Buzzer-beater lifts Mitchell over Avery
NEWLAND – The Class 1A No. 2-ranked Mitchell Lady Mountaineers traveled to Newland Saturday, Feb. 3, and defeated Western Highland Conference rival and Class 1 A No. 8-ranked Avery County 60-58 on a layup as time expired.
Senior center Morgan Buchanan made a shot under the basket to tie the game at 58-58 with a minute remaining on the clock. Mitchell took possession after an Avery miss with 20 seconds on the clock. Buchanan received the outlet pass and put up a potential game-winning shot that rimmed out. After getting her own rebound, Buchanan again put up a shot amid heavy defense by the Lady Vikings and the ball rolled in as time expired.
“It was a good one,” said Zack McCartha, Lady Mountaineers head coach. “It was punch-counterpunch the whole game and the fact we hadn’t played in more than a week had me a little worried.”
Mitchell (16-4, 4-3) had three players score in double digits with Buchanan leading the team with 19. Sophomore Hannah McMahan came off the bench to score 13 and senior Eden Phillips added 10.
“I thought we played really well,” McCartha said. “It was probably the best we’ve played offensively this season and our bench players came in a did a fantastic job.”
The game marked Mitchell’s second win over Avery (14-8, 4-5). The Lady Mountaineers won 46-42 over the Lady Vikings Jan. 3 in Ledger.
The Lady Mountaineers this past Monday hosted Polk (1-18, 0-8) and traveled Tuesday to Black Mountain to take on Owen. Results of those games were not available at press time. Owen (15-5, 3-3) comes to Ledger Thursday, Feb. 8, for the final game of the regular season.
“We’re heading in the right direction,” McCartha said. “I like where we are at as a team as tournament time approaches.”
The Lady Mountaineers won 48-34 Jan. 12 at Polk and have yet to play Owen because of weather postponements.
Mitchell 14 23 8 15 – 60; Zoe Cloer 7, Eden Phillips 10, Hannah McMahan 13, Marley Cloer 4, Paige Johnson 5, Katy Hall 2, Morgan Buchanan 19.