Lady Jackets face top teams in state

  • (Kelli Graves • Clay County Progress) Sophomore Lila Payne lowers a shoulder and drives past a Lady Knight and towards the basket.
    (Kelli Graves • Clay County Progress) Sophomore Lila Payne lowers a shoulder and drives past a Lady Knight and towards the basket.
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After a home loss to the No. 1 ranked team from Murphy Tuesday, Jan. 21, things didn’t get any easier for the varsity Lady Yellow Jacket team. Hayesville traveled to Robbinsville Friday, Jan. 24 to face the No. 5 ranked Lady Black Knights. Hayesville won the first meeting between the two Smoky Mountain Conference teams earlier in the season, but Robbinsville was too strong in the rematch, winning 57-25. The Lady Jackets then hosted Franklin Monday, Jan. 27, with the Lady Panthers entering the game ranked No. 8 in the 2A class. Hayesville stayed close but Franklin held strong, handing the home team a 46-38 loss.

Following the tough loss to Robbinsville, the Lady Jackets looked to reignite their fans and gain momentum with an upset win over Franklin. The wind was quickly taken out of the sails of Jacket Nation as the Lady Panters jumped out to a 12-0 lead to start the first quarter. Refusing to accept defeat, Hayesville came roaring back with a 12-3 run of their own and by the time the quarter ended, Franklin’s lead stood at 15-12.

The Lady Panthers used the sec- ond quarter to build on their lead, which would ultimately be the difference in the game. Franklin’s benefited from offensive rebounds with multiple shots which led to 15 additional points. Hayesville struggled with the Lady Pathers’ defensive attack, managing just 7 points which put the Lady Jackets in a 30-19 hole at halftime.

Hayesville came out in the third quarter seemingly set on clawing their way back into a battle for the win. The Lady Jackets cut Franklin’s lead to 8 at one point and managed to win the quarter 9-8 to pull slightly closer.

Trailing 38-26, Hayesville kept on the attack in the fourth. The home team had their second best quarter of the game with 10 points but the Lady Panthers did what they needed to do and used 8 points to seal their 46-38 victory.

“We knew coming in that we would have to play at a high level against them if we wanted to have a chance,” said coach Chad McClure. “We hung in there with them, just couldn’t get enough going to close the gap.”

Hayesville will return to the road Friday, Jan. 31 as they head to Bryson City to face Swain County. Fans who want to see the Lady Jackets in The Hive can do so Tuesday, Feb. 4 when they host Hiwassee Dam. Both games are scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. start.

 

LEADERS AT ROBBINSVILLE

Jade Patterson: 9 points

Brianna Foster: 9 points

Annie Brooks: 3 points

Lila Payne: 3 points

 

LEADERS VS FRANKLIN

Jade Patterson: 10 points

Brianna Foster: 10 points

Lila Payne: 8 points

Annie Brooks: 5 points