Owen basketball roundup: Coaches reflect on season, look ahead to next year

Ezra Maille
Black Mountain News

With basketball concluded, Owen High coaches reflected on tough seasons but were optimistic for the future.

Warlassies fall in first playoff game

"Overall I'm very pleased with the way our season went," said girls basketball coach Chasity Simpson. "I think we could've had a couple more W's on the season, but I can't complain, coming out of a COVID year and everything."

Sophomore Ellie Martin drives to the basket against Thomas Jefferson on Dec. 1. The Warlassies defeated Thomas Jefferson to open the season with a 3-0 win streak.

The girls basketball season ended Feb. 22 in a loss of 64-32 against Newton-Conover High in the first round of the playoffs. The Warlassies went 3-9 in league play, ranking fifth in its conference. 

The girls team ended the season with a 10-13 overall record. 

Simpson said she's happy to see the senior players move on but sad for the program to see them leave. She said seniors Bailee Worley and Mattie Lehman were "key contributors" this season. 

"Somebody else is going to have to step up and fill those shoes next year," Simpson said. 

Junior Maesyn Gardner ended the season with an average of 10.5 points per game, leading the Warlassies along side Carly Hancock and Mattie Lehman for top point scorers.

Lehman and juniors Maesyn Gardner and Carly Hancock led the Warlassies in scoring this season. Hancock averaged 12 points per game, Gardner averaged 10.5 and Lehman averaged 7.7. 

Because of low turnout, Owen did not have a girls JV team. Simpson said she wants to see better numbers next season and hopes for a JV team. 

Boys team 

"We've been playing better," said boys coach John Lattimore. "I know the scoreboard hasn't always shown it but we've certainly been more competitive."

Midway through the season, Lattimore said he brought up freshman Eli Lewkowicz to the varsity team. Lewkowicz completed the season as the team's starting point guard. 

Senior Briggs Barker goes for a layup against East Henderson on Dec. 8. The Warhorses lost to East Henderson 65-37.

As the new addition to the team, Lewkowicz averaged 11 points and 3 assists per game. 

Seniors Briggs Barker and Cadyn Cook also led the Warhorses (3-20, 3-9) in scoring and were the team's two all-conference selections for the year. Barker averaged 13 points per game and Cook averaged 8 points per game. 

Lattimore said the team has a solid core group of mostly younger players who plan on returning next season. After the loss of leading scorers such as senior Barker, the team will need to count on its younger players. 

"We're really trying to get some youth camps going," Lattimore said. "Really trying to get the young kids interested in playing."

Owen plans to host a basketball camp for younger players, kindergarten through 8th grade, March 5 from 9 a.m.-noon. Interested payers should email Lattimore at johnd.lattimore@bcsemail.org. 

Ezra Maille covers the town of Black Mountain, Montreat and the Swannanoa Valley. Reach him at 828-230-3324 or emaille@blackmountainnews.com. Please support local journalism with access to more breaking news by subscribing.