Ashe and Mctaggart Lead the Way in Big Senior Night Win

Hayesville Basketball, Sports, Team FYN Sports, TeamFYNSports

The Hayesville Yellow Jacket boys team made history on Friday night. It was senior night, and Hayesville honored Kolbe Ashe and Jake Mctaggart in a pregame ceremony. Shortly after that, the game tipped off, and the two seniors put on a show in their final regular-season game at Hayesville. The Yellow Jackets were in control the entire game and beat Robbinsville comfortably 61-39. The victory makes them the first boys team in Smoky Mountain Conference history to go undefeated in two straight regular seasons.


1st Half:

The Yellow Jackets and Robbinsville went back and forth for the first few minutes of the game. The pace was a little slower than expected, but each team was easing their way into the game. Hayesville would close a little stronger, leading 11-6 going into the second quarter. At this point, Hayesville would start to force their will on their opponent and start to build their lead. A solid close to the quarter, including a Jake Mctaggart dunk, would give Hayesville a 27-16 lead at halftime.



Kolbe Ashe makes a strong finish at the rim.

2nd Half:

The story of the night had to be the Hayesville defense holding Robbinsville to no more than 12 points in a single quarter. Hayesville’s offense has seen hotter shooting nights, but their defense was as strong as we have seen it all year. Combined with the Yellow Jacket rebounding effort, the Black Knights had no chance at a comeback. Then came the fourth quarter, where the seniors Mctaggart and Ashe put on a show for the home crowd. Ashe was a wizard dribbling the ball and made several great passes that led to jaw-dropping dunks by Mctaggart. That momentum was too much to overcome for Robbinsville as Hayesville would secure their undefeated season, winning 61-39.


Hayesville Leading Scorers:

Jake Mctaggart 25 points

Kolbe Ashe 12 points






Ashe and Mctaggart Highlights:



Boys Conference Tournament Bracket.

The Yellow Jackets will next play in the conference tournament as the one seed, taking on the winner of the four/five seed game between Andrews and Murphy. This conference tournament game will take place at Swain, this year’s tournament host, with this matchup happening on Monday, February 14th. To get updates or see how the Yellow Jackets have done, tune in to all the latest Team FYN sports coverage on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and at

Hayesville Wins Big Over Cherokee

Hayesville Basketball, Sports, Team FYN Sports, TeamFYNSports

The Hayesville Yellow Jackets boys team gave the home crowd plenty of excitement on Monday night. Taking on Cherokee for the second game in a row, the Braves put a scare into the Yellow Jackets in the first half. Cherokee held a first-quarter lead and carried it into the second quarter. Hayesville would dominate the second half and put the Braves away fairly easily, winning 70-46.


1st Half:

The Yellow Jackets looked to be off to the races early, grabbing a 5-0 lead to start the game. The Braves fought back quickly, though, going on a 16-5 run from that point to take a 16-10 lead in the game. Cherokee shot the ball very well and would close the quarter leading 19-12. However, Hayesville would not back down and came out in the second quarter and started to chip away at the Cherokee lead. Yet each time Hayesville would tie it up or take a slight lead, Cherokee would answer right back. An incredible drive and kick from Kolbe Ashe to Logan Caldwell for three at the buzzer gave Hayesville a 33-30 lead going into halftime.



Hayesville’s Asher Brown knocks down a free throw.

2nd Half:

The second half was a different story as Cherokee’s hot shooting start didn’t carry over from the first half. At the same time, Hayesville started to force their will and dictate the game on their terms. It seemed like every time you looked up, Hayesville had increased their lead a little more. Hayesville got some pretty balanced scoring from their team with four players in double figures and also hit ten three-pointers on the night. By the time the fourth quarter came to a close, the Yellow Jackets had taken care of business, winning 70-46. 


Leading Scorers:

Ethan Hooper 18 points

Kolbe Ashe 17 points

Jake Mctaggart 11 points

Kyle Lunsford 10 points


Postgame interview with Ethan Hooper:


The Yellow Jackets will next play on Tuesday, February 8th, hosting the Robbinsville Black Knights. This is the final regular-season game for the Yellow Jackets. The game on Tuesday will be covered live on To get updates or see how the Yellow Jackets have done, tune in to all the latest Team FYN sports coverage on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and at

Yellow Jackets Stifle the Braves

Hayesville Basketball, Sports, Team FYN Sports, TeamFYNSports

The Hayesville Yellow Jackets boys team is getting every team left on their schedule’s best shot every time they play. The Bullseye on their back keeps getting bigger as everyone wants to take down the #1 in the state-ranked Yellow Jackets. Cherokee pushed Hayesville and even got it down to five points at one point in the third quarter. The Braves would never get closer than five in the second half as Hayesville would pull away in the fourth quarter to win 64-36.


1st Half:

Hayesville would get off to a strong start in the games, as multiple players contributed early. Jake Mctaggart started off the game with an old-fashioned and one three-point play. Follow that up with three three-pointers by Logan Caldwell, Ethan Hooper, and Kolbe Ashe. Hayesville used their hot shooting to build a 19-7 lead going into the second quarter. However, Cherokee would not go away without a fight, outscoring Hayesville in the second quarter. Thanks to a great assist from Kolbe Ashe to Kyle Lunsford with two seconds left in the half, The Yellow Jackets would lead at halftime 29-21.



Taylor McClure drives hard to the rim.

2nd Half:

The Braves would put a little fear into the Yellow Jackets early in the third quarter, cutting the lead down to five. Hayesville post duo Kyle Lunsford and Jake Mctaggart combined for 12 points in the quarter getting six apiece, with several coming off great passes from Ashe. By quarter’s end, Hayesville’s lead was up 45-32. Quickly hitting the Braves at the start of the fourth quarter, the Yellow Jackets would put the game away. Hayesville was able to get all of their players in with a 20 plus point lead and cruise to a 64-36 victory.


Hayesville Leading Scorers:

Jake Mctaggart 24 points

Kolbe Ashe 17 points

Kyle Lunsford 10 points


Hayesville Notes:

  • With the win, tonight Hayesville clinched the outright conference championship. It’s very impressive, considering they still have two conference games on the schedule.
  • Hayesville’s defense was outstanding tonight, holding a usually good Cherokee offense to just 36 points.


The Yellow Jackets will next play on Monday, February 7th, hosting the Cherokee Braves. This odd scheduling having to play Cherokee back-to-back games was due to it being rescheduled several times this year. The game on Monday will be covered live on To get updates or see how the Yellow Jackets have done, tune in to all the latest Team FYN sports coverage on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and at

Hayesville Calm Cool Collected and Conference Champions

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Photo Credit Brooke Leatherwood

The Hayesville Yellow Jackets hosted the Murphy Bulldogs in the de facto conference championship on Tuesday afternoon. Murphy needed a win to tie Hayesville for 1st in conference with each team having one game left. Hayesville needed a win to clinch the outright conference championship and priority seeding in the playoffs. Hayesville trailed the entire game not having led once until the very last at-bat of the game. 


Avery Leatherwoods triple.

Murphy got the game started with a bang Briggs Cornwell hit a two-run home run. It was a monster shot that cleared the centerfield fence as well as the trees beyond it. Cornwell celebrated with a bat flip and cleat stomp at home plate that served to further ignite already tense rivalry.  Hayesville’s starting pitcher threw a little chin music to the next batter on the first pitch, just to let Murphy know Cornwell’s antics were not ok with the Hayesville team. 

Hayesville would strike back in the bottom of the second to tie it up at 2-2. Yet Murphy would immediately regain their lead scoring two in the top of the third. Then a lighting/rain delay would last for an hour before teams would retake the field in the bottom of the third. Murphy would again extend their lead with one more run in the top of the fifth to make it 5-2. Hayesville would also scrape one run across in the fifth to take it back to just trailing two runs 5-3. 


Eli Roberts delivers the pitch.

Eli Roberts would come in relief with runners on the corner in the top of the sixth and strike out the last batter to escape the inning. He would also pitch a scoreless inning to keep the Yellow Jackets within striking distance in the game. Murphy would bring on Dawson Hensley to close out the game for Murphy. Hayesville was at the top of their order though and Connor Bradley was walked to start the inning. Then Avery Leatherwood hit a standup triple to score pinch-runner Mason Cook. Jeremy Stewart would come up next and walk. Then the magic happened when senior Clayton Vandiver hit a walk-off double to win not only the game but the outright conference championship for Hayesville 6-5.

Hayesville Notable Stats:

Eli Roberts: 1.1 IP, 0 runs, 1 K, W

Avery Leatherwood: 2-4 batting with 1 triple, 2 RBI’s, 1 R

Connor Bradley: 2-2 batting, 2 doubles, 2 walks, 1 R

Clayton Vandiver: 1-3 batting, walk-off 2 RBI double

Postgame interview with Avery Leatherwood and Clayton Vandiver:

Hayesville will next play Thursday, June 11th hosting the Robbinsville Black Knights in the season finale. To get updates or see how the Yellow Jackets have done tune in to all the latest FYN sports coverage on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and at

Epic Comeback Equals Undefeated Season

Clay County Schools, Hayesville Basketball, Hayesville High, Sports, Team FYN Sports, TeamFYNSports

The Hayesville Yellow Jackets played the Swain Maroon Devils in Bryson city Thursday night. The Yellow Jackets were chasing history looking to become only the second team in Hayesville history to play a regular season undefeated. It looked like Hayesville would fall short of this goal entering the fourth quarter down 55-42. Yet playing the best quarter they had played all season, led by star guard Kolbe Ashe, Hayesville stole a victory from the clutches of defeat. They outscored Swain by 22 points in the fourth quarter winning 71-62.


In the first quarter Hayesville and Swain traded blows early with Swain landing the last few punches in the quarter. Hayesville did not seem quite in sync and were having some turnover troubles that would plague them for the first three quarters of the game. They did get some good finishes from their forward duo. With both Brady Shook and Kyle Lunsford chipping in four first quarter points each. Yet Swain got scoring from four different players and edged Hayesville in the quarter 17-13.



Blake McClure makes a free throw.

The second quarter once again saw the teams seemingly play pretty evenly, that is until Hayesville found themselves in foul trouble. Starters Brady Shook and Kolbe Ashe finished the quarter on the bench as they had two fouls each. Swain took advantage of a rare occasion for Hayesville, that is having Kolbe Ashe on the bench. Swain played a full court press defense and forced multiple Hayesville turnovers. This allowed them to extend their lead going into halftime to 33-28.


The third quarter saw Swain come out as hot and put Hayesville in an unfamiliar position. That is being down double digits, something that has happened very few times, if any this season. The Yellow Jackets were up against it and appeared to be on their way to their first loss of the season. That is until Kolbe Ashe and company seemingly flipped the switch, starting to finally fight back. It looked like it might be too late though as Swain took a 55-42 lead into the fourth quarter.


After a quick opening bucket by the Devils, the Yellow Jackets found themselves down 15 points looking for answers. From that point forward though it was all Hayesville and they were chipping away at the lead possession by possession. Led by Ashe who had ten fourth quarter points, Hayesville all of sudden found themselves in a dogfight. Swain fighting for a chance at a playoff berth and Hayesville fighting for a chance at history. 



Asher Brown makes a crucial free throw.

Hayesville hit five three pointers in the fourth quarter, each feeling more important than the previous one. The last of those five threes put them up by three with under two minutes left in the game. After regaining possession Swain had no choice but to foul with the game on the line. Swain waited to foul until the ball was in the hands of freshman Asher Brown. Brown calmly went to the free throw line and nailed two free throws, only to do the exact same thing on the next possession. After the four biggest free throws of Brown’s young career, the Yellow Jackets had a seven point lead with only seconds left. 


Hayesville not only finished the game off winning 71-62 but made history completing an undefeated regular season. It was a very cool moment for myself as a media member. Having played myself on Hayesvilles last regular season undefeated team (2011-2012), now getting to cover the second team in school history to do it. Both teams being very similar, undersized but scrappy, great defensively and playing great unselfish team ball. With each team having a bona fide star guard leading the way. The question remains though, can this Hayesville team do what the first undefeated regular season team could not? That is to win a North Carolina 1A state championship. 


Hayesville notable stats:

Kolbe Ashe: 30 points 8 rebounds 8 assists

Blake McClure:14 points 6 rebounds 

Kyle Lunsford: 10 points 9 rebounds


Click link below to see post game interview with Kolbe Ashe and Blake McClure


Playoff brackets will come out on Sunday afternoon and Hayesville will find out their seeding for playoffs as well as their first round opponent. FYN will have all that coverage as the state releases the information. As well FYN will also be providing playoff game previews for each round of the playoffs.  So make sure to tune in to all the latest coverage from FYN sports on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and at

Hayesville Clinches Conference Championship

Hayesville Basketball, TeamFYNSports

The Hayesville Yellow Jackets took their undefeated record into what many thought would be a tough away game on Tuesday evening. Away games are always tough in the SMC and their opponent Andrews looked ready to give the Yellow Jackets all they had. Andrews though could not have been prepared for what they ended up facing though. That is an absolutely incredible night from Hayesville star guard Kolbe Ashe. His 21 first half points led Hayesville to an overwhelming 78-39 victory over the Wildcats.



Tyler Jones drives past a defender.

The Wildcats played Hayesville tough in the first quarter going back and forth early. Hayesville had some early turnover troubles that led to some easy baskets for Andrews. This led coach Mike Cottrell to switching out four players earlier than usual. It worked to perfection as the second unit gave Hayesville the jolt they needed. Hayesville took the lead back midway through the quarter, then extended it further thanks to a couple of late baskets.


Hayesville carried a 14-8 lead into the second quarter, came out firing and looked to push the pace. Hayesville was playing for what they knew would at least be a share of the conference championship with a win. Kolbe Ashe knowing this played one of his best games of the year and wanted to not give Andrews any reason to believe they could beat Hayesville on this night. Ashe put on a show in the first half and almost single handedly outscored Andrews. Behind Ashe’s 21 first half points Hayesville carried a 33-22 lead into the half. 



Asher Brown finishes strong on the fastbreak.

In the second half Andrews knew they would need to come out hot to have a chance to hang with Hayesville. The Yellow Jackets though were the team that came out firing, leaving Andrews with no chance at a comeback. Hayesville got on an early run and had basically put the game out of reach by the middle of the third quarter. Then with Hayesville bringing on their entire second unit they still continued to stretch their lead. By quarter’s end Hayesville led 52-27 and could start to taste the conference championship.


Andrews, desperate to get back in the game in the fourth quarter, started a half court trapping defense, playing frantically trying to force turnovers. Yet freshman Asher Brown, who was playing at the point guard position handled it masterfully for Hayesville. Brown playing with the savviness of a senior battle tested point guard, led the Yellow Jacket offense in the fourth quarter helping clinch a share of the conference championship. With a big performance out of Jose Espinal who had 8 fourth quarter points and a highlight reel block on defense, Hayesville won 78-39.


Hayesville Leading Scorers:

Kolbe Ashe: 31 points

Brady Shook: 11 points

Asher Brown: 9 points

Jose Espinal: 8 points


While Hayesville knew they had clinched at least a share of the conference championship. It wasn’t until later in the night when they found out both teams in second place had lost, making Hayesville the outright conference champions with three games left to go in the season. Hayesville will next play at Cherokee Friday night looking to stay undefeated on the season.

Click link to see interviews with Hayesville players Brady Shook, Kolbe Ashe, Blake McClure and head coach Michael Cottrell reflecting on their conference championship and what’s left in their season.

To get updates or see how the Yellow Jackets have done tune in to all the latest coverage FYN sports on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and at

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