Warhorses get 20th win to open conference tournament

Warlassies also advance in the Western Highlands Conference tourney

Fred McCormick

The Warhorses and Warlassies earned victories at home Feb. 10 in the opening round of the Western Highlands Conference Tournament.

The Warlassies started the night with a 55-50 win over Mitchell High before the Warhorses took the court and dominated Madison High, 98-66, for their 20th win of the season.

The Warhorses finished the regular season with a 9-3 record in the WHC, behind first-place Avery High (12-0). As the tournament's number 2-ranked team, Owen hosted the Patriots, which managed only a single win in the conference this season. The game was highlighted by Owen senior Brian Bartlett scoring his 1,000th career point on a dunk.

Brian Bartlett, who scored his 1,000th career point in the opening round of the Western Highlands Conference tournament against Madison, fires a 3-pointer over a Reynolds defender in one of Owen's wins this season.

The win in the first round led to a Valentine's Day match-up at home against Mountain Heritage High School (the results weren't available as of press time). Mountain Heritage, in Burnsville, advanced on the strength of an 85-60 win over Polk to open the tournament. The Warhorses and Mountain Heritage Cougars split two games during the regular season, with the home team coming out on top in each contest.

The Warlassies finished the regular season with a  6-6 record in the conference. Their win against Mitchell was their 17th of the season and set up a Feb. 13 home showdown against WHC powerhouse Mountain Heritage (results were not available as of press time). Mountain Hertigage finished the regular season 11-1 in conference play. The Warlassies fell twice to Mountain Heritage during the regular season.

The final round of the WHC Tournament will take place at Owen on Friday, Feb. 17. The girls basketball final will take place between the winner of the Mountain Heritage-Owen game and the winner of the Avery-Madison game. The final game for the boys will pit the winner of the Owen-Mountain Heritage game against the the winner of a the Avery-Hendersonville contest.

State playoffs begin on Feb. 21.