Mountain Heritage has thoroughly enjoyed its tour of the Mountain Athletic Conference.
For the sixth time this season, the Cougars were too much for a MAC girls basketball team to handle on Friday as they fought past Asheville High, 56-40, inside Griffin Arena.
Brianna Woody’s putback at the 6:00 mark of the second quarter gave Mountain Heritage (6-0) the lead for good, and the North Greenville (S.C.) recruit finished with a team-high 13 points. Destiny Elkins and Nyssa Freeman added 11 apiece.
The defending Western Highlands Conference champions have four starters back from last season’s 25-3 team, including Woody, who was the WHC player of the year.
“My three seniors (Woody, Samm Chandler and Kaylon Johnson) have been with me since they were freshmen,” Mountain Heritage coach Susie Shelton said.
“We won nine games that season, so we’ve been on the other end of things. Now, we’re getting to reap some of the rewards with this group. It’s been nice.”
Indeed, Mountain Heritage has now beaten Asheville, Enka, Erwin, North Buncombe and Reynolds (twice).
The Cougars will play Enka one more time before they formally begin the defense or their WHC championship with a Dec. 14 game against Hendersonville.
“We’ve worked hard to prepare for this season,” Woody said. “And playing so many (MAC teams) has pushed us. I like playing good competition, and I think it brings out our best.”
Asheville trailed 23-19 at halftime Friday but could not keep up with Mountain Heritage in the third and fourth quarters.
Asheville (1-3) was led in scoring by Mirrah Colbert-Grant (16 points) and Niry Perez (12).
“This was our third road game this week,” Shelton said. “We missed a lot of easy shots. But we played with a lot of poise and hung in there.”