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  • Travis Dockery

Chaos in The Hive results in 0-4 night for HHS

Updated: Dec 5, 2022

(Photo by Kelli Graves) Hayesville's Landon Trout makes a move for the ball in the JV boys game.

The Hive was buzzing Saturday night, Dec. 3, as all four Hayesville High School basketball teams faced off with the Franklin Panthers from neighboring Macon County. From a blowout loss for an inexperienced team to a drama-filled 9 seconds to end a 29-game winning streak, Saturday's games had it all.

In the most competitive game of the night. the defending 1A state champion varsity Yellow Jackets found themselves in a dogfight with the 3A powerhouse Panthers. Ethan Hooper had the hot hand in the first quarter with a pair of 3-pointers which helped propel Hayesville to a 12-9 lead at the end of the opening stanza.

Quarter two was another tight one as Franklin was able to match the intensity of the Jackets. With starter Taylor McClure on the bench due to early foul trouble, coach Cottrell and his staff filled the void with strong defensive performances from guys coming off the bench. The Panthers managed double digits with 10 points, but without Hayesville's swarming defense, that point total could have been a whole lot more. On the Jackets' end of the floor, Hooper continued to find success from the arc with another pair of 3's. Logan Caldwell added 2 more points to make the score 20-19 in Hayesville's favor at halftime.

Following the battle of the first half, it was no surprise that the third quarter was a close one. Hooper kept the trend going with 6 points from the 3-point line and Asher Brown added to the attack with a 3-pointer of his own along with a free throw. Franklin managed 8 points in the quarter, but the Jackets' 11 points grew their lead to 31-27.

The game had become increasingly physical throughout the night, even seeing a technical handed out to Franklin following aggression shown towards Caldwell after a called foul. With the game on the line, and an almost sellout crowd getting louder and louder, the intensity picked up and overflowed into chaos.

With the score tied and the clock ticking down, the Panthers created a turnover and headed toward their end of the court with Hayesville in pursuit. In the corner, Caldwell was called for a foul and immediately called for a technical foul.

In protest, Hayesville's head coach Mike Cottrell walked onto the court frustrated and seeking an explanation and was also given a technical foul. No explanation for Caldwell's technical was ever given to the scorers' desk. Jacket Nation shook the walls with boo's while the Franklin Faithful raised the roof with cheers as the Panther shooter used the opportunity to give Franklin the lead. Hayesville kept playing hard, but there simply wasn't enough time on the clock and the Panthers headed home with a 41-36 victory. It was Hayesville's first loss in its last 30 games.

Leaders for Hayesville

Ethan Hooper: 23 points

Asher Brown: 6 points

Logan Caldwell: 3 points

For the varsity Lady Jackets, a close game early in the first quarter quickly faded as Franklin was able to use their height advantage to establish a lead. Once they had that lead, their experience `advantage allowed them to grow it. For the Lady Jackets, senior Lila Roberts led the way with 4 points. By the time the opening quarter came to an end, Hayesville trailed 16-8.

(Photo by Kelli Graves) Briley Clampitt took advantage of the new NCHSAA rules and saw playing time in both the JV and varsity Lady Jacket games.

With three of his 5 starters being in only their second varsity game ever, coach Chad McClure

kept encouraging his young team to battle. A 3-pointer from freshman Emma Ashe highlighted Hayesville's second quarter as the Lady Jackets increased their point total to 14, but trailed 30-14 at the half.

Franklin kept control of the game in the third quarter with an additional 15 points. Hayesville was held to just 3 points, a jumper by Ashe and a foul shot from freshman Bryleigh Krieger.

In the fourth, the Lady Jackets were able to put together their best quarter of the night. Roberts connected for a pair of 3-pointers while Breanna Abrams and Briley Clampitt added 2 points each via foul shots. Hayesville netted 12 points in the quarter but it was too little too late and Franklin got the 52-29 win.

Leaders for Hayesville

Lila Roberts: 10 points

Emma Ashe: 5 points

Bryleigh Krieger: 4 points

In JV action, the boys team fought hard, but struggled with clean passes and just couldn't get shots to fall. When all was said and done, the Jackets took the 50-29 loss. For the Lady Jackets, their inexperience was exposed against a 3A opponent. Hayesville avoided being shutout, but suffered a 51-4 lop-sided loss.

Next up for Hayesville is home games against Highlands on Friday, Dec. 9. Highlands has no JV girls team so activity will begin at 5 p.m. with the JV boys. Varsity games will follow.

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