CANTON – Pisgah’s boys basketball team went into the holiday break with not only nice momentum, but a notable new addition to its bench.
The Black Bears (5-6, 3-1) and Trey Morgan (14.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game) have won four consecutive games after their 65-55 victory at Tuscola on Dec. 22.
Morgan, who is a 6-foot-3 junior, leads the team in scoring and rebounding.
Nathan Whitley is putting up 8.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists a game, while Zeke Long is averaging 7.3 points, 2.6 assists and 1.9 steals.
“We knew we graduated a lot of kids (from last season) and we’ve played a tough early-season schedule,” Pisgah coach Casey Kruk said.
“This is a good group, and eventually we’ve started to see them come around not only in practices, but our games.”
The Black Bears remain the last Western North Carolina boys team to win a NCHSAA championship in basketball (2-A in 2005). And a member of that team has recently been hired to join Kruk’s coaching staff, pending approval from the Haywood County school board.
Jonathan Whitson is a 2006 Pisgah graduate and former Citizen-Times All-WNC post player. As a high school senior, he earned All-Western Athletic Conference honors after averaging 20.9 points and eight rebounds a game. He scored a season-high total of 42 points and played in the Carolinas All-Star Classic.
Whitson continued his career at the next level for Brevard College where he set 12 school records.
Kruk has been the head coach at Pisgah since 2008.
“What I love about my staff is they’re all Pisgah guys,” Kruk said.
“It’s really awesome to know there’s that investment there. With (Whitson), we just could never align our schedules until now.”
The Black Bears’ next game is Tuesday at undefeated North Henderson (12-0). Pisgah only has two seniors (Austin Reid and Nick Boone), while three freshmen are playing up on the varsity level — Long, Tanner Wike and Merit Kuykendall.