Blue Ridge Early College girls varsity basketball team took on Hiwassee Dam at home on Tuesday and it came down to the wire, but the Lady Bobcats pulled off the win ending with a final of 63-58.
“What a game,” said BREC Coach Tim Mayse. “Our girls did awesome. They showed a ton of heart and grit on the court. To be down 13 going into the fourth quarter and come away with the win, tells you a lot about your team and program. We have girls that show a will to win and compete and that’s all you could ask for as a coaching staff.”
Last time BREC beat Hiwassee was 2002-2003. Mayse said it was a big win for the program and community and shows the level of dominance Hiwassee has had over the years.
Following the victory, BREC celebrated Senior Night recognizing Seniors Katie Stewart and Colton Taylor.
Stewart spent most of this season on crutches after she tore a ligament in her foot during the third game against Nantahala. Getting sidelined did not stop her from supporting the Lady Bobcats at both games and practices.
“That’s my team, I love them,” said Stewart. “I’m going to be with them through thick and thin.”
She added the girls had a great season and she’s very proud of them.
“They did fantastic, they absolutely rocked it,” said Stewart. “There were some rough spots as expected but they came back strong.”
Stewart is a four-year starter and a three-year captain. She has also won the Bobcat Award three times, which goes to toughest, hardest playing athlete on the court, said Mayse.
Mayse said Stewart embodies toughness and she excels in the classroom and on the court.
“She has been a leader to the all the girls this year,” said Mayse. “She shows up to our practices and games, when she could easily be preparing for college softball and college classes. She is one of those players that I will talk about for years to the next group of athletes we have come up to high school. She hurt her foot and is already walking. I wish she would have gotten to play this year, but it was great to have her step onto the court one last time for senior night.”
Stewart said her foot continues to improve, but her plans to hit the soccer field for the upcoming season are on hold for a couple of months, which of course will not stop her from participating in practices and attending games.
The Lady Bobcats next play in the first round of the Little Smoky Mountain Conference tournament in Highlands at 4 p.m. against Hiwassee Dam.
Article and photos by Brian O’Shea
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