Today, Highlands will be the host site for the 1A West vs Midwest All Star Game.
The West Teams are made up of selected seniors from the Little and Big Smoky Mountain conferences.
LMSC schools include: Andrews, Blue Ridge, Cherokee, Hayesville, Highlands, Hiwassee Dam, Murphy, Nantahala, Robbinsville and Swain.
The Midwest teams are made up of selected seniors from Avery County, Bessemer City, Cherryville, Draughn, Highland Tech, Rosman and Thomas Jefferson.
Highlands Representatives will be Jeffrey Olvera, Hayley Borino, Ava Schmitt, Julia Schmitt and Reese Schmitt.
Coach Brett Lamb will be the head coach for the West Girls.
Highlands post basketball season awards
Boys all conference:
Girls all conference:
Little Smoky Mountain Coach of The Year:
Lady Highlanders lose tough third round of NCHSAA playoffs
Highlands girls varsity basketball team travelled to Burnsville, N.C. on Feb. 26 to take on Mountain Heritage for round three of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Women’s Basketball 1A Championships, but didn’t pull of a win with the Lady Highlanders losing 42-27.
Highlands advanced to the third round after defeating Avery County at home on Feb. 24 with a final of 69-32.
Highlands Coach Brett Lamb said the girls basketball team has made it to the third round of the state playoffs three times, in 2011, 2018, and 2020.
The closest the Lady Highlanders have ever come to the championship game was in 1981 when they made it to the regional finals.
This year, Highlands wrapped up the season with an 18-10 record and Lamb said it’s the most wins he’s had throughout his tenure as coach of the girls varsity basketball program.
“The girls had a great season,” said Lamb. “Of those 10 losses, 5 came down to less than 6 points. So, we were extremely competitive against all schools. Winning our conference and conference tournament was a big goal of ours that was accomplished. This team gelled at the right time and made a great run.”
With the season’s conclusion, Highlands loses five players and a team manager to graduation. Seniors include Hayley Borino, Bella Branham, Ava Schmitt, Julia May Schmitt, Reese Schmitt, and Team Manager Maddie Webb.
Lamb said their contributions to the team both on and off the court will be missed.
“With five seniors graduating it will be a big transition, but we are looking forward to watching this next group grow into a championship team,” said Lamb. “The seniors have meant so much to our team, school, and community. Their success and mark they left will be one that teams in the future will strive to reach their standards.”
How is Highlands looking next year? Lamb said they’re looking good with 9 returning players and more moving up from the 8th-grade squad.
“The returning players have a ton of potential and a good summer of basketball will help them move into their new roles on this team,” he said.
Lamb added that community’s support for the team throughout the season makes a big difference and is greatly appreciated.
“I would like to thank our 5 seniors and senior manager for their hard work and dedication to our program,” he said. “And to the parents and fans, thank you for your great support on a great year.”