Warhorses and Moore continue to ascend despite long season

Tom Flynn
Special to Black Mountain News
Owen senior Noah Moore puts up a three-pointer against Avery on Jan. 30.

After a long 2017-18 campaign that saw the Warhorses win just three games, head coach Clint McElrath has the team gradually moving back in the right direction.

Owen had five wins to date going into its match-up against Madison on Feb. 1, with four games remaining on the regular season calendar.

Future Warhorse teams will look to players like sophomore Caleb Scott, who is averaging double-digit scoring in conference games, as they continue to develop, while the team’s leading scorer this season, senior Noah Moore, is in the final leg of an outstanding career at Owen.

Going into the Madison game, Moore had 822 career points in three seasons at the varsity level. His scoring average has jumped from 4.2 points per game as a sophomore to the 17.8 points per game that he’s averaging as a senior.

Although unlikely to hit the 1,000 point mark, Moore represents the continuation of a recent trend of high-scorers for the Warhorses. The senior guard was on the 2017 team that saw a trio of players – Ben Craig, Brian Bartlett and Mathew Brown – all hit the storied benchmark.

The guard picked up the game at “about six or seven” and was coached by his father, Lee Moore, before joining the middle school team in seventh grade. The senior Moore played high school basketball in the late 1970s at Asheville High.

Moore, who describes himself as “5’9” – 5’10” on a good day,” honed his shooting while playing AAU summer league basketball beginning in middle school.

Owen’s roster this season has been thinned by the loss of several players, but the squad has continued to improve, in part due to the progress of players like Moore and Scott.

“We’ve had to have other people step up,” said Moore. “We beat Brevard last night [Jan. 28] and we got beat by 20 last time,” he continued, referring to an earlier 59-33 loss to the Blue Devils in December.

The Warhorses' leading scorer, Noah Moore, delivers a floater over the hand of an Avery defender at Owen on Jan. 30.

Moore has flourished during his two years under McElrath.

“Coach, he’s great. I’m a point guard and shooting guard, so I’m a scorer and I bring the ball up the court a good amount of the time,” said Moore. “He usually wants us to push the tempo and he’s good at explaining to us what our strengths are. I try to push the pace for our offense, but not to the point that it’s out of control.”

Moore plans to continue playing basketball into college.

“If I don’t get any good offers after the season, I may go to a smaller two-year school and then hopefully transfer,” said Moore.

Locally, per the senior, Montreat head coach Garrett Jones has reached out to Coach McElrath inquiring about Moore.

Moore lives primarily with his mother Marla Jackson and stepfather Philip Jackson. It was a conversation with the latter that led to his career aspirations beyond college, and beyond basketball.

“I figured this out a while ago, when my step-dad was talking to me about it, I want to be a pilot,” said Moore. 

For a senior who has proven himself cool under pressure throughout his career, and is tasked with executing the Warhorses’ game plan night-in-and-night-out, the profession could prove the perfect match.