ALBEMARLE – The Cherokee Braves (24-3) lost a squeaker (65-64) to the Albemarle Bulldogs in the Sectional Final on Monday, March 2. Three Braves were in double figures including Dustin Johnson (19), Jason McMillan (15) and Eli Littlejohn (11).
Littlejohn led Cherokee with seven rebounds followed by Johnson with six. This game was even in almost every statistical category, including the score.
Each team had a total of 17 turnovers. Cherokee shot 64 percent (21 of 33) from the floor and Albemarle shot 67 percent (18 of 27). Both teams shot 50 percent from the free throw line (Cherokee was 7 of 14, Albemarle was 11 of 22).
Albemarle took a slight 18-15 lead at the end of the first period. The Bulldogs outscored the Braves 20-16 in the second period to take a seven point (38-31) lead into the locker room.
Albemarle came out for the third period and extended its lead, and they led by as many as 12 points in the third. But, Cherokee came back with a vengeance and ended up outscoring Albemarle 22-17 in the third to only trail 55-53 going into the fourth.
The Braves outscored the Bulldogs again in the fourth period (11-10), but ended up one point shy.
Other Braves scorers included: Brandt Sutton 7, Kennan Panther 8 and J.J. Benjamin 4.
Albemarle scorers included: Terrance Ellis 28, Shawn Baldwin 5, D.J. Swaringen 14, Laquavius Ratliff 6, Adafe Price 5 and Lee Autry 7.
– One Feather staff report