Cherokee battling in Area 4-AAA tourney

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By Goose Lindsay, Sports Editor

The Cherokee Yellow Jackets and Lady Jackets both picked up wins earlier this week in the Area 4-AAA Tournament being played at Cleveland Middle School.

Cherokee’s boys opened play Monday afternoon and downed Sweetwater, 46-31.

With that victory, the Jackets advanced to Tuesday’s semifinals where they were knocked off by No. 1 seed Cleveland, 43-11.

Cherokee played again Thursday in the tournament’s consolation game. A Cherokee victory would give them a berth in the TMSAA Class AAA East Tennessee Sectional Tournament that starts Saturday in Sevierville while a loss would end their season.

Cherokee’s girls received a first round bye and opened play Tuesday with a 25-21 victory over North in the semifinals.

Tuesday’s victory also secured the Lady Jackets a berth in Saturday’s TMSAA Class AAA East Tennessee Sectional Tournament.

Cherokee played Cleveland Thursday night for the District 4-AAA championship.

Girls Game

A fast start was the key as Cherokee jumped out to a 13-2 after one period of play and then held on for the 25-21 victory.

Three-point shooting fueled the early run as Abby Wilson buried a pair of treys and Kaylee Wilson added a third in the first quarter.

As hot as Cherokee was in the first quarter, they were just as cold in the second. Rachel Baggett scored the only points in the period for the Lady Jackets, but Cherokee’s defense was still strong as they took a 14-6 lead at halftime.

North cut another point off Cherokee’s lead in the third quarter after outscoring the Lady Jackets, 9-8. The Lady Stars made it interesting in the fourth quarter after holding Cherokee to six points, but North scored just six on offense to come up four points short at the end.

Abby Wilson led Cherokee on the evening with 12 points while Kaylee Wilson added seven.

Cherokee (25) Baggett 5, K. Wilson 7, Garrett 1, A. Wilson 12.

Boys Games

Cherokee 46 Sweetwater 31

A fast start was also the key for Cherokee’s boys in their 15-point victory over Sweetwater.

Jake Reynolds (5 points) and Cameron Hardin (4 points) led the way for Cherokee in the opening period as they led 14-2 after six minutes of play.

Hardin scored four more points in the second period, but Cherokee couldn’t add to their lead as both teams scored eight points, making the score 22-10 at halftime.

Things got a little interesting in the third period as Sweetwater outscored Cherokee 9-6 in the frame to pull within 28-19 with six minutes left to play.

Cherokee, however, put the hammer down in the final period to win going away. Reynolds buried a pair of three-pointers and scored eight points in the frame while Hardin added six in leading the Jackets to the 15-point victory.

Hardin (16 points), Reynolds (15 points) and John Walden (12 points) all scored in double figures on the evening for Cherokee.

Cherokee (46) Reynolds 15, Hardin 16, Walden 12, Thurman 3.

Cleveland 43 Cherokee 11

As bad as it ended, Cherokee did trail only 18-9 at halftime, but Cleveland outscored the Jackets 25-2 in the second half to win going away.

Reynolds led Cherokee in defeat with five points. 

 Cherokee (11) Reynolds 5, Spellman 2, Borum 4.