So far this season the Hayesville Yellow Jackets are showing why they are the defending Smoky Mountain Conference champions. A 1-point loss to Franklin was the only blemish on the Jackets’ record as they prepared for a two-game home stand against SMC opponents Rosman and Swain County. On Tuesday, Dec. 10 Hayesville cruised to a win over the Tigers with a score of 71-24. The home team followed that performance up with another lop-sided score Friday, Dec. 13 with a 79-40 victory over the Maroon Devils.
Coach Mike Cottrell and his staff put several combinations on the floor in the first quarter against Rosman. Regular substitutions created coverage issues for the Tigers and Hayesville’s fresh legs were able to outrun their opponent up and down the court. A 23-13 first quarter was just a taste of what was to come.
Fast forward to the third quarter and Hayesville’s bench took full control of the game. A 12-0 run allowed the Jackets to break the game wide open. By the end of the quarter, Rosman trailed 64-21. The fourth quarter went by quickly thanks to a running clock and Jacket Nation celebrated the 71-24 home-win.
Following the game Cottrell stated, “We came out and executed tonight. The starters did their job and then bench play was very good. Great to get a conference win.”
The high quality of play continued for Hayesville against Swain County. It was apparent that the Devils were going to give it everything they had to match the Jackets’ high-powered offense. After one quarter, Hayesville had the slimmest of leads, 14-13. It was a different story in the second quarter as the Yellow Jackets put on an offensive clinic. The black and Vegas gold brigade more than doubled Swain’s 15 points with 32 to build to a 46-28 lead at the half.
From that point, the Devils’ hopes faded as did their offensive production. Hayesville tightened the screws on defense, holding Swain to just 12 points in the half. On their end of the floor, the Jackets continued to rack up points with 19 in the third quarter and 14 in the fourth to secure the 79-40 win.
A rivalry game is next on the schedule for Hayesville as they will head to Murphy Thursday, Dec. 19 to face the Bulldogs at 8 p.m. The following night, Friday, Dec. 20, the Jackets will host Robbinsville. Tip off for that game is also set for 8 p.m.
Leaders against Swain
Jake McTaggart: 27 points.
Kolbe Ashe: 20 points.
Paul White: 6 points.
Eli Roberts: 9 points.