'Big statement win' for Enka boys

'Big statement win' for Enka boys

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'Big statement win' for Enka boys

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Enka boys basketball coach Brian Carver called it “a big statement win.”

And even that might be an understatement.

The Jets (4-2) outscored Smoky Mountain, 31-12, in the final quarter of a 82-66 road win Friday in Sylva.

It was the first loss for the Mustangs (4-1) in their new gym and their first regular-season loss of any kind for the defending Western North Carolina Athletic Conference champions in two years.

Enka put four players in double figures – Luke Rutherford (23 points), Sage Turner (18), Rayshaun Little (17) and Cole Williams (14).

Smoky Mountain was led by Spencer Norris (25 points, 10 rebounds) and Cal Raleigh (24 points, 10 rebounds).

“The atmosphere was amazing,” Carver said.

“Their student section really gets into the game, and I actually thought we were able to feed off that a little when we fell behind. I think we were down by as many as seven points in the third quarter. It’s a big statement win for our kids. Nobody out there has more respect for (Smoky Mountain coach) Jimmy Cleaveland and what that program has done.”

Smoky Mountain previously thumped Enka, 84-61, on Nov. 25 in Candler.

But the Jets were missing five players in that game who were suspended for violating a team rule. They returned Friday.

“It was definitely a learning experience for us,” Carver said.

“And maybe we’re better off having faced a little adversity. This community has rallied around our basketball players and I don’t know that (Friday) would have been possible without that support these last few weeks.”

Enka returns to action Tuesday at Owen.

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'Big statement win' for Enka boys
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