“Z. Mason was really good,” Head Coach Will Wade said. “I thought Casey Jones played well. Outside of that, we really weren’t very good. We have to hope this knocked the rust off and our exam break off of us.”
Mason made 16 of 20 shots including three of four from 3pt range. Casey Jones tied his career high with 17 points, while Martynas Bareika added 10 points in his first start of the season.
Hiwassee also got a spectacular performance from reserve guard Howie Meadows from Meigs County. Meadows made eight three-pointers en route to a 26-point game keeping his team in the game for the first 20 minutes.
The Tigers led 36-30 on a Jeff Waggoner three with 3:36 to go in the first half. Mason and Jones combined for nine straight points including a buzzer-beating tip-in for Jones to send Chattanooga into the break leading 39-36.
“Our effort defensively was our most disappointing aspect of the first half,” Wade continued. “Our effort was by-far the worst part. We couldn’t guard the ball, and we let the shooter free the whole half.”
The duo continued the run into the second half. It turned into a 27-7 spurt for Mason and Jones as Mason’s 31st and 32nd points made it a 57-43 lead with 14:07 remaining. Anthanee Doyle made it a 16-point game with a jumper at 13:30. It was the first basket for the Mocs not scored by Mason or Jones in 10-and-a-half minutes of clock time.
It would get no closer than 14 the rest of the way. Mason’s 41st point gave the Mocs their biggest advantage of 23, 80-57, with 4:14 to play.