Yellow Jackets Dominate Hiwassee Dam

Hayesville Basketball, Sports, TeamFYNSports

The Hayesville Yellow Jackets continued their fantastic undefeated run, winning a non-conference game Tuesday night. They traveled to play at Hiwassee Dam, a notoriously tough home court gym. The Yellow Jackets held a slight lead for the first half but blew it wide open in the second half. Hayesville would go on to win 95-54 and beat the Eagles for the third time this season.


Isaac Chandler makes a free throw.

1st Half: 

As mentioned, the first half was close with Hiwassee Dam as the Eagles shot better than typical in the first half. Yet as mentioned, Hiwassee Dam has one of the better home-court advantages in the entire state and always has incredible community support regardless of record. In the first half, Hayesville also struggled with foul trouble and had several starters on the bench with two fouls. At one point, Hayesville led by as little as eight with about three minutes in the second quarter. A solid run to end the half, though, would give the Yellow Jackets a 50-33 at halftime.

2nd Half:

Hayesville would come out in the second half, tighten the defensive screws, and have their way with the Eagles. Hayesville’s offense was nearly unstoppable all night as they scored a season-high 95 points. Hayesville had seven players with over 7-points and an excellent balanced team effort. The Yellow Jackets also had nine three-pointers made with a team-high three from the corner sniper Asher Brown. Hayesville would go on to win in an utterly dominating fashion 95-54.


Taylor McClure drills one from three point range.

Leading Hayesville Scorers:

Jake McTaggart 24 points

Kolbe Ashe 18 points

Asher Brown 13 Points

Jacob McClure 10 points

Taylor McClure 9 points

Cade Denton 8 points

Kyle Lunsford 7 points

Postgame Interview with Jake McTaggart:

Up Next:

FYI for fans of Hayesville, the home games scheduled on Friday with Franklin have been postponed. The Hayesville Yellow Jackets will next play at Blue Ridge on Tuesday, January 18th, in a non-conference matchup. 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 Win Top 10 Matchup in OT

Hayesville Basketball, Sports, Team FYN Sports, TeamFYNSports

On Tuesday night, the Hayesville Yellow Jackets hosted the Swain Maroon Devils in a primetime matchup. These two teams are the presumptive top two teams in the conference, and they played like it. Regulation was simply not enough as the two teams fought incredibly hard all night. In overtime, Hayesville dominated and quickly put the game away, winning 68-57.

1st Quarter:

The Yellow Jackets and Maroon Devils both started slowly, with each only having a few possessions over the first three minutes. Neither team was pushing the pace, and both were feeling their way into the game. Hayesville scored first and wouldn’t relinquish the lead all quarter. Led by Jake Mctaggart, who had five first-quarter points, Haysville would lead 11-10 at the end of the 1st quarter.


Junior Ethan Hooper makes a free throw.

2nd Quarter:

The pace would quicken in the second quarter, with both teams starting to find their scoring groove. In the quarter, the Yellow Jackets would get two huge threes from Ethan Hooper. Hooper has struggled with his shot at times this year but appeared to break out of the mini-slump. He had some clutch moments for Hayesville on the night. Hayesville would stretch their lead out to almost double digits in the quarter. However, it all changed when Asher Brown picked up his second foul, putting him on the bench. He had been guarding Donnavin Groenewold, who was scoreless to that point. He would immediately go on a solo 8-0 run to pull Swain close. Going into halftime, Hayesville would lead 28-24.

3rd Quarter:

Hayesville would be ice cold in the third quarter. Arctic cold scoring a season-low five points in the third quarter. Swain would get up as many as six in the quarter. Thankfully Taylor McClure would hit a big three as time expired in the third quarter. This would pull Hayesville within three, trailing 36-33 going into the fourth quarter. 


Senior Kolbe Ashe makes a beautiful pull up jumper.

4th Quarter:

The Yellow Jackets would come out firing in the third quarter and quickly regain the lead. The Yellow Jackets would score more points in the first 40 seconds of the fourth quarter than they did the entire third quarter. In the quarter, Hayesville would get six points from Kolbe Ashe, eight from Mctaggart, who also had a highlight-reel dunk in traffic. It looked like those two would help Hayesville secure a tight victory. Swain, though would make a miracle bank shot three as time expired. This would force overtime.


The overtime period was all Hayesville. Hayesville head coach Michael Cottrell said, “overtime showed a glimpse of the type of team we can be.” Hayesville cruised to victory, scoring 15 in the four-minute overtime period. Winning the game 68-57, Hayesville stays undefeated on the season. 


Junior Logan Caldwell makes a big corner three.

Postgame Q&A with Hayesville Head Coach Michael Cottrell:

Q: Tell us your thoughts on the game; they hit a big bank shot three to force overtime?

A: Yes, they did, and you know we usually come up with that rebound; that’s what we do is come up with big plays. We didn’t, though, and they hit a tough shot. I like the way we won; I like going into overtime, taking over the game, and playing like we are capable of.

Q: Your not an excuse maker, and you’re through a tough stretch with a bit of break coming up. Your team, though, has been sick with lots of kids getting over the flu, some have missed games, and one missed the game tonight and have had a starter injured. With a lot of your guys not 100%, what does it say about your team to be able to win three games in five days?

A: We have learned a lot about our team right now; we have had a lot of adversity and have not had our whole team together all year. I look forward to having our entire team back soon; Kyle Lunsford has been hurt all year. He is close to back. We’re hopeful we will get some minutes out of him at the Christmas tournament, get him some small minutes, and work him back in. Logan Caldwell was very sick with that flu, and it takes some time to get your stamina back. Our team has shown a lot of character. I am really pleased it’s kind of what they did during the summertime, too; it has become an identity for us, we’re going to gut it out with you, and we’re not afraid to do that.

Interview with Junior Guard Ethan Hooper:

Game Highlights:

The Yellow Jackets’ next play starting the Swain Christmas tournament on Tuesday, December 28th. 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

Yellow Jackets Cruise to Victory Over Blue Ridge

Hayesville Basketball, Sports, Team FYN Sports, TeamFYNSports

The Hayesville Yellow Jackets boys basketball team hosted the Blue Ridge Bobcats for the second time this season. It is odd to see two teams play three times in a year, but because of Nantahalla’s lack of a boys team this year, both teams found themselves looking for an extra game. This matchup was very similar to the first, as Hayesville dominated every quarter, winning 68-18.


Junior Ethan Hooper lines up a three.

1st Half Recap:

As mentioned, Hayesville was able to force their will from the opening tip. The Yellow Jackets got started quickly, with every player getting into the game in the first quarter. Six of those players scored in the first quarter as Hayesville had a balanced attack. This allowed them to lead 27-7 at the end of the first quarter. Hayesville’s defense got even tighter in the second quarter, only allowing two measly points. While the offense put up 21 points and at halftime, Hayesville led 48-9.

2nd Half Recap:

The Yellow Jackets would continue their domination in the second half. Scoring on their first possession would put Hayesville up by over 40 and start the running clock. This made the second half move very quickly. Every single Yellow Jacket would score in this game, with six different players having over seven points. The highlight of the second half was the end of the 4th quarter when Junior Seth Hedden threw down a tomahawk dunk that brought the bench and crowd to their feet. Those were the game’s last points, as Hayesville would win 68-18.


Junior Seth Hedden getting warmed up, attacking the rim.

Hayesville Leading Scorers:

Landon Hughes 12 points
Seth Hedden 10 points
Jacob McClure 9 points
Cade Denton 9 points
Ethan Hooper 8 points
Kolbe Ashe 7 points

The Yellow Jackets’ next play is on Tuesday, December 21st, when they host the Swain Maroon Devils (the game will be live on 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

Hayesville Wins Thriller at Rival Murphy

Hayesville Basketball, Sports, Team FYN Sports, TeamFYNSports

The Hayesville Yellow Jackets went to Murphy on Friday night, taking on the Bulldogs in a crucial conference matchup. It was a physical battle, with things getting a little chippy at times, as expected in a rivalry game like this. Hayesville would deliver the last blow, though. The Yellow Jackets picked up a big win as they continued to work to defend their conference championship. It was closer than expected, 58-55, but Hayesville players and fans alike were happy to find a way to win a conference road game.


Hayesville’s Ethan Hooper makes a first-quarter three.

1st Quarter:

The game was tight all the way through, with the lead never getting to double digits for either team. The first quarter was back and forth, with Murphy leading for most of the quarter. Then, there were several lead changes in the closing moments of the quarter. A three by Ethan Hooper followed by a layup as time expired by Kolbe Ashe gave Hayesville a 15-14 lead to end the quarter. Ashe led the way for Hayesville in the quarter with seven points to lead all scorers.


Hayesville’s Asher Brown knocks down a free throw.

2nd Quarter:

This game was an absolute battle and the second quarter just continued the heavyweight fight. It was an excellent game for fans to watch, and both fan bases were into the game. The second quarter alone had five lead changes, but Murphy started to build their lead midway through the quarter. They led 32-28 with only 48 seconds left in the quarter. Somehow though, Hayesville found a way to lead at the end of the quarter, as they had a strong finish for the second straight quarter. A tough contested jump shot by Asher Brown followed up by a three from Taylor McClure with five seconds left gave Hayesville a 33-32 lead at the half.

3rd Quarter:

The Yellow Jackets started to take control of the game in the third quarter. It looked like, at times, they may start to put the game out of reach. Every time, though, Murphy would find a way to get a bucket to stop the Yellow Jacket run. Jake Mctaggart had eight second-quarter points and followed up with nine in the third quarter. Mctaggart was a force on Friday night, and Murphy has one of the bigger teams in the area. That didn’t matter to Mctaggart, though as no matter what Bulldog big man rotated onto him, they got dominated. Hayesville would go into the last quarter leading 44-39.


Hayesville’s Kolbe Ashe knocks down a free throw.

4th Quarter:

Hayesville could never pull away from the Bulldogs, and Murphy actually took a fourth quarter lead off a big three with about six minutes left. Hayesville would tie back up pretty quickly, but that would not be the last lead change. Murphy’s overly physical play would start to bite them, though, as 6 of Hayesville’s 14 fourth-quarter points came off free throws. The only points they had from the field in the fourth quarter were from Mctaggart, who had four huge field goals inside the paint in the fourth quarter. Murphy had a chance to tie with about 3 seconds left, but their contested three-point shot went off the back rim, sealing the Hayesville victory.

Game Highlights:

Game Leading Scorers:

Jake Mctaggart 25 points (Hayesville)

Hunter Laney 16 points (Murphy)

Dillian Brown 15 points (Murphy)

Kolbe Ashe 13 points (Hayesville)

Asher Brown 9 points (Hayesville)


Hayesville’s Jake Mctaggart finishes through contact for 2 of his 25 points.

Game Notes:

On Friday night, Hayesville was without two starters and had several players recovering from illness (non-Covid related).

Jake Mctaggart was genuinely dominant for the Yellow Jackets on Friday night, which was needed as Hayesville battled through missing players and not feeling their best. Murphy had no answer for him all night long. Mctaggart finished with 25 points, 19 rebounds, and 7 blocks.

The environment at Murphy was incredible, with both crowds incredibly loud all night long. It felt like the first great SMC crowd since before the pandemic. 

This game improved Hayesville to 2-0 in the conference.

Hayesville’s boy’s team has not lost a conference or regular-season game since 2/11/20.

Post Game Interview with Hayesville’s Jake Mctaggart:

The Yellow Jackets’ next play is on Monday, December 20th, when they host the Blue Ridge Bobcats (the game will be live on 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

Hayesville Boys Team Picks Up 1st Conference Win

Hayesville Basketball, Sports, Team FYN Sports, TeamFYNSports

The Hayesville Yellow Jackets hosted the Andrews Wildcats on Monday night. Everyone knows that over the past few seasons the Andrews and Hayesville games have provided some fireworks and instant classic type games. This one did not quite live up to some of those lofty standards. Yet it was a very good game and stayed close until the fourth quarter. Hayesville was just too much though and started to pull away later in the game. Protecting home court Hayesville would win 59-35.

1st half:

Hayesville got off to a good start early and almost stretched their lead to double digits in the opening moments of the game. Andrews did a great job though fighting back and two big threes from Isaac Weaver made it close as the first quarter came to a close. Going into the second quarter Hayesville had a 16-11 lead. They would continue to stretch the lead out point by point. A big part of it was due to their defense, it absolutely stifled the Wildcat offense. Andrews was given no easy looks and Hayesville did a great job rebounding to not give Andrews second chances. Only giving up five points in the second quarter Hayesville would go into halftime with a controlling 31-16 lead. 

Hayesville’s Jake Mctaggart recognized pregame for scoring his 1000th point as a Yellow Jacket.

2nd Half:

Andrews struggled with foul trouble in the first half and had several players pick up two fouls forcing them to the bench. Including one of their stars Cameron Rattler, who they welcomed him back to the floor in the third quarter. He had a big impact and looked to try and help Andrews back in the game. His seven third-quarter points were big but the rest of the Wildcats had gone cold. Once again though that was partly due to Hayesville’s incredible defense. The small push that Rattler provided was not enough and Hayesville continued to increase the lead. With a 48-26 lead going into the fourth quarter Hayesville would cruise to victory. The fourth quarter did not provide much action other than Hayesville finishing on their fourth straight win by the score of 59-35.

Game Leading Scorers:

Isaac Weaver 14 points (Andrews)

Logan Caldwell 13 points (Hayesville)

Asher Brown 12 points (Hayesville)

Taylor McClure 10 points (Hayesville)

Jake McTaggart 10 points (Hayesville)

Game Highlights:

Hayesville will next play on Friday, December 17th, as they will travel to Murphy in an important conference game. 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

Yellow Jackets Boys and Girl Team Defend Home Court

Hayesville Basketball, Sports, Team FYN Sports, TeamFYNSports

The Hayesville boys and girls basketball teams both played at home, for the first time this season on Monday night. It was a great night to see a packed gym. With fans getting to see both varsity teams play with no restrictions on fans, on the same night in almost two years. The Yellow Jackets did not disappoint with both teams winning on the night. The Lady Yellow Jackets overcame a slow start to beat the Lady Eagles 52-42. While the boy’s team dominated for four quarters winning 81-41.

Girls Recap:

The Lady Yellow Jackets got off to a slow start allowing Hiwassee Dam to take the early lead. Hayesville fought back though getting contributions from multiple players. By the end of the first quarter, the Yellow Jackets trailed by just two points, 12-10. The second quarter had multiple lead changes yet Hayesville would find themselves trailing at halftime 22-19. The third quarter was all Hayesville though as they methodically took control taking a 36-32 lead. Even with the lead, Hayesville stayed aggressive and instead of trying to kill the clock to stretch their lead out. This allowed to them finish off the Lady Eagles winning 52-42.

Boys Recap:

The Hayesville Yellow Jackets looked to be in mid-season form against the Hiwassee Dam Eagles. They controlled the game from tip-off to the final whistle, outscoring Hiwassee Dam in all four quarters. Every single Yellow Jacket scored for the second game in a row and that has happened in three out of four games this season. At the half, the Yellow Jackets were leading 41 to 22 and had already put the game out of reach. Kolbe Ashe led the way as usual scoring 11 all in the second quarter by halftime. Asher Brown also had five points by halftime including a beautiful 3 point play where he finished through contact and made the free throw. The second half was much of the same, with Hayesville’s dictating the game and never looking in doubt. Hayesville would improve to 4-0 winning 81-41.

Hayesville Yellow Jackets dominate Highlands

Hayesville Basketball, Sports, Team FYN Sports, TeamFYNSports

The Hayesville Yellow Jackets boys team traveled to play Highlands in a non conference matchup Friday night. Hayesville was without a few players but it did not hurt them in this matchup. Hayesville was in control from start to finish, defeating the Highlanders 59-26.

1st Quarter: 

It was a little bit of a slow start for the Yellow Jackets but Kolbe Ashe made sure Hayesville took an early lead. He had the Yellow Jackets’ first 8 points of the night including two corner threes. Hayesville’s great defense though was big in the first quarter as they held Highlands to only five points. This allowed the Yellow Jackets to head into the second quarter leading 10-5.

2nd Quarter:

Sometimes when you travel to higher elevations and small gyms like Highlands your offense isn’t always great off the bus. You know what they say though, defense travels. While Hayesville was waiting on the offense to come, their defense had Highlands locked down. Highlands did not score until 3:15 left in the quarter. While that happened the offense was finding their footing, particularly on the fast break. By halftime Hayesville had a healthy 35-12 lead at halftime, Kolbe Ashe already had 19 points.

3rd Quarter:

Hayesville picked up where they left off before halftime with their offense humming. Give Highlands credit though they played better in the third quarter. They just did not have enough to match the Yellow Jackets. Even with their best offensive output of the night the Yellow Jackets still outscored the Highlanders. Hayesville would take a commanding lead into the fourth quarter leading 48-23.

4th Quarter:

With the game out of reach, the fourth quarter was a little sloppy with both teams subbing frequently. Hayesville got good contributions though from pretty much every player in this quarter. Playing without 2 of their players tonight allowed Hayesville to give some other players opportunities they might not have gotten otherwise. Building that depth could pay off big time down the road. What was also good to see is even with reserves in the game, they held Highlands to only three fourth quarter points. The Yellow Jackets outscored Highlands in all four quarters winning 59-26.

Game Highlights:

Leading Scorers:

Kolbe Ashe 22 points

Logan Caldwell 12 points

Hayesville next plays on Monday, December 13th at home, hosting Hiwassee Dam (game will be broadcast live on 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

Yellow Jackets Win Overtime Thriller

Hayesville Basketball, Sports, Team FYN Sports, TeamFYNSports

The Hayesville Yellow Jackets took the court in their second game of the season on Friday Night. It really felt like the first true game though, or at least a game with a formidable opponent. The Tallulah Falls Indians came into the game 4-0 and ranked in the top ten of Georgia 1A. They gave the Yellow Jackets all they wanted and then some, with the game going into overtime. Hayesville was able to pull it out, dominating the overtime period to win 53-49.

1st Quarter:
The game couldn’t have got off to a better start for Hayesville as they stormed out to an 11-0 lead. Hayesville looked like the team that had already played multiple games this season even though it was Tallulah Falls that came into the game 4-0. The Yellow Jackets did not show much rust. Of course their great team defense led to some really good looks in transition. Tallulah Falls didn’t score for the first time until 2:02 left in the 1st quarter. Yet they were able to claw their way back towards the end of the quarter aided by a three made at the buzzer to end the quarter trailing 14-12.

2nd Quarter:

From this point forward the game was back and forth for its entirety with lots of lead changes. The second quarter saw both teams turn up the defense in a major way. Hayesville only managed six points in the quarter but held the Indians to just seven. Hayesville probably had the opportunity to score more and had some really good looks. Yet they showed some of that early season rust that they avoided in the 1st quarter missing some jumpers that typically go in. Even with the shooting struggles they were able to take a 20-19 lead into halftime.

3rd Quarter: 

The third quarter could have been simply labeled the Kolbe Ashe show. He scored all fifteen of the Yellow Jackets third quarter points. He single-handedly matched Tallulah Falls’ output as they scored fifteen points in the third quarter. Ashe hit three triples in the quarter followed by three two point buckets. Thanks to Ashe, Hayesville was able to keep their one point margin leading 35-34 going into the 4th quarter.

4th Quarter:

As the third quarter was the Kolbe Ashe show the 4th quarter belonged to Jake Mctaggart. Mctaggart came alive, hitting a tough bucket inside and drawing a foul to make it a 3-point play. His next basket was incredible as he dribbled through traffic then took a hop step before throwing down a one handed dunk. Mctaggart scored all 12 fourth quarter points for the Yellow Jackets to force overtime after being down as many as five in the 4th quarter. Tied up at 47 we were in for some free basketball.


Hayesville dominated the four minute overtime period as the Yellow Jackets held the Indians to just two points. While scoring six of their own they were fairly comfortable coming down the stretch. The Yellow Jackets would win 53-49 to pick up their second win of the season.

Game Notes:

  • The Tallulah Falls gym was very small but they had a big student section and Hayesville was able to handle a very tough environment.
  • Hayesville definitely did not get any benefits from the referees playing out of state. Two Yellow Jackets fouled out while another received a technical after being thrown to the floor by an Indians player.
  • The Yellow Jackets defense was incredible on a night where every possession mattered. Hayesville gave up very easy baskets while coming up with some big steals to give themselves some easy baskets.

Postgame Interview with Kolbe Ashe:

Postgame Quotes from head coach Michael Cottrell:

“I thought it was a good win on the road”

“This was really the first test we had this season, and this a really good team in the state of Georgia”

“We didn’t really shoot it well but that could be a good sign of what we can be when we do shoot it well”

Hayesville Leading Scorers:
Kolbe Ashe: 26 points

Jake Mctaggart: 18 points

Ethan Hooper: 8 points

Hayesville will next play on Friday December 10th on the road at Highlands. 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

Yellow Jackets Win Home Opener

Hayesville Basketball, Sports, Team FYN Sports, TeamFYNSports

The Hayesville Yellow Jackets men’s basketball team opened their season at home last night against the Bobcats of Blue Ridge. Coming into the game most expected that the Yellow Jackets were the superior team. They proved that to be true, while they did get off to a slow start it did not last for long. Every player on the team scored and Hayesville got the season started off right winning 74-24.

1st Quarter:

The Yellow Jackets season started off with Kyle Lunsford winning the tip which was promptly followed by a Kolbe Ashe three pointer. Hayesville would never trail after this but the offense did get off to a slow start. The Yellow Jackets were getting some good looks but had several shot rim out, in the first quarter. The second quarter was a different story as the Hayesville offense started to hum.

2nd Quarter:

Logan Caldwell was the one that got the Yellow Jackets going. First he hit a three then stole the ensuing inbound pass, hit a layup and got fouled, making the free throw afterwards. This little 6-0 run all by himself sparked the Yellow Jackets. Hayesville went from being up 5 with 6:25 left in the 2nd quarter to up to up 16 with 5:00 left to play in the second quarter. From this point forward it was all smooth sailing for the Yellow Jackets who went into halftime up 37 to 12.

3rd Quarter:

Hayesville was hot from three in the third quarter getting several from the wing duo of Ethan Hooper and Logan Caldwell. Kolbe Ashe had a quiet night from his standards but his passing was on point all game long. Really the whole team moved the ball really well and it was good to see lots of unselfish play. A Jake Mctaggart dunk with 3:22 left in the third quarter stretched the lead to 40. This started the running clock and Hayesville would finish the quarter up 61-15.

4th Quarter:

As mentioned the lead was over 40 for Hayesville so the running clock made for a very quick 4th quarter. Hayesville had many reserves on the game for this 4th quarter and saw them extend the lead even more. This Hayesville team is very deep and have several players that may not always see regular time but showed on this night that when needed they can contribute. Both Jacob McClure and Seth Hedden provided some good scoring in the fourth quarter for the Yellow Jackets. Overall it was a good opening night for Hayesville winning 74-24.

Game Highlights:

Full Game Replay:

The Yellow Jackets next play at Tallulah Falls on Friday December 3rd in what should be a primetime matchup. 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

Hayesville Boys Basketball Season Preview

Hayesville Basketball, Sports, Team FYN Sports, TeamFYNSports

The Hayesville boys basketball team is used to coming into the season with high expectations. With coach Michael Cottrell at helm, Hayesville’s is always competing for conference championships it seems. Coming off three straight conference championships and an undefeated season last year. The Hayesville Yellow Jackets are expected to not only win conference again this year but take a step beyond it. You may ask what is that next step? Simply put it is a state championship, and the Yellow Jackets are not shying away from those expectations. Just ask their star Kolbe Ashe, we have covered both his commitment and signing this fall. In both of those interviews he has made it very clear that leading this team to a state championship is the goal.

Last Year’s Team:

The Hayesville Yellow Jackets went 14-0 in the regular season last year winning the conference championship outright for the third straight year. Coming into the year they lost several transfers for Covid reasons and many expected them to take a step back. Those that thought that were dead wrong, all it did was give Kolbe Ashe a chance to take his game to the next level. He was surrounded by a solid 7-man senior class that will be missed. Especially Blake McClure and Brady Shook, who were starters as well as high level contributors. Also gone from last year’s team are Paul White, Eli Roberts, Jose Espinal, Tyler Jones, and Rudy Seaker. 

This Year’s Team:

The team does bring back four players from last year’s team, Kolbe Ashe, the returning conference player of the year. Along with returning starter Kyle Lunsford, and part-time starter/big minute guys from last year Logan Caldwell and Asher Brown. A big storyline from the offseason was also the return of Jake Mctaggart, who is back after one year at Towns County. That one year away was a good one for Mctaggart as he won a state championship there and was the playoff MVP. That experience could be very valuable for a team who is looking to make a big run of their own this year. As well, several players will be moving up from last year’s JV team that could end up providing important minutes. Last but not least the Yellow Jackets also got a transfer player who moved in, Ethan Hooper. Hooper has looked great in the preseason and could end up playing a big role once he acclimates to the team.


Last year’s standings went in order – 1. Hayesville (12-0) 2. Murphy (8-4) 3. Swain (7-5) 4. Robbinsville (6-6) 4. Cherokee (6-6) 6. Andrews (3-9) 7. Rosman (0-12)

With Rosman no longer in the conference, the Big Smoky Mtn conference is now made up of 6 teams. Hayesville is the obvious favorite to win it again, but the rest of the conference could be a total toss up. Robbinsville and Swain both return a ton of players and could challenge Hayesville on any given night. Then you never know what players Cherokee may have brought in. Andrews and Murphy both have a lot of good athletes and could upset any team on the right night.

Schedule Notes:

-Open the season at home Nov 22nd hosting the Blue Ridge Bobcats. (game live on

-Away at Tallulah Falls on Dec 3rd and home against Tallulah Falls January 22nd (live on

-Home against Swain December 21st (live on and away at Swain February 1st.

-Christmas tournament at Swain Co. December 28th, 29th, and 30th open the tournament against Mtn Heritage on December 28th.

-Away at Robbinsville on January 7th and home against Robbinsville on February 8th (last home game of season, will be live on 

-Home against Franklin on January 14th  (live on

-Conference tournament at Swain February 10th through the 18th 

Full Schedule can be found at:,nc)/basketball/schedule.htm

Preseason interview with coach:

Expectations & Goals:

It has already been stated that the goals are pretty clear, first win conference then make a run at a state championship. Hayesville’s team is very rare being that they have the conference’s last two players of the year. Both seniors this year Jake Mctaggart won it when they were sophomores and Kolbe Ashe won it last year as a Junior. They will be as good as a 1-2 punch this conference has ever seen. They are also surrounded by a great cast of characters who can be lethal shooting the three and play great defense. Also expect Kyle Lunsford to have a breakout year as the other post player. With Mctaggart drawing lots of attention, Lunsford will often find himself in great matchups against other teams’ 2nd big man. All in All this season has all the makings to be a special one. Could the Yellow Jackets be only the second men’s team to win a state championship from the Smoky Mtn Conference? Well Coach Cottrells 2001 Hayesville team was the first, and he will have this Hayesville team primed to make another run at it.

Hayesville Basketball Scrimmages Franklin

Hayesville Basketball, Team FYN Sports, TeamFYNSports

The Hayesville Yellow Jackets men’s and women’s basketball teams traveled to Franklin on Thursday for scrimmage action. The women’s game was first and the Lady Yellow Jackets played well, especially in the first half. When you consider the fact that they were playing a very good 3A school, their are many positives to take away from the game. The men’s game was next and it was as good as scrimmage action as you could find anywhere. Franklin is a 3A school that should compete to win their conference. While Hayesvilles is one of the favorites to win state in 1A. The game lived up to the billing and while there was no official score, it was very close and was played at a very fast pace.

Women’s Game: 

The Hayesville Lady Yellow Jackets are coming into the season with a very young team. They will play several freshmen this season and the team only has three seniors. The Lady Yellow Jackets did a lot of things well in this scrimmage. They also came away with some good things to work on. While the team struggled to score as a whole they were tough on defense. Team defense has always been a bit of a calling card for head coach Chad McClure. Their defense is good enough that if the team can find a little more scoring punch they could really surprise some people. On this night though the scoring was just not there though and attributed to what ended up being a double-digit loss. Give credit to Franklin though, they are very active pressuring the ball and have great length. The good news is Hayesville has right at two weeks until they play their season opener. Tonight will give them a good look at what they need to work on. Chad McClure and staff will use it to get some adjustments made and have this team ready to compete.

Men’s Game:

The Hayesville Yellow Jacket basketball team has incredibly high expectations coming into the season. If tonight’s scrimmage is any indication though they are more than ready to meet or exceed those expectations. They played at a breakneck pace for most of the night that even a very athletic and deep Franklin team struggled to keep up with. While there was no official stats or even cumulative game score, but one would probably say Hayesville won the scrimmage. The score was reset after each quarter and the Yellow Jackets won each of the first three quarters. While they did lose the last quarter. It was without any of their star players in the game at all. Positive signs from the scrimmage were plentiful, as Kolbe Ashe and company looked even better than expected. It was great to see Jake Mctaggart back in a Hayesville basketball uniform and he looked even better than most remembered. Hayesville has plenty of guards to choose from to put on the wing. Honestly, it will be hard to divide up playing time for head coach Mike Cottrell and staff. Yet that is a good problem to have to work out. As well with Mctaggart drawing lots of inside attention, Kyle Lunsford may be poised for a breakout year. 

Overall Hayesville looks to be on the right trajectory and ready for their season opener on Monday as they will host Blue Ridge. This will be a boys varsity game only and it will be live on as will every Hayesville home game this season. 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

Jake Mctaggart to Return to Hayesville

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Breaking news Yellow Jacket fan base, Hayesville’s own Jake Mctaggart has officially re-enrolled at Hayesville high school as of today. Mctaggart transferred to Towns County last fall after North Carolina postponed all sports seasons including football and basketball. Hayesville lost many good athletes more so than any other school in the area to surrounding Georgia schools after the NCHSAA’s decision to postpone all sports seasons. It is great to now be able to get at least one of those athletes back. 

Mctaggart had garnered several big-time awards during his time as a basketball player at Hayesville. For one he was the SMC conference basketball player of the year his sophomore season. During his sophomore season for Hayesville, he averaged 19 points per game as well as becoming a fan favorite for his many highlight-reel dunks. His junior basketball season at Towns County was one for the history books. He led Towns to their first-ever basketball state championship. He averaged a double-double of 16 points per game and 10 rebounds per game. Even more impressive during the playoffs he averaged 22 points per game and 12 rebounds per game. For anyone that watched the Towns County playoff run it was evident that not only did he raise his level of play but he was Towns County’s go-to guy during the championship run. This was a big reason he was named the FYN Sports Georgia player of the year. Now He comes back to a Hayesville basketball squad that brings back Kolbe Ashe who led the Yellow Jackets to an undefeated season. As well Ashe was named the FYN Sports North Carolina player of the year. With Mctaggart back Hayesville was already the favorite to win the conference in basketball next year now may be the favorite to win state with a duo like Ashe and Mctaggart. 


Head basketball coach Michael Cottrell had this to say about Mctaggart’s return.

“I am excited about athletics getting back on track as normal seasons approach in august. Student-athletes are going to have a great experience the rest of this year and getting the sports seasons starting again this summer It’s good to see our student-athletes heading back home after this strange COVID time. I know all of our students are ready to get things back to somewhat normal again.”

In Football Mctaggart has limitless potential but an injury his sophomore year kept him from playing. We know that a full season could be something special from Mctaggart especially when you think that his freshman season at Hayesville on a 1-9 football team he had some solid stats. 32 carries for 172 yards, 5.4 yards per carry, 20 catches for 237 yards 2 TDs, he even threw for 3 TDs. Then because of Covid situations he only played in five football games at Towns County this past year. In only five games though he had 13 catches for 245 yards. 

Head football coach Chad McClure had this to say about Mctaggart’s return.

Jake is a talented athlete. Every player who enters our program can help us continue to build a team that can compete for an SMC championship. As a staff, we will see where he can most effectively help us. We have some great players returning as well, so we are excited about our Fall 2021 team.”

Interview with Jake Mctaggart:

Q: What drove your decision to come back to Hayesville?

A: Hayesville is home and there’s no place like home. That was the deciding factor in my decision. I want to spend my last year with the kids I have grown up with and this community. Hayesville is a very special place to me and I’m excited to be back with my friends and teammates, excited for a big year.

Q: What are your goals in football and basketball for your senior year?

A: Enjoy my senior year and cherish this time with my teammates are my main goals for next year. I’m super excited to be back. I know the sky is the limit for both our football and basketball teams. Just have to work hard and see where this season goes.

Hayesvilles Kolbe Ashe Receives 1st Scholarship offer

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FYN Sports would like to congratulate Hayesville star point guard Kolbe Ashe on his scholarship offer from the Young Harris men’s basketball program. Kolbe was chosen as the FYN Sports NC player of the year this past season. He is a 3-year starter going into his senior year at Hayesville. During his junior season at Hayesville, his per-game averages this past season were 22.3 pts, 4.4 rebs, 2.1 steals, 49% FG, 43% 3 PT, 87.2% ft. He is also an incredibly clutch player during the 4th quarter this past season he averaged 57.1% FG, 47.6% 3pt, and 89.1% FT. It’s safe to say in the 4th quarter he is a bonafide closer and has ice running through his veins. 

Fans expect this just to be the first offer, once college coaches start looking closer at Ashe they will realize there are very few point guards in the state or region that would a better choice to run their offense. As well Ashe is playing with a big-time travel ball program in the Atlanta All-Stars which will help him get even more exposure to coaches looking for players to fill out the 2022 recruiting class.

Interview with Kolbe Ashe:

Q: Is this your first scholarship offer?

A: Yes it is. 

Q: What was it like talking with Young Harris head coach Jeremy Currier when he called and offered?

A: Super exciting and very surprised. I had never talked to him on the phone before the offer.

Q: So what did coach Currier say when he called?

A: He said he liked the way I play and he had been watching from distance this past year watching me play in high school and travel ball. As well, he liked that I had a high GPA.

Coach Cottrell Quotes About Kolbe Ashes Offer:

“Extremely excited for Kolbe not only because of the type of player he is but because of the quality person he is. He is one of the best players I have had, but is also a very hard worker and really puts in a lot of time and effort. He leads by example and is a great teammate.”

“I also really appreciate Coach Currier of Young Harris taking a look at local players and valuing the talent that comes from our local teams.”

“I also expect his to be the first of many offers for Kolbe”

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

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


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