By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Basketball is over. Fans, players, coaches, parents, and sportswriters can breathe and wait until next November when we hit the hardwood again. The Cherokee Braves and Lady Braves both had phenomenal seasons. I know they ended before the players themselves wanted them to end, but they have a ton to be proud of.
The Lady Braves won the Big Smoky Mountain Conference (BSMC) regular season title and the BSMC tournament championship. Pooh King, junior point guard, was named the BSMC Player of the Year and four players were named to the All-BSMC team including Bree Stamper, Shelby Wolfe, Tori Teesateskie and King. LeLe Lossiah was named Honorable Mention All-BSMC. Along the way, head coach Chris Mintz won his 300th career game and was named BSMC Coach of the Year.
The Braves won a share of the BSMC regular season title, the BSMC tournament championship, and were Sectional champions. Jason McMillan and Justus Day were named to the All- BSMC team with Kennan Panther, Logan Teesateskie and Tye Mintz being named to the Honorable Mention team. Head Coach Willis Tullos won his 600th career game and was named a co-BSMC Coach of the Year. The Braves also set a state record for most three-point shots made in a season by a team with 330.
Throughout the season, both teams thrilled fans with long three-point shots, monstrous blocks, quick defensive play, even quicker offensive play, buzzer beaters, and several come-from-behind victories.
With all of the accolades and awards and recognitions, the one thing I truly hope is that each and every player had fun. That’s what high school sports are all about. We write about records and stats and trophies, but in the end, nearly 98 percent (maybe more) of these athletes will never make a dime playing these sports so it’s imperative that they have fun.
Sure, sports can teach valuable life lessons such as the importance of determination, hard work, teamwork, and sticking with things when they get hard. But, those things aside, high school sports should be fun for the players and for the fans. Let us all never forget that.
As the season comes to a close, I’ll leave you with a quote from the man I personally believe is the greatest basketball player of all time – Michael Jordan. “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And, that is why I succeed.”