Published On: Sun, Feb 16th, 2014

BASKETBALL: LADY BRAVES WIN CONFERENCE TITLE

Peri Wildcatt (#32) shoots over Robbinsville’s Kinsley Orr (#10).  (SCOTT MCKIE B.P./One Feather photos)

Peri Wildcatt (#32) shoots over Robbinsville’s Kinsley Orr (#10) during a game at home on Saturday, Feb. 15. (SCOTT MCKIE B.P./One Feather photos)

By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.

ONE FEATHER STAFF

 

Taran Swimmer, senior, got the rebound of the game and quite possibly the season when she got a clean board between two Robbinsville players in a game at home on Saturday, Feb. 15.  The Lady Braves were up by 1pt (63-62) at the time.

Swimmer turned and passed the ball to Kendall Toineeta who was immediately fouled.  Toineeta made her two free throws, the Lady Braves (21-2) won their fourth consecutive Big Smoky Mountain Conference regular season title 65-62, and the Cherokee crowd erupted with deafening cheers that filled the Charles George Arena.

Kendall Toineeta (#3) jumps to block a pass by Robbinsville’s Kelsie Morgan (#11).

Kendall Toineeta (#3) jumps to block a pass by Robbinsville’s Kelsie Morgan (#11).

“It’s awesome, it never gets old,” said head coach Chris Mintz on winning their fourth straight title.  “I told the seniors, ‘nobody else has felt what it means to win a championship while you have been here and that’s pretty special.’”

The game was back-and-forth the entire time.  Robbinsville took an early 24-17 lead after the first period, but the Lady Braves roared back and led 40-36 at the half.

Avery Mintz (#22) and Peri Wildcatt (#32) contest a Robbinsville shot.

Avery Mintz (#22) and Peri Wildcatt (#32) contest a Robbinsville shot.

Cherokee played better possession ball in the game committing only 4 turnovers to Robbinsville’s 12.  Cherokee also had 10 steals in the game with Toineeta, the WNC leader, getting 4.

Avery Mintz led Cherokee with 17pts followed by Toineeta with 13.  Other Cherokee scorers included:  LeLe Lossiah 8, Bree Stamper 8, Brionna Jumper 4, Peri Wildcatt 6, and Taran Swimmer 9.

Robbinsville’s scorers included:  Erin Maennle 12, Kinsley Orr 15, Kelsie Morgan 2, Madison Cole 4, Amber Long 19, and Daylee Brooms 10.

The Lady Braves will enter the Big Smoky Mountain Conference tournament with the number one seed.  Due to weather postponements, the brackets are not out yet.

When asked his thoughts on the upcoming conference tournament and state playoffs, Coach Mintz commented, “Our conference is tough.  We have three or four really tough teams to get through.  Anybody that comes out of our conference can probably get to regionals and do some damage.”

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