Highlands JV girls basketball team ends undefeated season with loss at buzzer

Highlands junior varsity girls basketball team hosted Cherokee on Wednesday and while maintaining an undefeated record throughout the season, took their first loss in their last game with a final 32-30 after Cherokee drained a short jumper at the buzzer.

Highlands Lilly Bryson keeping the pressure on Cherokee at home on Wednesday.

Cherokee’s only loss this year was against Highlands earlier in the season.

“We played good for three quarters, but the first quarter they killed us 17-4,” said Highlands Coach Logan James. “Then we started putting some shots up, forcing turnovers, and tied it up in the fourth.”

Highlands Addie Westendorf chases down a loose ball against Cherokee.

Logan said it was a tough loss to take, but it will help the girls in the long run.

“Character is how you respond to diversity,” he said. “Going undefeated, this is the first chance to see how they react to the loss and they handled it very well.”

Highlands Emily Briggs puts 2 on the board against Cherokee at home.

He added that the girls played great all season and he’s proud of the way they handled some close calls and high-pressure situations.

Highlands Riley Conner gets set to box out for the rebound.

Later in the evening, Highlands Athletic Director Brett Lamb retired Highlands #5 jersey in honor of Jackson Hall who recently passed away.

Highlands retired #5 jersey in honor of Jackson Hall.

Highlands High School cheerleaders wore red ribbons on their shoulders in honor of Jackson Hall.

 The Lady Highlanders next play in the championship of the Little Smoky Mountain Conference tournament on Thursday at 4 p.m. at home against the winner of Cherokee and Hiwassee Dam.

Highlands Kaylee Oakley keeps the ball moving along the perimeter.

Highlands B Bryson drives to the basket against Cherokee.

Highlands Brandy Zagal scoping out her options before calling the play.

Highlands High School Cheerleader Ashlynn Wilson is launched during a practice run on Wednesday.

Article and photos by Brian O’Shea
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