By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
It was a good news day. Punxsatawney Phil didn’t see his shadow predicting an early spring and the Cherokee Lady Braves (16-4, 10-0) clinched at least a share of the Big Smoky Mountain Conference regular season title. With a big 75-46 win over Robbinsville (12-5, 9-2) at home on Tuesday, Feb. 2, the Lady Braves ensured themselves at least a part of the title and a chance for the whole enchilada.
Chris Mintz, Lady Braves head coach, was pleased with his team’s performance. “In the second period, we strung out a nice little lead. Then, in the third and halfway through the fourth, we locked them down. It’s as good of defense as we’ve played.”
“We threw a little different defense at them, and our girls ran it great. It was just awesome to watch.”
Coach Mintz was very happy with the Conference implications of the win. “One of our first goals was to win the Conference championship. We didn’t do that last year so we’re pushing towards that. Tonight, we at least clinched a share and we need to take care of business on Friday. Then, we’ll get a first seed in the tournament, a bye, and it will help us in the (state) playoffs as we’ll be the number one seed out of our Conference.”
Pooh King, Lady Braves junior point guard, led Cherokee on the night with 22 points. She was followed by Tori Teesateskie 14 and Bree Stamper 12.
Cherokee got off to a slow start in this game and trailed 6-0 only 80 seconds in. Then, at the 5:52 mark, Teesateskie hit a three-point shot from the right side and got the Lady Braves on the board. She would hit another three 30 seconds later to give Cherokee an 8-6 lead, and the Lady Braves wouldn’t trail again.
At the end of the first period, Cherokee led 19-14.
The first few minutes of the second period were even, and the Lady Braves led 23-19 at the 5:45 mark. From there, they began to pull away starting with a 5-0 run in the next two minutes to give them a 28-19 lead with just over three minutes left in the half.
Cherokee would go on to lead 40-26 at the break.
The third period was all Cherokee as they went on an 8-0 run in the first three minutes to extend their lead to 22 points (48-26). They kept plugging and outscored Robbinsville 17-6 in the third to take a 57-32 lead into the final period.
The Lady Braves kept extending their lead and ended up taking the 75-46 win.
Other Cherokee scorers included: Macie Welch 2, Carla Wolfe 5, LeLe Lossiah 2, Shelby Wolfe 8, Jamie Lossiah 2, Brionna Jumper 2, Jordan Maney 1 and Timiyah Brown 5.
Robbinsville’s scorers included: Erin Maennle 15, Katie Walsh 2, Kinsley Orr 12, Haylee Garland 2, Maddi Garland 4, Paige Collins 9 and Sierra Wachacha 2.
To view or purchase photos from this game, visit: https://onefeather.smugmug.com/SPORTS/BASKETBALL/LADY-BRAVES-BASKETBALL-201516/Vs-Robbinsville-February-2/