Highlands varsity girls basketball team wins battle against BREC

Highlands girls varsity basketball team took on Blue Ridge Early College in Cashiers on Tuesday and walked away with a hard-earned win, 38-31.

“It wasn’t pretty, but we’ll take it,” said Highlands Coach Jake Page. “Ezra [Branham] was moving her feet all game, Julia [May Schmitt] had great defense, and Ked [McCall] was taking charge after charge. I’m really proud of the entire team and I love being lucky enough to be their coach.”

Highlands Hayley Borino on a fast break against BREC.

He added that scraping by with a 7-point win didn’t come easy.

“Blue Ridge is scrappy, they have some really great players,” said Page. “They’re tough, they’re physical, and you can never count them out. Anytime you can go on the road and get a win like this it’s a special day.”

BREC Mahalah Stewart surveys the scene bringing the ball down court on Tuesday.

BREC Coach Tim Mayse said both teams gave it their all out on the court the Lady Bobcats should hold their heads high after a hard-fought game.

“Highlands is a good team and we’re a good team, it was a good game,” said Mayse. “Our girls always play hard and I’m very proud of them.”

BREC Macy Heltsley and Highlands Kedra McCall work for position to grab a rebound.

He added that one of the challenges of Tuesday’s game was trying to shut down Highlands’ point guard Hayley Borino.

“Their point guard [Borino] has improved since the beginning of the season and she was able to handle the pressure well out there,” said Mayse. “She’s tough.”

BREC Coach Tim Mayse presents junior Charlotte Sherrill with a 1,000 points ball to be added to BREC’s trophy case.

BREC Charlotte Sherrill was presented with a 1,000 points ball before the game to be added to BREC’s trophy case after Sherrill surpassed the 1,000 mark during a recent game against Nantahala.

Mayse said it’s rare for a junior to hit this mark. Sherrill’s mother, Jennifer, also hit the same milestone as a junior. Read more about that HERE.

Highlands Bella Branham drives to the hoop against BREC on Tuesday.

Highlands next plays at 6 p.m. on Feb. 4 away against Nantahala.

BREC next plays at 6 p.m. on Feb. 5 away against Swain.

From left are BREC Chloe Fowler, Highlands Jordan Carrier, and BREC Hannah Carbone going for a rebound.

Highlands Reese Schmitt covers BREC Mahalah Stewart.

BREC Charlotte Sherrill dishes it off on a fast break.

Julia May Schmitt drains a free throw against BREC.

BREC Maddy Potts drives to the hoop through a sea of Highlands jerseys.

Highlands Ezra Branham kicks the ball out from the baseline.

BREC Chloe Fowler drives through a wall of Highlands players on Tuesday at home.

Highlands Kedra Mccall and Bella Branham keep the pressure on BREC Mahalah Stewart.

Highlands Lilly Bryson staying with her mark on Tuesday at Blue Ridge.

BREC Mercedes McLaughlin forces a turnover against Highlands on Tuesday.

BREC Charlotte Sherrill making her move to get past Highlands Julia May Schmitt.

Highlands Reese Schmitt takes the charge.

Staying positive on BREC’s sidelines. From left are Coach Elijah Reece, Hannah Carbone, Gabby Martinez, Maddy Potts, and Brenda Martinez.

In the final seconds of the game, from left are Highlands Kedra McCall, Hayley Borino, Ezra Branham, and Bella Branham.

Highlands High School cheerleaders making a rare away-game performance.

Article and photos by Brian O’Shea
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