Lady Mountaineers fall to Cherokee
LEDGER – Cherokee seems to be Mitchell’s kryptonite.
After the Mitchell football team’s season ended at the hands of the Cherokee Braves, the Lady Mountaineers basketball team met the same fate this past Saturday in the third round of the 1A state basketball playoffs with a 71-61 loss to the Lady Braves. It is the second-straight year the Lady Mountaineers have lost to Cherokee in the playoffs.
“(Cherokee) has six girls that shoot 34 percent or better from three-point range,” said head coach Zack McCartha. “We played poorly in the second quarter and it’s hard to overcome a deficit against a team that shoots that well.”
Mitchell trailed by two, 17-15, after the first quarter but was outscored 24-14 in the second – Cherokee scored five points in less than a minute to begin the second quarter. Each team scored 21 in the third and Mitchell outscored Cherokee 13-11 in the fourth.
“We had some chances in the fourth to cut it down to four or five points,” McCartha said. “It seemed every time we got close our shots just wouldn’t fall.”
Senior Morgan Buchanan led Mitchell with 17 points and sophomore Hannah McMahan added 12 in the loss.
McCartha loses six seniors from this year’s team – Eden Phillips, Emma Duncan, Megan Dellinger, Katy Hall, Zoe Cloer and Buchanan – a group he called a “great group of kids.”
“They did everything the right way,” he said. “I’m losing six great players who are even better kids. But, we have young kids with a lot of experience coming back and I truly feel we have the pieces in place to keep the success going.”
The Lady Mountaineers ended the season with a 20-8 overall record.
Mitchell 53, Robbinsville 51
After earning a No. 2 seed and a first-round bye, the Lady Mountaineers won their second-round game this past Thursday 53-51 over Robbinsville.
Sophomore Hannah McMahan and senior Katy Hall each had 11 points in the win.