By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
The Cherokee Lady Braves are taking an undefeated 4-0 record into the Holidays on the Hardwood Tournament which starts on Wednesday, Dec. 21. On the season, the Lady Braves are averaging 71 points a game while holding their opponents to 31. They have wins over Highlands (83-23), Hayesville (65-36), Andrews (69-23), and North Henderson (69-44).
“I felt we’ve started out really well,” Chris Mintz, Lady Braves head coach, said after their win against North Henderson on Saturday, Dec. 17. “We’ve played really good defense, and it’s just coming together. We’re young. They’re gelling every day.”
Cherokee has fought through some adversity early on with several players being out sick for Saturday’s game and several more playing sick. “We’ve about killed ourselves with the sickness going around. We had five not dressed tonight, and that kind of hindered us. But, I can’t complain. They work hard, and they’re playing hard. They’re playing together, and they’re a fun group to be around.”
Cherokee’s defense is stiff. Pooh King, senior point guard and last year’s Big Smoky Mountain Conference Player of the Year, and Hallah Panther, freshman guard, are tied for fourth in all of western North Carolina with four steals per game.
Tori Teesateskie, sophomore guard, is leading the team with 66 points (16.5/gm) closely followed by King with 64 (16/gm).
Coach Mintz is looking forward to the Holidays tournament which will be played at the Charles George Memorial Arena. “We’ve got a great group that’s coming in. There’s a lot of teams from a lot of different states so it’s going to be fun to see other teams and play against other teams and see where we stack up.”
In addition to the Lady Braves, the girls side of the tournament will include: First Baptist School of Charleston (SC) Hurricanes, West Hall (Ga.) Lady Spartans, Broome (SC) Lady Centurions, Charlotte Latin Hawks, Clay Co. (Tenn.) Lady Bulldogs, Asheville Lady Cougars, and the Owen Lady Warriors.
The girls schedule for Day 1 – Wednesday, Dec. 21 is as follows:
10am – First Baptist vs Asheville
1pm – Charlotte Latin vs West Hall
4pm – Broome vs Owen
7pm – Clay Co. vs Cherokee
The Cherokee Braves are entering the tournament at 3-1 with wins over Highlands (85-61), Hayesville (67-28), Andrews (63-61), and a hard-fought loss to North Henderson (100-79). On the season, the Braves are averaging 73.5 points per game while holding their opponents to 62.5. Individual scoring statistics have not been available for all Braves games.
In addition to the Braves, the boys side of the tournament includes the following: Owen Warhorses, Broome (SC) Centurions, Wallace-Rose Hill Bulldogs, Signal Mountain (Tenn.) Eagles, Clay Co. (Tenn.) Bulldogs, and the West Hall (Ga.) Spartans.
The boys schedule for Day 1 – Wednesday, Dec. 21 is as follows:
11:30am – Wallace-Rose Hill vs Asheville
2:30pm – West Hall vs Clay Co.
5:30pm – Broome vs Owne
8:30pm – Signal Mountain vs Cherokee