By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Three players from Cherokee High School and three other EBCI tribal members at other schools will participate in the annual Blue-White All-Star Game on Saturday, March 17 at 6pm at Enka High School. Cherokee’s Tye Mintz and Holden Straughan will play in the 66th Annual boys game. Lady Braves’ Shelby Wolfe will be joined by tribal members Erin Teesateskie (Robbinsville), Sierra Wachacha (Robbinsville), and Shay Tisho (Smoky Mountain) in the 42nd Annual girls game. All of them will play on the white teams respectively.
Information from the game’s committee states, “The premier fund-raising project of the Rhododendron Civitan Club is sponsorship of the annual all-star basketball games featuring outstanding senior players from western North Carolina high schools. The games began in 1953 before the Rhododendron Civitan Club was founded. Sam Patton, a former All-American basketball player while in the U.S. Army in 1944, initiated and managed the games. The first game played in 1953 had ten players taking part in a scrimmage game inside the American Enka Corporation Gymnasium. Four college coaches accepted invitations to attend that game.”
It goes on to state, “The objectives of the games are two-fold. The first is to offer outstanding basketball players in western North Carolina the chance to display their skills before college coaches, thereby giving to some players the opportunity for a basketball scholarship and a college education which they could not otherwise afford. The second objective is to give the participants a chance to do something worthwhile for their fellow man. The talents and work of the players and coaches help those less fortunate to realize something that otherwise might not have happened had it not been for the money raised through these games.”
Mintz, Straughan, and Wolfe were all named to the Big Smoky Mountain Conference teams. Mintz averaged 16 points and 9.4 rebounds a game. On the season, he had 288 points, 169 rebounds, 33 assists, and 34 steals. Straughan averaged 14.5 points and 3.9 assists per game. For the year, he had 261 points, 52 rebounds, 70 assists, and 38 steals. Both Mintz and Straughan hit the 1,000 point mark for their career during the season. Wolfe averaged 11.4 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. She ended the season with 216 points, 119 rebounds, and 25 steals.
Teesateskie was also named to the Big Smoky Mountain Conference team. She averaged 15.0 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. On the season, she had 390 points, 268 rebounds, and 45 steals. Wachacha was named Honorable Mention Big Smoky Mountain Conference. She averaged 7.5 points and 4.9 rebounds a game. She finished the year with 209 points, 137 rebounds, 51 assists, and 76 steals.
Tisho was the Mountain Six Conference Player of the Year as well as garnering All-Conference honors. She also surpassed the 1,000 point mark for her career as she averaged over 15 points and 9 rebounds per game this past season.
Following are the full Blue-White rosters:
Boys White Team: Tye Mintz (Cherokee), Holden Straughan (Cherokee), Deland Thomas (Rosman), Tommy Brennan (Smoky Mtn.), Will Norris (Pisgah), Zion Walker (Asheville), Josh Walton (Enka), Lane Kervin (Tuscola), Jarred Swanger (Tuscola), and Zach de la Cruz (Franklin); coach – Adam Phillips (Smoky Mtn.)
Boys Blue Team: Hayden Branton (Mtn. Heritage), Kevin Silver (McDowell), Skyler McKinney (McDowell), Deacon Heath (Avery Co.), Sam Rennard (Roberson), Zyrion Wilkins (RS Central), Jace Dover (Reynolds), David Houser (East Henderson), and D.J. Garnett (Owen); coach – Ryan Stevens (Reynolds)
Girls White Team: Shelby Wolfe (Cherokee), Erin Teesateskie (Robbinsville), Sierra Wachacha (Robbinsville), Shay Tisho (Smoky Mtn.), Jessica Beckner (Murphy), Heidi Shope (Franklin), Faith Robinson (Tuscola), Kourtney Krege (Tuscola), Aaliyah McCollum (Smoky Mtn.), and Madison Lloyd (Highlands); coach – Ann Gardner (Tuscola)
Girls Blue Team: Cierra Chandler (Mtn. Heritage), Allyah Whiteside (RS Central), Hali King (Mtn. Heritage), Morgan Buchanan (Mitchell), Kendall Marlowe (Owen), Hayley Creasman (McDowell), Hannah Jennings (Madison), Autumn Owen (Polk Co.), Charmee Miller (Rutherford), and Kendra Rose (East Rutherford); coach – Darius Fuller (RS Central)
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit, https://www.bluewhiteallstar.com