By AMBLE SMOKER
ONE FEATHER STAFF
ROSMAN – The Cherokee Lady Braves (13-0) extended their undefeated campaign by defeating the Rosman Tigers 74-37 in an away game on Tuesday, Jan. 13. Kendall Toineeta, Lady Braves senior point guard, led Cherokee with a game-high 26 points as Reagan Barnard contributed 15.
“I thought we played well,” said Cherokee head coach Chris Mintz. “Our defensive intensity was really, really good. We were frustrating them and made them turn the ball over a ton. That was a big-time key for us.”
The Lady Braves took the lead early but accumulated four team fouls early with their potent and stingy defense. Initially, the Lady Tigers had a tough time navigating through the Lady Braves’ traps and full court press; only scoring seven well-contested points in the first quarter. The Lady Braves were able to move the ball very well and scored 19 points.
During the second quarter, Rosman was able to finally move the ball down the court but had a tough time getting it to the basket as the Braves defense remained resilient in a “bend-don’t-break” approach, only allowing eight second quarter points. The Braves offense remained effective by pouring in 22 second quarter points taking a 41-15 lead into halftime.
As action resumed in the third quarter, the Lady Braves scored 11 unanswered points to extend their lead but calmed the dogs and transitioned to a half court press. Still, the Lady Braves were able to pick the pockets of the Lady Tiger ball handlers and created scoring opportunities via the fast break and led 65-27 at the end of the third.
The NCHSAA mercy rule would be applied early in fourth quarter as Rosman outscored Cherokee 10-9.
Cherokee scorers included: Kendall Toineeta 26, Reagan Barnard 15, Timayah Brown 11, Tiffany Riggen 7, Bree Stamper 6, Brionna Jumper 5, Shelby Wolfe 2 and LeLe Lossiah 2.
Rosman scorers included: Callie Chappell 17, Holden 6, Curtis 4, Parker 7 and Owen 3.
After the game, Lady Braves assistant coach Benny Stamper said, “We kind of walked into the press and let them get the ball in real quick and we got ourselves in foul trouble along the sidelines. We made an adjustment with that and got onto them about rebounding. They are starting to buy into the concept of defense wins ballgames. Offense sells tickets, defense wins ballgames.”
Even as their perfect season continues to roll, the Lady Braves know they still have a lot of work to do. Coach Stamper commented, “They are starting to believe, and we’re starting to gel. It’s coming along really well. Everybody’s getting along. They realize they have a target on their back and everybody wants to be the team to beat them. That helps them to stay humble and some of the leadership from the upperclassmen, they are captains and they help our practice. They are captains for a reason. They take on leadership roles, and everybody is starting to define each other’s role and they know where they are supposed to be and know what their part is.”
To view and purchase photos from this game, visit https://onefeather.smugmug.com/SPORTS/BASKETBALL/LADY-BRAVES-BASKETBALL-201415/At-Rosman-January-13/