Owen basketball teams continue to roll

Fred McCormick

Both Owen High School varsity basketball programs continued their winning ways in January, coming out on top in a combined seven of eight games heading into their Jan. 16 match-up against Avery (results not available as of deadline).

Following their championship run in the Holidays on the Hardwood Tournament in Cherokee, the Warhorses won their first four games of 2017.

Led by Ben Craig, Mathew Brown and Brian Bartlett the Warhorses defeated Madison, Enka, Polk and Mitchell, winning all four on the road and improving to 13-2 overall and 4-1 in the  Western Highlands Conference. The team went over a month without losing a game.

The presence of sophomore Chesney Gardner in the frontcourt for the Warlassies has been a key to the team's success to start 2017.

The Warlassies won three out of four to start the month, improving to 11-4 overall and 2-3 in the conference.

The team has been led by Chesney Gardner, a top-10 scorer in the region who is averaging about 16 points per game. The sophomore is Western North Carolina's second-leading rebounder, pulling down an average of nearly 10 each contest.

Junior Kendal Marlowe has been among the team's offensive leaders as well, averaging 12 points per contest, putting her among the top 15 scorers in the region.

The return of junior Dee Graves, who missed much of the beginning of the season with a knee injury, has provided a spike in offensive production as well for the Warlassies. Graves scored in double digits in five of her first nine games back.

Both teams will be in action at home on Friday, Jan. 20, when Owen hosts conference foe Mitchell.