By AMBLE SMOKER
ONE FEATHER STAFF
FRANKLIN – The Cherokee Lady Braves (16-0) fought through adversity in a daunting road environment to win against the Franklin Panthers on Wednesday, Jan. 21 as the Lady Braves topped the Lady panthers 62-55.
“That was a great one,” said Lady Braves head coach Chris Mintz. “It was crazy loud in there, and we had to fight through foul trouble. We kept our composure, came back and at the end of the game, we handled the ball and sealed the game.”
Cherokee started fast by jumping out to a 15-0 run, leaving Franklin scrambling for answers to the smothering Cherokee defense. The Lady Braves held the Lady Panthers off the board until the 3:27 mark in the first quarter when Franklin finally found the bucket. However, Cherokee’s stifling defense found itself in foul trouble as the team racked up 18 fouls in the first half and was forced to reexamine their defensive attack. This allowed Franklin to rally and close the gap to a Cherokee 17-15 lead going into the second quarter.
Franklin tied the game early in the second quarter as a seesaw battle ensued, with Franklin outscoring the Lady Braves 18-16. The game knotted up at 33 going into the locker rooms.
“It’s a true testament to the character of this team,” said Lady Braves assistant coach Ben Stamper. “We got into foul trouble early, had a little trouble with an official who seemed like he didn’t like us very much. We talked at halftime about adjustments on how they’re calling us, playing a stricter defense and adjust to what they’re doing to us. They are calling us for hands, so we have got to play hands off. We missed some free throws that could have sealed the deal early, but we made plays when we needed to.”
Both teams came out of the gates strong as the game volleyed back and forth throughout most of the third quarter with the Lady Braves edging out the Lady Panthers 18-13 to take a five-point lead into the fourth quarter. Once a comfortable lead was established, the Lady Braves froze the ball to take a 62-55 victory.
“I went to that little stall game to get us to the end of the game,” explained coach Mintz after the game. “I had everybody on the court with four fouls.”
Lady Braves scorers included: Kendall Toineeta 27, Reagan Barnard 11, Timaya Brown 13, Tiffani Riggen 4, Bree Stamper 2, Shelby Wolfe 2, and Bri Jumper 2.
Franklin scorers included: Savannah Teague 14, Payton Burrell 2, Bayley Rewis 2, Lexi Taro 14, Vanessa Agrusa 17, and Kirsey Apel 6.
To view and purchase photos from this game, visit http://onefeather.smugmug.com/SPORTS/BASKETBALL/LADY-BRAVES-BASKETBALL-201415/At-Franklin-January-21/