Hayesville Football 1st Playoff Preview

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The Hayesville Yellow Jackets have earned the #19 seed in the NCHSAA football playoffs. It is a rematch of a conference game in which the Yellow Jackets lost to Swain County earlier this year. Swain the #14 seed will host the game and is favored of course as the higher seed. The weather for the game looks to be great according to the forecast for Friday night.

Reviewing the 1st Matchup:

Hayesville lost the first matchup a home game to Swain 42-14. What’s interesting about it though, was that Jake Mctaggart was still suspended and he played but not until the second half of the game. By the time he played to start the second half, it was already 28-7 making his impact much lesser. Hayesville also had two turnovers to Swains zero in the game. As well they had significantly more penalties. I would also say Swain played one of their better efforts of the year in this matchup.

Rewatch the First Game:


Review Article after 1st Swain Game:


Previewing the Playoff Matchup:

Hayesville will have Jake Mctaggart for a full game this time around. I would also expect Logan Caldwell to play better. He went through a rough stretch of play during the early conference season. Yet Caldwell and really the whole Hayesville team appear that they may be peaking at the right time of the year.

Keys to the Game Offensively:

  1. Throw early and often: Swain’s run-stopping ability is the strength of their defense. While their pass defense can be suspect at times and we have seen several teams hurt them through the air this year.
  2. Limit turnovers: Hayesvilles QB Logan Caldwell can be overly aggressive at times and sometimes it pays off. Yet in this game, he needs to be hesitant to take too many risks early.
  3. NO PENALTIES: How many times this year have we seen a holding call, a false start, or some other infraction kill a drive. Hayesville’s offense has shown it can move the ball on anyone but penalties are drive killers.

Keys to the Game Defensively:

  1. Don’t give up the big play: Swains Offense has not been great at moving the ball on long drives this year. Yet they have been great at getting big plays, whether it’s a long throw or long QB scramble. If Hayesville can force them to have long drives playing bend but don’t break defense it improves their chances.
  2. Force the pitch: Swain runs their veer offense and whether they go triple, speed, or power option they struggle to make the pitch. Their quarterback Gabe Lilliard has fumbled the pitch part of their option numerous times this year. Stealing a possession would be huge for the Yellow Jackets. 
  3. Get off the field on 3rd/4th down. Hayesville has struggled even when forcing teams into third and fourth and long this year to get off the field. Hayesville’s biggest win of the year was the Cherokee game. In that game on several occasions, they were able to successfully get a third or fourth-down stop. 

Interviews with Head Coach Chad McClure, as well as Jake Mctaggart and Logan Caldwell:




I think that Hayesville is playing their best football of the year while Swain hasn’t won a game since our last matchup with them. All things are looking ripe for an upset but don’t get yourself wrong for it to happen the Yellow Jackets are going to have to play their best game of the year. I think they are capable of doing that though, my prediction is Hayesville 31 Swain 28.

Hayesville Baseball Round 2 Playoff Preview


Round 1 Recap:

The Yellow Jackets cruised to victory in their first game of the NCHSAA playoffs. Hayesville’s ace was on the mound and other than giving up just one extra-base hit in the game. Jeremy Stewart was nearly unhittable, especially as the game got later. In fact, Stewart struck out 10 out of the last 13 batters he faced in the game. Hayesville’s offense got off to a strong start scoring three runs in the first inning en route to 6 in the game. With Stewart holding Christ the King to just one run Hayesville’s offense provided plenty. 

Round 2 Matchup:


Cade Denton

Hayesville is taking the Mountain Island Charter Raptors in round 2 of the playoffs. The Raptors had a tough round 1 game that they had to come from behind to win. After giving up two first-inning runs the Raptors Tyler Crowe shut down North Stanly for the rest of the game. They chipped away at the lead 1 run at a time. Before finally scoring on a passed ball to win in a walk-off in the bottom of the seventh. Mountain Island only got three hits in the first round all coming from their leading hitter Cole Hart. Hart also scored all three of the Raptors runs in the game. 

Possible Pitcher Mountain Island: Edge to the Raptors

Tyler Crowe threw 74 pitches in the first round so that lets us know that he will not be eligible to pitch in this game. The same for Hayesville with Jeremy Stewart who threw 105 pitches will not be available. Ethan Suchenski pitched just one inning and threw only 14 pitches in round 1. The best bet would be Suchenski will be on the mound for the Raptors as he is second on the team in innings pitched. Suchenski could be the best pitcher Hayesville has seen this year. His fastball has been gunned topping out at 88. He also has a curveball/slider and changeup both in the low 70’s to round out his 3-pitch repertoire. 

Possible Pitcher Hayesville:

Hayesville is most likely to start one of two guys either Clayton Vandiver or Eli Roberts. Both have pitched really well at times this year. As well both have struggled at times. I would anticipate both could pitch in this game. It will be important for Hayesville’s defense to be strong behind them as neither pitcher are big strikeout guys.

Offensive outlook: Edge to the Yellow Jackets

Mountain Island is not super strong offensively with only 4 players batting over .300. While Hayesvilles has six players hitting over .300. The Raptors do have 8 home runs on the year so they boast a little power. Of course, Hayesville has start center field Connor Bradley who has 6 home runs on the year. As well the team has a total of 11 on the year. As well Hayesville averages 9.4 runs a game while the Raptors only score 6.5 a game.

Prediction: Hayesville wins 4-3

The Yellow Jackets have a stout top-of-the-lineup that is great a producing run. While the rest of the lineup has gotten timely hits in big spots all year. Lastly, the home-field advantage could end being a huge factor for Hayesville.

Hayesville Baseball 1st Round Preview

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.The Hayesville Yellow Jackets finished the regular season 13-1 ranked 4th in all of 1A. Normally that would guarantee a great seed with several home games for playoffs. This year though with the NCHSAA’s crazy seeding plan it was no guarantee. Each of the western regions 8 conference winners would get drawn randomly to see who got priority seeding. Well, the luck was on Hayesville’s sides as they drew the #1 overall seed out of the west. This guarantees as long as the Yellow Jackets win they will get to be the home team all the way until the state championship game.


Hayesville will be hosting the visiting Christ the King Crusaders on Tuesday at 3:30. The Crusaders have had an up and down season but finished on a strong note winning their last four games in a row to sneak into the playoffs. At 9-5, the Crusaders will be the underdogs in this matchup but have enough to give Hayesville a tough game if the Yellow Jackets don’t bring their best. 



Jeremy Stewart

Probable Pitching Matchup:

Hayesville will almost definitely start Jeremy Stewart who has had an outstanding season for the Yellow Jackets on the mound. Stewart has started 7 games this year, with 2 complete game shutouts, 1 no-hitter, an ERA of .84, and 49 K’s in 41.2 innings pitched. Christ the King will start somebody, who that might be is anyone’s guess. Christian Kalac has the lowest ERA on the team at 2.14 and averages almost two strikeouts an inning. Parker Shipman has pitched more innings this year than anyone on the team but has a 5.38 ERA. As well the Crusaders do not have one pitcher on their staff that has pitched a complete 7 inning game this year.

It is highly likely Hayesville will see at least one of Kalac or Shipman pitch in the game. Yet the Crusaders also have two senior pitchers in Joseph Sides and Joseph Flynn who have 8 and 6 appearances respectively this year. Christ the King often throws 2 or 3 of these 4 pitchers in games. Hayesville will need to be aggressive and attack whichever pitcher starts. As the Crusaders are well accustomed to pitching multiple players and probably won’t let one guy lose the game for them.


Offensive matchup:


Avery Leatherwood


Everyone knows Hayesville is led by Connor Bradley their leadoff hitter who is batting .619 on the year with 6 HRs and 7 doubles. Behind him hitting in the two-hole is the sophomore catcher Avery Leatherwood.  He has had a breakout year hitting .442 with five doubles and seventeen RBI’s. Leatherwood sure looks like he will be ready to carry the offensive load for Hayesville next year. He has stepped up in a big way this year seemingly coming up with clutch hits whenever Hayesville has needed it. Whether it was his walk-off against Hiwassee Dam or his triple against Murphy to put himself in scoring position to tie the game.

Hayesville will need to continue to come up clutch at the plate as they have most of the year. After their top three hitters, they are not super consistent but have been able to come up with timely hits when they have needed them all year. 

Christ the King:

With a team batting average of .307, the Crusaders are not super potent on offense. They have gotten the job done as of late. Combing for 53 runs in their last four games. Their bats are getting hot at just the right time of the year. They do not have much home run power with only 2 on the year but it’s much more of a team effort to get runs in. They are led on offense by Joseph Sides batting .417 and Joseph Flynn batting .415 on the year. Stewart will have to be alert on the mound as the Crusaders have stolen 63 bases on the year,. Often times that is what leads to their run production in close games.

Prediction: Hayesville win 6-0

Jeremy Stewart has had a historic year on the mound for Hayesville. He should be expected to have a great outing on the mound. The Crusaders have struggled a little against elite pitchers this year and Stewart is in that category. As well not having much of a scouting report on Stewart should give the Yellow Jackets an upper hand. 

Hayesville Round 2 Playoff Preview

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The Hayesville Yellow Jackets will be hosting the Mountain Island Charter Raptors. The Yellow Jackets coming off a 70-65 first-round win will be looking to continue their playoff run. Mountain Island beat their first-round opponent handily, winning 72-46 over Chatham Charter. 


Once again we see Hayesville a traditional public school taking on a charter/prep/private type of school. What’s interesting to see is that on the west side of the playoff bracket there are eight teams left. Of those teams, there are four public and four charter/prep/private schools left. Even more interesting is the four-game matchups, each is a public school versus a charter/prep/private school. 


Hayesville opponent, Mountain Island Charter Raptors:

The Raptors are a very solid team, 13-2 on the year with their only losses coming at the hands of one team Pine Lake Prep. Coming second place in their conference got them into this year’s condensed playoffs. After upsetting their round one opponent as the road team they will look to do the same today. Mountain Island is led in scoring by a trio of seniors.

  • First is their 6’5” center #5 Marquis Williams leading the team with 17.9 points per game and 6.2 rebounds per game.
  • The second is 6’4” small forward/wing #4 Najee Steward averaging 16.1 points per game and 7.9 rebounds per game.
  • Third is 6’3” wing/forward  #15 Gabriel Stephens averaging 12.3 points per game and 5.9 rebounds per game.

The strength of the Raptors is their ability to penetrate as well as hit the mid-range jumper. They are also great in transition when forcing turnovers. Oftentimes they will sit back in a 1/2 or 3/4 court press. They are good at taking away passing lanes defensively with their great length as a team. Also, they are very athletic and will look to go for steals as well as block shots.

Weaknesses for the Raptors would have to be their three-point shooting. They only average 2.5 made three per game and shoot only 25 percent from three. They also are not great as a team passing the ball, they like to attack off of isolation.

FYN sports reached out but were unable to secure any interviews with the Mountain Island Program. 

Interview with Hayesville Coach Michael Cottrell:

Q: Coach tell me a little bit about how you felt about how your first-round game went?

A: “I thought we played pretty solid the whole game and I was proud of the way they adjusted defensively. Especially dealing will all the post players they had, the first half the post hurt us really bad, and the second half it did not hurt us nearly as bad.

Q: What do you know about your 2nd round opponent Mountain Island Charter?

A: “They are a very good team, a second-round team which is really a third-round team in this year’s playoffs. They are a very athletic long team, they do some really good things. It is going to be a tough matchup for us totally different team than we saw Tuesday night.”

Q: How is a two-day turnaround going to affect your fatigue levels?

A: “Everybody is having to do this so I don’t think there is a major advantage, the advantage is we don’t have to travel. That does take a little bit out of you as we have learned the past few years. I am excited about the opportunity these guys have they are such a unique team. We are very balanced, they understand themselves and what they need to do. It is like I told my assistance coaches the hay is in the barn, you go with what you have and try to do your stuff a little bit better than you have throughout the year. You have to shoot the ball well and have to make adjustments in the game which this team does well right now.”

Q: What does your team need to do to advance tomorrow night?
A: “I think like all year long we are undersized so we have to rebound the basketball well enough to give ourselves a chance to win. When you have a bigger team like Mountain Island Charter coming in that’s always a concern. The second thing is we have to defend against penetration and they are a good transition team so we will have to a good job at stopping that.”

What to watch for/ keys to the game:

  • Hayesville has played multiple styles of defense throughout the year. This will aid them as they will need to stop dribble penetration as a key for the game. 
  • Hayesville also will need to take care of the ball in this game as the Raptors thrive in transition.  
  • Lastly, while Hayesville will be outsized once again rebounding will be key. Mountain Island does have some size but not quite as thick as Winston Salem Prep had.


It should be a barn burner of a game, Hayesville for the first time this year will be facing a team that may be equal in talent level with them. It really will come down to which team plays better on this night. What should help Hayesville is the things Mountain Island is good at are the things Hayesville is good at defending. As well if Hayesville has another good night shooting as they did in the first round they will be tough to beat at home. Lastly, Mountain Island will be traveling for the second time in three games. Their first road trip was 120 miles and two hours, the road trip to Hayesville tonight for them will be a four-hour 220-mile trip. That fatigue can wear on you and expect Hayesville to be the fresher team in the 4th quarter.


Hayesville wins 71-68

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 https://claync.fetchyournews.com/category/teamfynsports.

Hayesville Yellow Jackets Win 1st Round Thriller

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The Hayesville Yellow Jackets hosted a 1st round playoff game Tuesday night. While they got to be the home team, the state did them no favors, drawing six-time state champions Winston Salem Prep Phoenix in the first-round matchup. While the Phoenix may have had better individual athletes and significantly more size, Hayesville had the better basketball team. Hayesville’s team-oriented game and unselfish play allowed them to lead for most of the game. Yet the game still came down to the wire within being a one-possession game with under thirty seconds left. Hayesville prevailed though thanks to some big plays down the stretch winning 70-65.




Kolbe Ashe celebrates his 1000th career point.

1st Quarter:

The Yellow Jackets struggled early with Winston Salem’s size, this allowed the Phoenix to build an early lead. Hayesville stayed within striking distance in the quarter though never letting it get out of hand. Then coming down the stretch of the quarter Blake McClure hit a three-pointer and Kolbe Ashe made a last-second layup to tie the game. Ending the quarter on a 6-0 run Hayesville tied the game up.


2nd Quarter: 

In the second quarter, Hayesville started to adjust to Winston Salem’s size and not allow it to dictate the game. At this point Hayesville started to really frustrate the Phoenix, playing a great team offense forcing them to defend some long offensive possessions. Oftentimes ending in great shot opportunities for the Yellow Jackets. As well, star guard, Kolbe Ashe got it rolling and was a one-man wrecking crew. He had fifteen second-quarter points, almost outscoring Winston Salem by himself. By quarter’s end, Hayesville had taken the lead 36-29.



Blake McClure nails three pointer.

3rd Quarter:

Coming into the third quarter both teams battled back and forth answering each other shot for shot. Blake McClure led the way in the third quarter for Hayesville with eight points including two big three’s. McClure also had a highlight-reel block in the quarter swatting one off the backboard stopping a Phoenix fastbreak. McClure finished the quarter with a great pump fake to step in jumper as time expired. The two teams scored evenly in the quarter at 16 points apiece. This allowed Hayesville to still have a seven-point lead going into the fourth quarter 52-45.


4th Quarter:

In the fourth quarter Hayesville, while having a lead, knew they would need to finish strong. Winston Salem Prep came out and had their highest-scoring quarter of the game. They were desperately pushing to get back in it, yet a few key plays kept them from ever getting the lead back. 

  • First, with 7:15 left in the game, Blake McClure miraculously blocked Winston Salem’s 6’6” centers dunk attempt leading to a Kolbe Ashe transition three. It was a five point swing if the dunk had been made it would have been a two-point game instead Hayesville had a seven-point lead.
  • With 3:35 left Logan Caldwell hits a huge three with a hand in his face to stretch the lead nine.
  • With 37 seconds left Logan Caldwell hits both of his 1 and 1 free throws to push the lead to five points.
  • With 15 seconds left, Blake McClure secures a rebound with 15 seconds left while up only three points.
  • With 13 seconds left Koble Ashe hit both his 1 and 1 free throws to push the lead to five sealing the victory for Hayesville.

Hayesville leading scorers:

Kolbe Ashe: 34 points

Blake McClure: 15 points

Logan Caldwell: 11 points


Hayesville won the battle 70-65 and will now face Mountain Island Charter in the second round of the playoffs Thursday evening. Check back with FYN sports for the exclusive playoff preview later this evening.

Hayesville Yellow Jacket Playoff Round 1 Preview


The Hayesville Yellow Jackets have secured the #2 seed in the west. They will play host in a very intriguing 1st round matchup. Their opponent? Winston Salem Preparatory Academy. Quite a draw for a first round playoff game, but that’s the way it goes especially amidst the Covid season we are in. 

Only 32 teams made the playoffs and the nine conference winners out of the west were given a random seeding 1-9. With that said Hayesville got a bit of good luck getting a #2 seed, granted being ranked first in the state one could say it’s well deserved. Chances are as long as Hayesville wins they will be at home for the entirety of the playoffs up until the state championship game.

Hayesvilles Opponent, Winston Salem Prep

The defending state championships, also 6 time state champions were granted a wild card seed being the second best team in their conference. They are forced to be reckoned with in 1A basketball, or at least they have been since the schools inception. Yet every season of that was under one coach, Andre Gould who has now left to a different school. It is well known that WSPA has an open enrollment policy. 


This has allowed them to build all star rosters leading to their many state championship wins. Interestingly enough their open enrollment policy may have hurt them when their former coach left. WSPA leading scorer, a junior from their state championship team, should have been back. Yet he followed his coach to his new school along with several of WSPA other players. In fact only four players return from there state championship team. This team is no longer filled with a boat load of sure fire D1 basketball recruits. 


Rather they are a very athletic scrappy bunch who has gotten better as the year went on. They still came in second place in traditionally one of the best boys basketball conferences in the state. As well in their last game of the season it was essentially a win and get in situation. They did just that winning ,when it was that or season over. They are playing their best basketball of the season and Hayesville will need to be on their game to win.

Opposing Coach Interview, with Winston Salem Prep Head Coach William Tibbs Jr.

Q: What do you know about your 1st round opponent Hayesville?

A: I know they are a #2 seed overall, undefeated in conference and overall. They probably should have been the #1 overall seed in the state.

Q: Describe your team a little, what do you do well, do you play fast, slow, like to press, shoot the three, pound it inside etc.

A: Were made up of Seniors and Juniors, We like to push the ball but can play anyway we need to play. We had some tough games at the beginning of the year that showed us who we are.

Q: How is your team’s overall health coming into this game?

A: We’re pretty healthy little knicked up and banged up at this time of the year. Nothing that’s going to keep anyone from playing though.

Q: What does your team need to do to win on Tuesday?

A: We need to play our game, respect the opponent but we are not afraid of them.

Interview with Hayesville head Coach Michael Cottrell

Q: What are your expectations/goals in the playoffs

A: We are a unique team. We love to compete and want to measure ourselves against the best teams in the state. Teams that are traditionally strong in the playoffs, obviously every team wants to win state. But first you gotta beat some real good teams to do that and this is one of those teams.

Q: What do you know about your opponent Winston Salem Prep?

A: seen them on film and scouting reports, very athletic strong team team, play in one of the best conferences and typically win that conference. Also have won several state championships in the past ten years or so.
Q:If there was a key or keys to your playoff success what would they be?

A: Rebound to be competitive at the highest levels we are not real big but we compete. 

Q: To beat Winston Salem Prep tomorrow night what does your team need to do?

A: rebounding obviously, generate some offense against their athleticism. Not sure if we will out rebound them but if we rebound with them it will give us a good chance. If they are out rebounding us 3 to 1 we won’t beat a team as good as them. We expect this game to be a war, a battle, it is a tough first round matchup with a good team. We anticipated tough games with not as many teams making the playoffs this year.

What to watch for

Hayesville will have to play to the level they are capable of to win this game. Hayesville should be the better shooting team in this game. Yet as usual Hayesville will be the undersized team in this game just as they have been many times this year. A big key to this game will be rebounding for the Yellow Jackets. As well Hayesville is the more fundamentally sound team, playing better team offense and defense. While Prep will have some athletes the likes of which Hayesville has yet to see this year.It will be a big advantage for Hayesville though getting to play at home, while Prep will have a 250 mile five hour drive on a bus.

Game Prediction

Hayesville wins 70-58


Hayesville Yellow Jackets season ends in third-round loss.

Hayesville Basketball, Sports, TeamFYNSports

The Hayesville Yellow Jackets traveled all the way to Siler City to take on the Chatham Charter Knights on Saturday, Feb. 29. It was a long five-plus hour drive on the bus and it appeared to affect the Jackets. They never truly got going Saturday and did play to the level that they are capable of. It resulted in a loss to Chatham by a score of 58-40, the game being much closer than the final score.

Neither team got off to a quick start with both teams only scoring in the single digits in the first quarter. You could tell the Yellow Jackets’ long ride hurt them early in the game because the energy level wasn’t high. The first quarter ended with Chatham having a narrow 9-5 lead.

In the second quarter, Chatham found some baskets with strong finishes at the rim. Hayesvilles shots were still not falling, allowing Chatham to extend their lead at halftime. At the half, Chatham Charter led the Yellow Jackets 27-19.

Hayesville knew they needed to make a third quarter run to have a chance. They did just that, outscoring Chatham in the third quarter. Yet they could never get it quite close enough to take a lead. Chatham played a packed in 2-3 zone all night, not giving anything easy inside. Hayesville had one of their worst shooting nights of the year. It was a perfect storm in favor of Chatham. 

If Hayesville would have had just a below average shooting night from three that may have been enough to win. Yet Chatham’s game plan was solid and they did not make many mistakes on the night. This allowed them to finish the game winning 58-40.

Hayesville leaders for the night:

Jake McTaggart 15 points

Hayden McClure 13 points

To get updates or see how the Yellow Jackets have done tune in to all the latest coverage TeamFYNSports on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and at https://claync.fetchyournews.com/category/teamfynsports

Hayesville Yellow Jackets third round playoff preview

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The Hayesville Yellow Jackets will be traveling to Chatham Charter on Saturday, Feb. 29, to play in the third round of the NCHSAA playoffs. The Yellow Jackets beat Chatham Charter last year in the playoffs. Yet, last year Chatham Charter traveled to Hayesville while this year it is reversed. Hayesville will be making the five-plus hour trip to Chatham, it will be their first road game in the playoffs. 

First Hayesville need to handle the road trip, long trips can be tough. You cannot stay focused for the entirety of such a long trip, but need to find the right time to start dialing it in. Hayesville will need to find a way to slow down senior Jordan Hamilton who is averaging 20.2 points per game and 9.4 rebounds per game. Hamilton is also averaging 19 points and 12.5 rebounds in the playoffs. As well, Chatham Charter has five players averaging eight points per game. Four of those five players are seniors as well so they are a very experienced team.

Here is what Hayesville head coach Mike Cottrell had to say about the upcoming third-round game.

  1. Big win over Pine Lake Prep any thoughts on your teams second round win?

Great win in front of an inspired hometown crowd.  Team played tough down the stretch and found some things on defense that were effective.  Team is getting better at adjusting to game and different opponents.

  1. What do you know about Chatham Charter your second round opponent?

Very good team.  Play well together. Great ball movement.  Share the ball. Have a very skilled smart post player that leads them.  Will have to figure a way to guard him effectively.

  1. How do quick turnarounds only 1 day between games and a long road trip change how you get ready for games?

We will keep things as normal as possible.  Same practice plan. Kids are focused and used to playing this type of schedule.  Travel is always tough but I think our people will show up and support this team like they have done all year.  Have to go on the road and win a few to do what they want. Great experience.

  1. What does your team need to do to win and advance on Saturday?

Continue to play great defense.  Adjust to game situations and continue to get better at execution on both ends of the floor.

Here is what Chatham Charter head coach Jason Messier had to say about the upcoming third-round game.

  1. What do you know about your 3rd round opponent Hayesville?

We played them in the second round of the state playoffs last year, so we have some familiarity with them.

  1. Describe your team a little, what do you do well, do you play fast slow, like to press etc.

We have a good group of young men that play hard and leave everything they have on the court.

  1. How is your team’s overall health coming into this game?

We are as healthy as we have been all season.

  1. What does your team need to do to win on Saturday?

Play our game. Limit turnovers, rebound and play solid defense.

This game has the potential to be the best game in the state on Saturday. TeamFYNSports will be giving updates every quarter and multiple updates in the fourth quarter. 

To get updates or see how the Yellow Jackets have done tune in to all the latest coverage TeamFYNSports on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and at https://claync.fetchyournews.com/category/teamfynsports


Playoff Bracket

Hayesville Yellow Jackets move on to third round

Hayesville Basketball, Sports, TeamFYNSports

The Hayesville Yellow Jackets hosted the Pine Lake Prep Pride on Tuesday night. It had all the makings of a great playoff matchup with both teams capable of winning the game. It was a four quarter battle for sure with both teams trading leads early in the game. Yet like they have so many times this year Hayesville pulled away at the end of the third quarter. They had a strong fourth quarter winning the game 69-52.


In the first quarter Hayesville went to star sophomore Jake McTaggart early with him scoring eight points making two threes in the quarter. Junior Blake McClure made several big plays in the quarter as well taking two charges. This not only got a Pine Lake Prep starter in foul trouble but gave Hayesville two extra possessions. All this led to Hayesville finishing the quarter leading 16-12.


In the second quarter the Yellow Jacket offense stalled. They only scored eight points in the quarter allowing Pine Lake to take a lead into halftime. Pine Lake led 27-24 at the half, with Hayesville knowing they needed to start shooting the ball better. It was a good thing McTaggart was shooting it well because he led the Jackets in scoring in the quarter once again. In fact he had all eight of the team’s second quarter points.


After half Hayesville surprised Pine Lake a little bit coming out in a full court press forcing them into many turnovers in the second half. Hayesville would not let off the press the entire second half really affecting the offensive efficiency of Pine Lake. Kolbe Ashe had a tough night from the floor but a perfect night from the free throw line. In the third quarter he had six points all from the free throw line. Hayesville finished the quarter leading 43-37 looking like they had all the momentum coming into the fourth quarter.


In the fourth quarter Hayesvilles press gave Pine Lake fits, with Pine Lake trying half court pressure themselves. The Yellow Jackets ate up the pressure though continually finding open teammates for easy layups taking away any chance for Pine Lake to come back. 


Keys to the game were Hayesvilles free throw shooting. The Yellow Jackets were a perfect 22-22 from the free throw line on the night. When Pine Lake tried fouling at the end of the game to come back in hopes Hayesville would miss, the Jackets were perfect. Shooting perfect from the free throw is a great way to win playoff games. 


Secondly Blake McClure had a career night. No not in points or rebounds but in one of the most underrated statistics in all of sports taking charges. Taking a charge does a lot, it gives your team a possession, but is better than a steal because it gives a foul to the opposing team. Blake McClure took SEVEN charges on the night. Giving his team seven extra possessions and causing Pine Lake to have foul trouble. 


Yellow Jacket leaders for the night:

Jake McTaggart 28 points

Kolbe Ashe 14 points, 14-14 FT

Hayden McClure 12 points

Blake McClure 7 points, 7 charges taken


The Hayesville Yellow Jackets will now move on to the third round of the NCHSAA playoffs. They will have to leave the comforts of home traveling to Chatham Charter on Saturday for a 6:00 PM game.

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 https://claync.fetchyournews.com/category/teamfynsports

Hayesville Lady Yellow Jackets season ends in second round

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The Hayesville Lady Yellow Jackets traveled to take on the higher seeded Alleghany Lady Trojans. It was a close tight battle with the Lady Yellow Jackets trailing throughout but never by a wide margin. The game ended with Hayesvilles season ending in a tough 58-42 loss. 


Things got off to a slow start for both teams, neither quite finding their offensive rhythm. The Lady Yellow Jackets had some good looks but the shots just weren’t falling. They found themselves trailing 9-8 at the end of the first quarter.



Senior Annie Brooks makes a free throw.

In the second quarter it was much of the same offensively for the Lady Yellow Jackets. While Alleghany started to knock down some shots and increase their lead. The game went to halftime with Alleghany holding a 23-15 lead over the Lady Yellow Jackets.


In the second half Hayesville started to find a little more of an offensive flow, scoring 11 in the third quarter and 16 in the fourth quarter. At this point though Alleghany had control and didn’t stop scoring themselves. Lila Payne broke out of a little slump in the second round game going three of four from three and had 10 points overall.


Hayesville battled hard to the end but just didn’t quite have that one last push in them on this night. The game ended with the Lady Yellow Jackets losing 58-42 with it being much closer than the score indicated. 


One thing that could have changed the game was the foul count was Hayesville 27 and Alleghany only 11. It is something you expect a little on the road in the playoffs but was a little much. The free throw disparity gave Alleghany a huge advantage. Hayesville had four of five starters foul out with the fifth starter having four fouls. It would have been a much more interesting matchup had the Lady Yellow Jackets played this game on a neutral court.

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 https://claync.fetchyournews.com/category/teamfynsports

Hayesville Yellow Jacket round two preview

Hayesville Basketball, Sports, TeamFYNSports

The 5 seeded Hayesville Yellow Jackets will be hosting the 12 seeded Pine Lake Prep Pride. Hayesville is coming off a comfortable round one win over Swain Co. 68-48. While Pine Lake had a first round battle with Bishop Mcguinness winning 58-57. Hayesville being the higher seed gets the advantage of hosting the game along with what anticipates to be a great crowd. 



Playoff Bracket

Hayesville is the supposed favorite in this game and one would think if they play their best they should be able to win. Hayesville has been playing good but not great basketball as of late but is on the rise and may be peaking at the right time. Pine Lake Prep finished the season only winning three out their last six. Yet they found a way to win in the first round in a matchup that many thought they may get upset. 


Assistant coach Keith Thompson said that Pine Lake is great transition team that loves to run. So they will need to get back on defense as well as rebound the ball well tonight to improve their chance of winning. 


Here is what Pine Lake Prep Pride coach Tony Dunbar had to say about tonight’s game:


  1. What do you know about your 2nd round opponent Hayesville?


We know Hayesville finished the regular season with a good record.  Ashe and McTaggert seem to be the guys the get and keep them going. They are also a well coached/disciplined team.


  1. Describe your team a little, what do you do well, do you play fast slow like to press etc.


We do a lot of things well.  Probably one of our best traits is our toughness.  We are not only physically tough; we are one of the most mentally tough teams in the state.


  1. How is your team’s overall health coming into this game?


We are fully healthy at this point in the season, which is very rare.


  1. What does your team need to do to win on Thursday?


We need to play the Pine Lake way.  If we capitalize on our strengths and limit Hayesville’s opportunities, we should be very successful.


Pine Lake boasts a 6-5 junior wing in Jacob Morgan who is averaging 19.1 points per game. It will be interesting to see who the Yellow Jackets matchup with him tonight due to his size. Perhaps Hayesville may go zone tonight as we saw Tuesday when they played Swain Co. One advantage Hayesville has, is Pine Lake has a four plus hour bus ride today. It would be good to see the Yellow Jackets get off to a good start and get the crowd going early. 

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 https://claync.fetchyournews.com/category/teamfynsports

Hayesville Lady Yellow Jacket playoff round two preview

Hayesville Basketball, Sports, TeamFYNSports

The 15th seeded Hayesville Lady Yellow Jackets travel to take on the 2nd seeded Alleghany Lady Trojans tonight. This is a 2nd round matchup in the NCHSAA playoffs, with 32 teams left playing in the entire 1A classification. Hayesville is coming off a big first round win that was an absolute battle for four quarters. Expect much of the same tonight, at this point in the year every team left is solid.


Playoff Bracket

The Lady Yellow Jackets have had games this year where they have competed with some of the best teams in the state. No doubt playing in what many believe to be the best 1A girls conference in the state prepares them for games like this. First the Lady Yellow Jackets have to endure a five plus hour bus ride. If they can not let that affect them too much they will have a great chance at an upset.


In talks with head coach Chad McClure he felt good about his team’s chances to pull the upset. Here is his exclusive round 2 preview interview.


  1. Big win over Polk Co. any thoughts on your teams first round win?


We didn’t play our best game but played well enough to win.  This team has been scrappy all year and we had some kids step up.  Polk did a good job shutting down our inside game. Lizzy and Annie really gave us a boost when we needed it.


  1. What do you know about Alleghany, your second round opponent?


They are solid, won 25 games, and seem to be pretty balanced as 4 players average double figures. 


  1. How to quick turnarounds only 1 day between games change your ability to get ready for games?


It is tough because you try to get info quickly to prepare your team as much as possible but in this time of the year you just fine tune your system and stay polished on skills


  1. What does your team need to do to win and advance on Thursday?


First we have to handle the long road trip.  We will have to handle the environment. Every team left is good. We just have to be better for 32 minutes.


The Alleghany Lady Trojans are a very experienced team with five of their top six scorers being seniors. In talks with their coach this is a year that her team has been building for with six seniors and three juniors on the team. They have three players shooting over 50% from the three point line. The Lady Yellow Jackets will need to slow down their shooting and pull down rebounds to keep them from getting second chance points.


The Lady Yellow Jackets got a season best performance out of Lizzy Brusini on Tuesday night. Brusini has not been a top scorer for the Lady Yellow Jackets throughout the year. Yet her season best performance led the way for the win on Tuesday. Who might step up tonight for Hayesville? That is yet to be determined but if the Lady Yellow Jackets can get players to continually step up in big games don’t be surprised if they make a playoff run.

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 https://claync.fetchyournews.com/category/teamfynsports

Hayesville Yellow Jackets advance to second round

Hayesville Basketball, Sports, TeamFYNSports

The Hayesville Yellow Jackets hosted the Swain Co. Maroon Devils in the first round of the NCHSAA state playoffs Tuesday night. Hayesville the 5 seed had the home court advantage over the 28 seed Swain Co. Yet with this being the fourth meeting of the year between the two teams it had the potential for an interesting matchup. Hayesville was able to control the game though and dictate the style of play. This led to them beating Swain for the fourth time this year winning 68-48.



Junior Brady Shook finishes through contact for a tough two points.

In the first quarter it was back and forth with Hayesville struggling to hit shots. Foul trouble was a big issue for the Yellow Jackets as well. Swain held a lead for part of the first quarter yet thanks to a few late buckets Hayesville ending the first quarter leading 17-11. The second quarter set up to be interesting, Hayesville star point guard sophomore Kolbe Ashe picked up a second foul towards the end of the quarter.


Ashe did not play at all in the second quarter because of it and things set up well for Swain to possibly take control. Yet Hayesville battled through the adversity and it wasn’t always pretty but they managed to keep their lead. In fact thanks to a buzzer beating post move from Sophomore Jake McTaggart Hayesville increased their lead to eight to close the half. With Hayesville escaping the second quarter with a 31-23 lead knowing they would get both Ashe and senior Mark Cothren back in the second half from foul trouble had to feel good going into the break. 


In the third quarter with their conductor back in Ashe, Hayesville started to take control. They were able to dictate the pace and were giving nothing easy to the Maroon Devils. Hayesville played with poise and consistency increasing their third quarter lead out to up 11. They got a great night out of Junior Hayden McClure who was cutting through defense all night. Every time you looked up he would be finishing another tough basket at the rim.


Coming into the fourth quarter Hayesville while not having a huge lead knew the win would be theirs. It never felt in danger and Swain could never cut into it enough to give themselves a chance. Hayesville put the final nail in the coffin with a mid fourth quarter run stretching their lead out 20. The game finished Hayesville winning 68-48 moving onto the second round of the playoffs.



Junior Hayden McClure with a strong finish for 2 of his 16 points.

Hayesville leaders for the night:
Jake McTaggart 18 points

Hayden McClure 16 points

Kolbe Ashe 12 points

Brady Shook 10 points


Hayesville will next play in the 2nd round of the NCHSAA state playoffs hosting Pine Lake Prep at home on Thursday time TBA.

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 https://claync.fetchyournews.com/category/teamfynsports

Hayesville Lady Yellow Jackets survive and advance

Hayesville Basketball, Sports, TeamFYNSports

The Hayesville Lady Yellow Jackets hosted the Polk Co. Lady Wolverines in the first round of the NCHSAA state playoffs Tuesday night. Hayesville the 15 seed having home court advantage over Polk Co. the 18 seed. This game had all the makings of a great playoff matchup. The game did not disappoint with it being a four quarter battle that Hayesville pulled out 45 to 43 to move on to the second round. 



Junior Lizzy Brusini makes a three pointer.

In the first quarter Polk Co. got off to a good start and garnered an early lead. The Lady Yellow Jackets battled back though and were able to grind out a three point lead to end the quarter. 


In the second quarter it was a low scoring affair with both teams playing great defense. It wasn’t that either team was missing good shots, it was that neither team was allowing good looks. The defense was stifling with each team’s few points coming on either fast breaks or offensive rebounds. Regardless the Lady Yellow Jackets were able to keep their lead despite Polk Co. outscoring them by one point in the quarter. This gave them a lead 18-16 going into the Halftime break. 


In the third quarter Hayesville started to press the Lady Wolverines and got some great results. The Lady Yellow Jackets were able to force turnovers and get some easy baskets. It was a battle though and a very physical game. The third quarter ended with Hayesville leading 28-23.


In the fourth quarter the Lady Yellow Jackets press led to their best offensive quarter. They were able to increase their lead all the way up to nine points. Yet in the waning minutes of the game Polk Co. fought back and got it within a one possession game. Even through some mistakes Hayesville went five for six down the stretch from the free throw line. It looked like the game was about to slip away but because of made free throws for Hayesville and missed free throws for Polk Co. Hayesville was able to survive and advance. 



Senior Annie Brooks makes a late game free throw.

Hayesville leaders for the night:

Lizzy Brusini 17 points

Annie Brooks 12 points 6-6 FT 


Hayesville will next play in the 2nd round of the NCHSAA state playoffs at Alleghany on Thursday time TBA.


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 https://claync.fetchyournews.com/category/teamfynsports

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