By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
The Lady Braves (10-0) stayed undefeated and vaulted into first place in the Big Smoky Mountain Conference with a 50-47 win over the Hayesville Lady Yellow Jackets at home on Friday, Jan. 2. Kendall Toineeta, Cherokee senior point guard, led the Lady Braves with 17 points.
“It was a battle the whole game,” said Chris Mintz, Lady Braves head coach, after the game. “It was a tough game between the top two teams in the conference. We didn’t shoot the ball really well, but we played hard and our defense held them down early. It was just a good game.”
The Lady Yellow Jackets came into the game at 3-0 in the conference and tied for first – a spot now held solely by the Lady Braves.
The game started with both teams going back and forth – a theme that would play out most of the game. LeLe Lossiah hit two three-point shots early to give Cherokee a 9-7 lead midway through the first period. She ended the game with eight points.
The back-and-forth would continue throughout the first, and the Lady Braves led 19-17 at the end of the period.
Hayesville got the first bucket of the second period to tie the game at 17, and then Cherokee’s Bree Stamper, junior guard, hit two three-point shots in a row to give Cherokee a 23-17 lead at the 4:11 mark in the second.
The Lady Yellow Jackets came back and hit a few field goals to end the period, and Cherokee took a 25-21 lead in to the locker room.
Tiffani Riggins, Lady Braves senior guard, started the third period out nicely for Cherokee as she hit a short jumper followed by a steal and lay-up to put the Lady Braves ahead 31-23 early in the period.
Cherokee led by as many as 11 points at one time in the third period and would end up taking a nine-point 42-33 lead into the final eight minutes.
Hayesville came back in the early minutes of the fourth period and got to within four points at 46-42 at the 4:22 mark left in the game. It went back and forth for the rest of the game, but Hayesville never got closer than three points down as Cherokee would take the 50-47 win.
Other Lady Braves scorers included: Bree Stamper 6, Shelby Wolfe 2, Reagan Barnard 2, Brionna Jumper 6, Tiffani Riggen 8 and Timayah Brown 1.
Hayesville scorers included: Brice Graves 6, Stephanie Patton 15, Savannah Anderson 6, Amanda Thompson 7, Emma Cox 2, Rebakkah Hatherly 4 and Kimonta Lloyd 7.
To view or purchase photos from this game, visit https://onefeather.smugmug.com/SPORTS/BASKETBALL/LADY-BRAVES-BASKETBALL-201415/Vs-Hayesville-January-2/