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Beyond the Scoreboard: Week 2 of WLOS/WNC Top 10 Basketball Poll

Shea Sutton.jpg
Shea Sutton and her Smoky Mountain Mustangs need one win to clinch the Mountain Six Conference title. Photo courtesy of Heather Klipa.

Six of the 20 boys and girls teams in the latest WLOS/WNC Top 10 Basketball Poll are ranked among the state’s Top 10 in their classifications in this week’s NCPreps.com poll, and four others are honorable mentions.

And all 10 of those WNC teams – six girls and four boys squads – are in the 2A and 1A classes.

No love for the nine schools in the Western Mountain Athletic 3A Conference and 4A McDowell.

Mountain Heritage – No. 1 in the WNC poll in boys and girls rankings – is the only local school with two teams in the state’s Top 10. The Cougars’ girls are third in the 2A poll and the boys are fourth.

The other teams ranked in the state include the Avery boys (6th in 1A), Murphy girls (3rd) and Mitchell girls (8th) in 1A and Smoky Mountain girls (6th in 2A).

Honorable mention teams from WNC in the state rankings include the 1A boys teams from Cherokee and Hayesville and 1A girls teams from Cherokee and Avery.

BOYS

1, Mountain Heritage (16-1)
High-scoring offense has hit 100 points in two of last three games. Showdown for Western Highlands Conference title at Avery set for Tuesday night.

2. McDowell (17-4)
Titans have won three straight and are tied for second in Northwestern 4A/3A Conference. They finish regular season with three straight road games.

3. Cherokee (14-3)
A 100-70 win at Rosman Wednesday night was the Braves’ 11th straight and clinched the Smoky Mountain 1A Conference title.

4. Asheville Christian Academy (14-7)
A 69-67 win Tuesday night against perennial power Christ School should be a confidence booster for the Lions.

5. Christ School (18-10)
Slumping Greenies have lost three straight, including a 40-point defeat at powerhouse Oak Hill last week and 69-67 to Asheville Christian Academy on Tuesday.

6. North Buncombe (15-4)
Coming off a 24-point loss at Tuscola, Black Hawks (11-2) can clinch the Western Mountain Athletic Conference regular-season title Friday night with a win at Reynolds (9-4).

7. Pisgah (14-6)
With a one-game lead in the Mountain Six 2A Conference with two games left, the Bears can win the title outright with victories at Franklin and Brevard.

8. Reynolds (15-4)
Rockets are in second place in the Western Mountain Athletic Conference and have to beat North Buncombe Friday night to have any chance at getting to first place.

9. Avery County (17-4)
Vikings have won five straight and have a showdown next week vs. Mountain Heritage that will likely decide the Western Highlands 2A/1A Conference title.

10. Hayesville (17-5)
Yellowjackets have won five of their last seven and will likely finish second in the Smoky Mountain 1A Conference.

GIRLS

1. Mountain Heritage (19-1)
No team has come closer than 12 points of beating the Cougars during a nine-game winning streak. The program has clinched its seventh straight Western Highlands 2A/1A title.

2. Smoky Mountain (18-1)
A win Friday night vs. East Henderson would be the 30th straight conference victory over three seasons and would clinch outright title in Mountain Six 2A Conference.

3. Murphy (20-1)
Tuesday night showdown with Cherokee (9-1) will decide Smoky Mountain Conference title for the Bulldogs (9-0), who are 48-4 the past two seasons under coach Ray Guttierrez.

4. Asheville Christian Academy (19-1)
Lions have won five straight under four-year coach John Williams, the former UNC Asheville and Globetrotter standout.

5. Carolina Day (14-6)
Wildcats getting ready for a postseason run, where they haven’t lost a game since 2010.

6. Erwin (13-6)
Just ½-game behind Tuscola (12-1) in the Western Mountain Athletic Conference, the Warriors (11-1) have won six straight by an average margin of more than 18 points a game.

7. Tuscola (15-4)
On a five-game winning streak, coach Ann Gardner’s Mountaineers have a showdown next week vs. Erwin that should decide the Western Mountain Athletic Conference regular-season crown.

8. Pisgah (13-7)
Coach Brandon Holloway’s team peaking at the right time, winning six of its last seven.

9. Cherokee (12-5)
Braves have won 10 of their last 11 and have a Smoky Mountain Conference battle with first-place Murphy next week.

10. East Henderson (15-5)
Coach John Johnston’s team is just one game out of second place in the Mountain Six 2A Conference with two league games remaining.

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