South and West Stokes both hosted first round games in the NCHSAA state playoffs on Tuesday evening against lower seeded teams. The Wildcats raced by Smoky Mountain 95-67 and the Sauras breezed past Nantahala for a 73-28 win.
West Stokes took a quick lead in the first minute of the game behind the hot shooting of sophomore Isaac Spainhour’s eight points forcing a timeout by the Mustangs. The Wildcats extended their advantage to 28-15 on four three-point shots in the opening period.
Guard Elan Muniz connected on three more shots from behind the arch and senior Noah Spainhour added seven points before going into the locker room at the half with a score of 52-33.
Isaac Spainhour picked up where he left off and added 17 points in the third quarter with four three-pointers. The Cats were comfortably ahead 83-49 as the period came to a close.
Leading the Wildcats were Isaac Spainhour who finished with 32 points in three quarters of play. Noah Spainhour added 22 and Muniz chipped in 15.
“We shot the ball well and I believe playing who we have played in the last week really helped us tonight,” said Wildcat coach Dan Spainhour. “I’m really proud of the way we came out. We had a hard practice yesterday and were able to refocus our attention. I thought we were able to run our offensive sets, but our defense could have been a little better. They shot the ball well.”
It’s been five years since South Stokes has advanced to the second round of the state playoffs and they did it very easily on Tuesday. The Sauras led 24-10 after one quarter of play behind Tyliq Hairston and Ben Bowen’s seven points each.
South’s defense held the Hawks to three points in the second quarter. PJ Samuels led South with 10 points in the first half and extended South’s halftime advantage to 44-13.
The maroon and gold outscored the visitors 29-15 in the second half and ended the game with a running clock.
“I thought we could have played better than we did,” said Saura coach Jason Clark. “We were able to add some pressure and get a lot of layups in the game. We played okay on the defensive end, but we need to sharpen up on the offensive side if we want to continue to play. It’s survive and advance now.”
Samuels scored 14 points to lead the Sauras, Bowen and Hairston added 11 each.
The Wildcats (19-7) will host the T. Wingate Andrews (10-13) on Thursday, while the Sauras (19-7) will travel five hours to eight-seeded Hiwasse Dam (16-10) in Murphy, N.C.
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.