The Mustangs made just two of nine foul shots, while Brevard was 11 of 11 from the line, he said. He added that SM missed 18 shots inside 5 feet.
“We just didn’t convert,” Phillips said. “We had our opportunities, but it’s hard to win when you hit about 20 percent from the line and 33 percent from the field. Defensively we played really well, but we just couldn’t put it in the hole.”
Couch’s basket with 27 seconds left gave the Devils a 10-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Wike scored eight, including a pair of three-pointers, in a 12-2 run for an 18-12 lead with 3:59 to play in the half.
The Mustangs scored the half’s final six points, including four by Parker Flynn, for a 24-17 lead.
Brevard used a 9-2 spurt, including four by Baxter Swicegood, for a 28-28 tie with 2:02 left in the third period.
Zeb Sink’s three-pointer with 1:47 on the clock gave SM a 31-28 lead, and it was 31-30 at the quarter break.
The Mustangs led 38-35 when Tyler Waliezer made one of two foul shots with 4:32 to go in the game.
Laz Hunter made two foul shots putting the Devils ahead to stay, 41-40, with 54.3 seconds left.
Couch was four of four from the line in the final 24 seconds to seal the win.
Wike hit six field goals, including two three-pointers.
Sink finished with nine points, Waliezer had seven, Flynn scored six and Clayton Frady had four.
Brevard won the JV game 57-26. The Devils led at quarter breaks by scores of 12-9, 28-16 and 50-21.
SM’s Max Buchanan scored 11 points.
“Brevard has a good team and shot extremely well,” Coach Tyler Mulligan said. “Even at times when we were playing great defense, they seemed to get a shot off and it went in. Offensively, we struggled from all areas of the floor. We had some missed layups and missed free throws. We played decent defense. These next few games will decide how we are going to finish – if we are going to keep fighting or if we are going to give up or lay down.”