By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
In a busy week on the hardwood, Cherokee got wins on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday to bring their record to 10-4 and remain unbeaten in the Big Smoky Mountain Conference. The Lady Braves got key conference wins over Hayesville, Robbinsville, and Rosman.
“The first two games we had this week were very physical games,” Chris Mintz, Lady Braves head coach, said after their win over Rosman on Friday, Jan. 26 in the Charles George Memorial Arena. “They were tough and we battled through them, and we ended up winning by a decent margin. Tonight, I thought we played really well.”
Coach Mintz said his team is beginning to really gel. “We’re getting into game shape and playing well with each other and playing at game speed because it’s hard to simulate that in practice. And, for them to actually do it out there in front of people is important. We have four freshmen, and they get starry-eyed sometimes. Now, they’re starting to come around and play well, and when they play well and our older girls are playing well, we’re a pretty good team.”
The Lady Braves got things going with a 70-53 win over Hayesville on Monday, Jan. 22 at the Charles George Memorial Arena. Cherokee had three players in double digits including Tori Teesateskie 14, Shelby Wolfe 14, and Raylen Bark 13. Wolfe grabbed eight boards and Bark had seven rebounds and four assists.
Cherokee came out in its patented full-court press and kept the pressure going most of the game. The Lady Braves led 37-24 at the half, and they kept that double digit lead in the second half pulling ahead for the 17-point (70-53) win.
Other Lady Braves scorers in the game included: Carla Wolfe 4, Jamie Lossiah 5, Naomi Smith 6, Deante Toineeta 8, Kayleigh Wolfe 1, and Timiyah Brown 5. Individual statistics were unavailable for Hayesville.
The following night, Cherokee hosted the Robbinsville Lady Black Knights in a game that started much closer but ended in the exact same point differential as the Lady Braves won 59-42. Again, Cherokee had three players in double digits including Bark 15, Teesateskie 11, and Toineeta 11. Wolfe had 10 rebounds and Bark had eight rebounds and eight steals.
This game was tight in the first half with the lead changing several times. The Lady Black Knights actually led at the half 23-20. But, the second half was Cherokee’s as they outscored Robbinsville 39-19 to take the 17-point win.
Other Lady Braves scorers included: Carla Wolfe 6, Naomi Smith 1, Shelby Wolfe 6, Jordyn Martin 2, and Timiyah Brown 7. Lady Black Knight scorers included: Cambrie Lovin 7, Liz Ayers 6, Karlyn Matheson 2, Erin Teesateskie 14, Abigail Knight 2, and Mikayla Morgan 11.
Cherokee faced the Rosman Lady Tigers in their third home game of the week on the night of Friday, Jan. 26 and came away with an 86-44 win. The Lady Braves had four players in double digits with Brown leading the way with 14 points followed by Tori Teesateskie 13, Shelby Wolfe 10, and Kayleigh Wolfe 10.
Cherokee led the entire way. They built a 20-point (47-27) lead by the half and built a 40-point lead in the second half invoking the NCHSAA mercy rule en route to their 42-point win.
Other Lady Braves scorers included: Raylen Bark 8, Carla Wolfe 5, Jamie Lossiah 6, Naomi Smith 8, Jordan Martin 2, Deante Toineeta 7, and Jacee Smith 3. Rosman Lady Tigers scorers included: Maggi Galloway 13, Gracy Briggs 15, Christa Galloway 6, and Ashlyn Dodson 10.