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  • Writer's pictureTravis Dockery

Hayesville Comes Up Short In Championships

Photo by Kynnly McClure

Hayesville High School had both of its varsity basketball teams head to Cherokee on Friday, Feb. 23 to compete for Smoky Mountain Conference tournament championships. Unfortunately for Jacket Nation, it wasn't meant to be.

The Lady Yellow Jackets were the first to take the court as they faced off with tournament-host Cherokee. The Lady Braves entered the game with a pair of convincing wins over Hayesville in the regular season and we're able keep keep that streak alive. Cherokee took a 24-7 lead in the first quarter and never looked back on the way to an 82-27 win.

Hayesville Scoring Leaders

Jasmine Brooks: 7 points

Ava Shook: 6 points

Emma Ashe: 5 points

Bryleigh Krieger: 4 points

Next up was the championship game for the boys. Once again it was a battle between Hayesville and Cherokee and it was a barn burner. After the first quarter, a 17-15 Cherokee lead set the tone for a nerve-busting game.

The second quarter was another evenly matched stanza that had both fanbases on edge. As the teams hit the locker rooms for halftime, the Jackets had clawed their way to a 35-34 lead.

Momentum stayed with Hayesville after the break as the Jackets outscored Cherokee 16-14 to grow their lead to 50-48 by the end of the third quarter.

In the fourth, the intensity and drama ramped up. Cherokee made a dedicated effort to attack the basket, drawing foul calls that would send Braves shooters to the free-throw line for 17 attempts. On the other end of the court, Hayesville managed to get 8 shots from the foul line.

The Braves managed to make the most of the opportunities and put up 21 points in the final quarter while Hayesville totaled 15, giving Cherokee a 69-65 win and the tournament championship.

Hayesville Scoring Leaders

Isaac Chandler: 24 points

Slade Crouch: 22 points

Luke Lee: 14 points

Landon Hughes: 3 points

Both teams now wait on seedings and brackets for round one of the state tournament to be released.

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