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Kalli Sampson couldn't have had a better performance than she did Tuesday afternoon against the Sweetwater Middle School Lady Wildcats, scoring 17 points to lead the Cherokee Middle School Lady Jackets to a 36-17 win.
Cherokee had a 6-0 tilt through the opening period and stretched the lead to 13-6 at halftime with Sampson scoring all of Cherokee's points.
Cherokee came out buzzing with intensity in the third period with a 15-3 surge to make the score 28-9 going into the final stanza. Both teams scored eight points in the final period to make the final 36-17.
Cherokee had a 38-23 advantage on the boards and a 20-8 tilt in team steals.
Cherokee was led by Sampson (17 points, 6 steals), Sydney Nunley (6 points, 15 boards), and Taylor Thurman (5 points). Tori Strahan (7 boards, 5 steals) had a strong showing in the victory.
Tyra Hurst (8 points, 6 boards) led Sweetwater and Mika Robbins (9 boards) played well in the loss.
Cherokee (36) Sampson 17, Nunley 6, Thurman 5, Strahan 4, Baggett 2, Wilson 2.
For the Cherokee Middle Yellow Jackets, this could aptly be described as "the one that got away", as they gave up an eight-point lead halfway through the final period to send the game into over-time and then dropped a 33-30 heart-breaker to the Wildcats.
Cherokee got out to an early 8-2 lead in the first period, but Sweetwater cut that lead down to 12-8 at halftime. Both teams scored nine points in the third period to make the score 21-17.
Cherokee had a 26-18 lead at one point, but a furious 10-2 rally by the Wildcats sent the game into overtime.
Sweetwater outscored the Jackets 5-2 in the overtime period to take the 33-30 win.
Sweetwater had a 31-30 edge on the boards and an 11-9 tilt in team steals.
Sweetwater was led by Andrew Barr (12 points, 12 boards), Mackenzie Hansen (8 points, 5 steals), and Mason Overton (7 points, 5 boards).
Cherokee was led in defeat by Brandon Donathan (10 points), Riley Adcock (6 points, 11 boards), and Marcus Hutson (5 points, 5 boards).
Cherokee (30) Donathan 10, Adcock 6, Hutson 5, Martin 4, Carter 2, Sterling 2, Edmonds 1.