The Lady Mountaineers basketball team is winners of two of their last three after defeating Andrews at Swain County’s Holiday Tournament on Dec. 29 and earning a Mountain Seven Conference road win at East Henderson on Tuesday.
“It feels good to pick up a couple wins for confidence going into Pisgah, so we’re feeling good,” THS head coach Katelyn Maynard said.
The win against Andrews snapped a seven-game losing streak for Tuscola and Maynard is proud of how her team fought to get back into the win column.
“Losing streaks are hard on confidence and I was just really proud of how they haven’t given up and how they’ve kept working. They work so hard in practice, they’re listening, they’re doing all the things that I’m asking them to do,” Maynard said. “I think that plays into the resilience of working hard and just keeping focused on the next game and not sweating the last one.”
The Mountaineers dropped a close 39-33 contest against Hiwassee Dam in the first round of the holiday tournament on Dec. 28 before bouncing back with a 48-30 win over Andrews the following day.
Senior forward Delany Buchanan and senior shooting guard Abbey Webster led Tuscola in the win over Andrews and Buchanan poured in 15 points and Webster added 11. Freshman point guard Cecilia Morgan also contributed seven.
Tuscola dropped its third matchup of the holiday tournament on Dec. 30 against Brevard by a score of 60-47, but the Mountaineers responded with a 58-26 conference win at East Henderson on Tuesday night.
“Our seniors were really good leaders in that game again. Abbey Webster scored 15 points in the first half,” Maynard said. “We had two seconds left before halftime and I told them just to roll the ball in and let Abbey shoot because she was so hot, like ‘what could it hurt? Let’s just try.’ She jacked up a three from halfcourt and made it, so another good morale gain.”
Along with Webster who finished with 15, four more Mountaineers scored six or more points.
Buchanan reached double-figures with 11 and Morgan knocked down a trio of triples to finish with nine. Morgan was moved up from JV earlier in the year and Maynard has been impressed with her contributions.
Sophomore wing Karsen Cherry also finished with nine while sophomore guard Samyrah Bryson added six.
Next up for Tuscola is the first installment of the cross-county rivalry matchup with Pisgah. The Mountaineers host the Bears on Friday with tipoff for the varsity girls set for 6:30 p.m.
“We’re excited and we’re ready. We all are Haywood County and it’s just fun to have that rivalry within the county,” Maynard said. “We’re friends at the end of this, so we’re excited, win or lose. It’s going to be a fun game for them and a good experience for these youngsters.”