By BROOKLYN BROWN
One Feather Reporter
CHEROKEE, N.C. – Cherokee High School (CHS) basketball held an Alumni Night on the evening of Friday, Feb. 2 in Charles George Memorial Arena. Braves and Lady Braves basketball players from previous years were honored at halftime. On Feb. 2, 2016, the 1995-96 Lady Braves state championship team was honored at halftime. Seven years later to the date, Braves Nation is once again celebrating the legacy of Cherokee basketball.
Also on Friday, CHS basketball secured a clean sweep over the Hayesville Yellow Jackets with wins from the JV Lady Braves, JV Braves, Varsity Lady Braves, and Varsity Braves.
The JV Lady Braves battled a close game, ending in victory with a final score of 31-28. The JV Braves played a dominant game, with a score of 45-14. The Lady Braves also dominated, as they have throughout the conference, with a score of 69-16. The Braves fought a close battle in the first half, entering the second half with a tied ballgame of 34-34, and displaying a dominant second half resulting in their 85-62 victory over Hayesville.
With each game, the Braves and Lady Braves played their unique brand of basketball. For decades, Cherokee basketball has been defined by certain key features that other teams practice, with little success, to defeat. Cherokee basketball is fast, unrelenting, and laser focused. Year after year, both the boys’ and girls’ teams play with what seems to be an unlimited supply of shooters, endurance, and perhaps their greatest weapon, a solid defense.
In conference play this year versus the Lady Braves, many teams have failed to make it past half court. This style of basketball is a legacy of Cherokee High School, and even Cherokee youth travel ball, with scrappy players who do not let up. Their eyes are always on the ball, and so are their hands. They do not take plays off, they do not take breaks, and when it’s their turn to shoot, they are ready. The quickness is jarring for other teams who would like to take a slow pace down the court. Their offense is not rushed, but it is without pause. There is always something in the works in Cherokee basketball. Every in-bound play, foul shot, or time-out is an opportunity to think five steps ahead.
With alumni of the game being honored at halftime, one could only envision the legacy of the sport for Cherokee High School. The way the game was played on the evening of Feb. 2, was the same way it was played in years past. The Lady Braves are gunning for another state title, with outside eyes already on their record, as they have been for years. Cherokee basketball, as a legacy, is hard to beat. With continued determination, like the 1995-96 team, the Lady Braves can hone those key features to bring home another state championship.