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The Cougars of Athens came into Kingston Thursday night and played two hard fought games against the Jackets.
The Lady Jackets won by a final of 35-26, as they played a good game the pressure defense proved to be too much for the Lady Cougars.
Cherokee’s boys played next and fought, scratched and clawed their way back into the game late, but an early deficit was too great to overcome, as the Jackets went down, 35-29.
Athens won the tip and that was about it as the Lady Jackets played lights out defense and moved the ball around well on the offensive end of the floor.
Cherokee went on 8-0 run to through the first 3:30 and then scored late in the period to go up 10-0.
Cherokee came out in the second and really took advantage of Lady Cougar bad passing and pushed the lead. Midway through the quarter, Athens finally got on the scoreboard, hitting two foul shots as the Lady Jackets took a 20-2 lead into halftime.
Athens used good defense to start the third quarter and that led to a quick 6-0 run to cut the lead down to 12 points. Cherokee, however, answered right back with a 10-0 run of their own to close out the third leading 30-8.
It looked like the Lady Jackets would cruise in the fourth quarter, but the Lady Cougars had other plans. The Lady Cougars came out on fire, outscoring Cherokee 18-5. But the push was too little too late as Cherokee wins by a final score of 35-26.
Abby Wilson led Cherokee on the night with 11 points while Piper Nunley pulled down eight rebounds.
Cherokee (35) Baggett 4, Washam 2, A. Wilson 11, K. Wilson 3, C. Gaines 2, Nunley 4, Manfredi 5, Workman 4.
Athens won the tip and jumped out to a quick 6-2 lead. The Cougars dominated the glass and got several second looks and made them count as the lead at the end of the first, 11-4.
The Jackets started out the second with bad passing and poor shot selection. Athens took full advantage of the bad play and pushed the lead to 15-4.
Late in the quarter, Cherokee picked up the defense and went on a 5-2 run to close out the half. Cherokee went in to halftime down 17-9.
The Jackets used good pressure defense, causing some bad play for the Cougars.The Jackets pulled to within two points at one point in the frame and Cherokee outscored the Cougars 11-7 to close gap to just four points, 24-20, to start the 4thquarter.
The Jackets once again pushed hard at the start of the fourth quarter to close the gap to just one point.
With just over a minute left in the game Cherokee had the ball, but had six men on the floor, which led to a technical foul. Athens hit both free throws and got the ball to put the game out of reach for the Jackets.
Cherokee travels next to Meigs County on Monday, Dec. 17.
John Walden (12 points, 6 rebounds) and Cameron Hardin (10 points, 10 rebounds) led the way for Cherokee in defeat.
Cherokee (29) Reynolds 7, Hardin 10, Walden 12.