Hayesville coach Chad McClure and his Lady Yellow Jacket team knew they would have to be at the top of their game when Hayesville hosted Murphy Tuesday, Jan. 21. The Lady Bulldogs entered the match-up undefeated and ranked No.1 in the state. McClure’s squad managed to keep things close in the first half but Murphy pulled away for the 54-34 win.
The Lady Jackets got off to a good start, scoring the first points of the game. Murphy soon answered though and used a full court press to go on an 8-0 run on their way to a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Hayesville’s defense was impressive in the second quarter. While the Lady Jackets held Murphy at bay, a 7-point rally drew Hayesville even to their rivals. The Lady Bulldogs didn’t find the bottom of the basket until the 1:46 mark of the quarter but still managed to build on their lead and headed into the locker room at halftime up 23-14.
Showing grit and determination, Hayesville refused to give up and came out in the third quarter just as determined as they were in quarter one. The Lady Jackets manufactured 11 points in the stanza but Murphy was almost flawless on their end of the court, scoring 18.
Hayesville kept fighting until the end, with 9 fourth-quarter points. Unfortunately for the Lady Jackets, their rivals didn’t let up either and Murphy totaled 14 points in the final quarter to hand Hayesville a 54-34 loss.
Sophomore Lila Payne had a monster night with 22 points. Kynnly McClure led the Lady Jackets with a trio of steals while Jocelin Buckner, Annie Brooks and Breanna Foster totaled three rebounds each.
“I was proud of the fight we showed,” said McClure after the game. “We’ve been that kind of team all season.” When asked about moving forward, McClure said, “I feel like we are just a couple adjustments away from being a really good, well-rounded team.”
Hayesville will try to get back in the win column Friday, Jan. 24 in Robbinsville. On Monday, Jan. 27 the Lady Jackets will host Franklin and then hit the road as they take on the Lady Tigers in Rosman Tuesday, Jan. 28. Fans can expect a 6 p.m. start to each game.
Leaders vs Murphy
Lila Payne: 20 points
Lizzy Brusini: 5 points
Jade Patterson: 3 points