HAYESVILLE — A tremendous season for the Chatham Charter boys’ basketball program came to a close high up in the North Carolina mountains Tuesday night as the Knights suffered a 68-55 setback to …
Thanks for reading Chatham County’s leading news source! Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing to the News + Record – you can do so by clicking here.
HAYESVILLE — A tremendous season for the Chatham Charter boys’ basketball program came to a close high up in the North Carolina mountains Tuesday night as the Knights suffered a 68-55 setback to Hayesville in second round action of the NCHSAA 1A State Playoffs.
Chatham Charter closed the season by shattering the school record for wins by nine with a 27-5 mark.
Hayesville, meanwhile, advanced to the third round of the West Bracket and a road match up with North Rowan.
The middle quarters proved to be the difference in the contest as the host Yellow Jackets owned a decisive 37-19 advantage in the span, including a 20-8 spurt in the second which erased an 11-9 deficit for Hayesville while giving the hosts a 29-19 lead at the intermission.
A 17-11 run in the third period all but ended the contest with Chatham Charter staring at a daunting 46-30 deficit entering the final eight minutes of play.
The Knights erupted for 25 points in the final quarter but never could come up with the key stops as the Yellow Jackets collected 22 of their own to never surrender a double-digit lead.
“We couldn’t buy a basket in the opening three quarters it seemed, some of it due to the Hayesville defense, and some of it due to us missing some good looks,” said Chatham Charter head coach Jason Messier. “Some of it may have been the five-hour bus ride, but when we fell behind, it was hard to catch up. It’s a tough place to play but our guys battled and didn’t give up.”
A.J. Alston closed his career with a great game including going 6-of-10 from the floor and scoring a team-high 16 points. The senior guard also hit 4-of-8 from behind the arc while adding an assist.
Connor Murphy and Jordan Hamilton closed great junior campaigns with 14 and 12 points respectively for the Knights. Murphy also added three boards, an assist and a steal while Hamilton closed with nine rebounds, four assists and two steals.
In addition, Cole Milholen, a junior, chipped in four points, three boards, and nine assists while sophomore Trevor Golden had four points, five rebounds and an assist, and senior Jack Beaver a trey.
Despite the loss, Messier said he couldn’t have been prouder of his team, especially his seniors.
“A.J., Baggio (Rodriguez), Kolby (Riddle), Jack (Beaver), Tyler (Dettmer), those guys meant a lot to our program and in the past two seasons we’ve had 45 wins, which says a lot for a program in its sixth season,” said Messier. “They have a lot to be proud of, as do the underclassmen who have a chance to really take it to another level next season. It’s all about the hard work and time that they will put in, and there is no doubt that is what they will continue to do.”