ONE FEATHER STAFF REPORT
The Cherokee Lady Braves varsity basketball team (23-4) won the Sectional Championship of the 2011 NCHSAA Women’s Basketball 1-A West Tournament by beating Highlands 53-32 on Friday, Feb. 25. Cherokee now advances to the Regional semi-finals where they will take on Bishop McGuinness (23-6) on Wednesday, March 2 at 7pm at Fleming Gymnasium at UNC- Greensboro.
Paige Jackson led the way for Cherokee with 14 points against Highlands. The Lady Braves jumped out to a 24-14 lead at halftime and never looked back as they poured in another 29 in the second half.
Cherokee won the Sectionals with three big wins. They destroyed Blue Ridge 73-22 in the first round and defeated Mitchell 76-61 in the district round.
Murphy (22-5), Smokey Mountain Conference tournament champions, also won their respective Sectional Championship by beating E. Surry 56-49 on Friday, Feb. 25. The Lady Bulldogs took apart T. Jefferson 78-35 in the first round and beat Highland Tech 62-46 in the District Round.
Murphy is set to play River Mill Academy (34-1) in the Regional semifinals on Wednesday, March 2 at 8:30pm at Fleming Gymnasium at UNC-G.
If Cherokee and Murphy both win their games, the two will have a rematch of the Smoky Mountain Conference tournament finals in the Regional Finals. Both squads are two games away from playing for a state championship.
Cherokee 73 Blue Ridge 22
Cherokee: Rayna Davis 4, Kelsey Jackson 2, Paige Jackson 9, Celine Lambert 1, Meshay Long 2, Alexis Maney 9, Tashina Martin 4, Avery Mintz 8, Kayla Smith 15, Jordyn Thompson 2, Elizabeth Wahnetah 5, Megan Wilnoty 6, Hannah Youngdeer 6
Blue Ridge: Natasha Baumgarner 4, Aloura Gregory 8, Destiny Knope 2, Kirsten Mills 2, Courtney Pressley 2, Alex Shuey 2, Carleigh Stewart 2
Cherokee 76 Mitchell 61
Cherokee: Davis 9, K. Jackson 12, P. Jackson 9, Lambert 6, Maney 8, Martin 5, Mintz 17, Smith 4, Wahnetah 6
Mitchell: Katie Atkins 6, Faith Bailey 4, Christina Cormican 8, Emily Glenn 7, Ashley Greene 2, Lyndsay Jensen 29, Kelly Pittman 4, Danielle Robinson 1
Cherokee 53 Highlands 32
Cherokee: Davis 10, K. Jackson 6, P. Jackson 14, Lambert 2, Maney 2, Martin 3, Mintz 6, Wahnetah 9, Youngdeer 2
Highlands: Taylor Buras 9, Marlee McCall 2, Emily Munger 16, Courtney Rogers 5