Blue Ridge Early College girls varsity basketball team hopped a bus to take on Highlands last week for a game that came down to the final minutes, but BREC walked away with the win 42-37.
BREC Coach Tim Mayse said he thought the Lady Bobcats played great. He said both teams struggled towards the end of the close game, but that’s not surprising due to the nature of the rivalry between BREC and Highlands.
“That’s a true rivalry game for sure,” said Mayse. “I thought our girls played very well against Highlands. They showed a lot of grit and determination. Playing a half-court game the entire time is really something we have struggled with in the past, but they did a great job sticking to the game plan the entire night.”
Highlands Coach Brett Lamb said the Lady Highlanders made some good stops on defense but didn’t make enough shots. He added to BREC’s credit, the Lady Bobcats hit some tough, timely shots in the final minutes of the game.
“I think we played well in spirts,” said Lamb. “We have flashes of getting things going but couldn’t sustain it. We did fight to the end but couldn’t make the shots that we needed to when it counted. We relied too much on the 3-point shot and didn’t attack the basket enough.”
High scorers for BREC include Charlotte Sherrill with 18 points and 13 rebounds, Mahalah Stewart had 15 points and 10 rebounds, Chloe Fowler had 4 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals; Macy Heltsley scored 3 points and snagged 7 rebounds, and Vanessa Russell had 2 points and 2 rebounds. Sherrill is averaging 23.9 points per game this year and was listed on HighSchoolOT.com’s watchlist, see more HERE.
The Lady Bobcats only had 6 players for last week’s game against Highlands because of athletes in quarantine, but Mayse said they should be getting players back by the end of this week.
“I think only having 6 players is more of a mental challenge than a physical one for our players,” said Mayse. “We don’t have much depth and it doesn’t matter to us if our opponent is deep. You still have to play us 5v5. I think staying out of foul trouble and not being able to push the tempo weighs on their minds more than the conditioning aspect of the game.”
He added that it’s always a close game when playing Highlands.
“Since I’ve been the girls’ coach at Blue Ridge , we have had 15 out of 21 games with Highlands decided by 10 points or less,” said Mayse. “So, you know it’s going to be a close game and it always comes down to who is going to make plays consistently in the end.”
High scorers for Highlands include Bella Wilson-9, Hayley Borino-7, and Reese Schmitt-6. Highlands Julia May Schmitt had 5 rebounds.
Article and photos by Brian O’Shea
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