CENTRE – Playing at home has been special for the Cherokee County Lady Warriors this basketball season.
Coming into Friday night’s Class 4A sub-regional game against Madison County, the Lady Warriors hadn’t been beaten at the Warrior Dome. They made sure it stayed that way with a 59-31 victory.
Mary Hayes Johnson led Cherokee County (26-4) with 21 points. Audrey Haygood added 10 points. Nevaeh Gaidurgis netted nine points. Ellisan Givens scored seven points. Ava Haygood and Deannia Starr both finished with five points.
Hadley Husband topped Madison County’s scorers with 14 points. Mylee Hill connected on pair of 3-pointers and finished with eight points.
Cherokee County held a three-point advantage after a quarter at 20-17, but used a 14-2 run in the second to take a 34-19 lead at halftime. A 16-6 run in the third gave the Lady Warriors a 50-25 edge.
“I’m so proud of our girls for fighting,” Lady Warrior coach Richard Barton said. “We had a good game plan in place tonight and our girls executed. We could tell they really wanted it tonight.”
Barton said he was excited for his two seniors, Johnson and Audrey Haygood, to have the opportunity to play at Jacksonville State University’s Pete Mathews Coliseum. It will mark the first time the Lady Warriors will play there since 2019.
Cherokee County will take on No. 10 Handley in the regional semifinals on Monday, Feb. 19. Handley defeated Ashville 65-53 in other sub-regional action on Friday.
“They have done a great job of leading and setting the tone for our program,” Barton said. “They have been so close a couple of times, and this year they made sure it is happening. None of these girls have had the opportunity to experience playing the regional tournament, but they are all deserving this year.
“We’re looking forward to a good week of practice and an opportunity to get better.”