By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
The Lady Braves (18-2) avenged an early season loss to Hayesville with a key 53-40 win over the Lady Yellow Jackets at the Charles George Arena on Tuesday, Feb. 4. With the win, the Lady Braves are now in first place in the Big Smoky Mountain Conference.
The Braves (11-9) increased their win streak to five games with a 85-71 win. Their win sets up a huge conference game against Robbinsville, who is currently in first place in the Big Smoky Mountain Conference, at home on Tuesday, Feb. 11.
Lady Braves 53 Hayesville 40
Cherokee started out slowly in this game and trailed 14-5 after the first quarter. They got things going in the second half with a stiffer defense and better rebounding and only trailed at halftime 21-15.
The Lady Braves came out of the locker room ready to play and outscored Hayesville 16-8 in the third period to take a two-point lead into the final period. It was back and forth in the first few minutes of the fourth period, but Kendall Toineeta, the game’s top scorer with 26pts, hit a three-point shot with just over four minutes left to give the Lady Braves the lead. And, they never relinquished it.
Cherokee outscored Hayesville 22-11 in the fourth period due, in part, to a flurry of scoring in the final minutes.
Avery Mintz added 20pts for the Lady Braves. Other Cherokee scorers included: LeLe Lossiah 3, Bree Stamper 2, and Taran Swimmer 2.
Hayesville scorers included: Meghan McQuade 17, Courtney McNabb 2, Savannah Anderson 2, Amanda Thompson 14, Rachel Benson 2, and Stephanie Patton 3.
Braves 85 Hayesville 71
Dustin Johnson poured in 39pts to lead the Braves in this key conference match-up as they handed Hayesville only their second conference loss of the season.
The first half was relatively even with the Braves taking a five-point (22-17) lead after the first period and leading by five 39-34) at the half. In the second half, the Braves began to pull away outscoring the Yellow Jackets 20-13 in the third period and 26-24 in the fourth.
Jason McMillan also had a hot hand on the night shooting 67 percent from the field for 17pts. He also added 11 rebounds and 3 steals.
Other Cherokee scorers included: Brandt Sutton 6, Darius Thompson 8, Jesse Toineeta 2, Silas Reed-Littlejohn 4, and Eli Littlejohn 9.
Hayesville scorers included: Issac Mills 3, Owen Gibson 6, Winster Acesta 2, Branton Cox 17, Vance Rhyne 9, Grant Aroncibia 11, and Zach Cottrell 23.
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