By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
The Cherokee Braves (20-1) got their 20th win of the season in style as they bested Murphy by 50 points (101-51) at home on Tuesday, Feb. 3. Dustin Johnson, Braves senior point guard, poured in 30 points to lead Cherokee in a game that saw 14 different Braves players score.
It was a much better shooting night for the Braves who shot 61 percent (30 of 49) from the floor and 63 percent (5 of 8) from the free throw line.
“We played well,” said Braves head coach Willis Tullos. “From the very beginning of the game to the end we played well. We had good intensity on our press, and we did a really good job of getting in the passing lanes.”
Jason McMillan, Braves forward, led Cherokee with six steals on the night. Overall, the Braves had 16 steals on the night. Kennan Panther led the Braves with seven rebounds followed by Johnson with six and Eli Littlejohn and McMillan with four each.
The game actually started somewhat even with Cherokee taking a modest 4-2 lead two minutes into the first period. But, that lead widened to 12-4 midway through the period and was extended to a 30-16 lead at the end of the first.
The Braves stifling defense really took effect in the second period, and the Braves outscored Murphy 10-5 in the opening minutes to lead 40-21 at the 5:46 mark. Not even two minutes later, that lead had extended to 48-21. Cherokee went on to take a huge 65-23 lead into the locker room.
Due to the large lead, the NCHSAA mercy rule was in application during the second half, and Cherokee was able to get a lot of bench play in this game. The Braves outscored Murphy 26-14 in the third period to take a 91-37 lead into the fourth.
Murphy actually outscored Cherokee 14-10 in the final period, but the Braves took the 50-point win at 101-51.
Other Braves scorers included: Jason McMillan 9, Brock Powell 4, Brandt Sutton 4, Simon Montelongo 6, Christian Ensley 2, Steven Straughan 7, Kennan Panther 15, Holden Straughan 3, J.J. Benjamin 6, Justin Brady 2, Jamyus Lossiah 2, Logan Teesateskie 5 and Eli Littlejohn 6.
Murphy scorers included: Bradley Puccio 12, Anthony Connors 2, Drew Rivenbank 3, Hayden Hughes 9, Johnathan Bowman 2, Thristen Bailey 5, Kalin McRae 6, Zach Blaylock 10 and Seth Jackson 2.
To view or purchase photos from this game, visit: https://onefeather.smugmug.com/SPORTS/BASKETBALL/BRAVES-BASKETBALL-201415/Vs-Murphy-February-3/