After winning the Smoky Mountain Conference and defeating Cherokee for the Region Championship Friday night at Murphy High School, the Lady Bulldogs are victims of a “hurry up and wait” situation. They’ve tip-toed the sideline of perfection this season, suffering only one loss in conference play to the Braves, whom they beat 2-out-of-3 meetings this year.
The Lady Dawgs only other loss came all the way back on November 25, 2017 when they fell by 10 to the Cougars of Mountain Heritage (Burnsville, NC) in the Coaches vs Cancer tournament. If you’re wondering where Mountain Heritage is, shift your focus to how good they are; 23-1, 11-0 at the time of this article and ranked 203rd in the United States (8th overall in the state of North Carolina regardless of classification). They’re alright. I mean, if you’re into teams that win and all that.
Which brings us to present-day basketball, where the Lady Dawgs are stuck behind the fictional chain-link fence like a kennel of Blue Ticks waiting for a full moon.
The Lady Bulldogs are one of eight teams who have earned a first-round bye as the NCHSAA State Basketball Playoffs begin on Tuesday. Pine Lake Prep (14) will host East Surry (16) for Tuesday’s first round games, with Murphy taking on the winner in round two Thursday afternoon.
Pine Lake Preparatory School of Mooresville, NC has had an impressive season thus far, boasting a 10-2 conference record while going 18-8 overall. Competing in the PAC-7 1A conference, their two conference losses came by the hands of Union Academy (23-2, 13-0) of Monroe; and both games were decided by fewer than 10 points.
East Surry (13-12, 7-3) looks to be the underdog in the first round, barely breaking .500 on the season. The Cardinals out of Pilot Mountain finished 3rd in the 1A Northwest Conference, behind Mount Airy (22-2, 10-0) and Bishop McGuinness (15-11, 7-3).
The 2018 NCHSAA State Basketball Playoffs are set to kick off and TeamFYNSports will be following the Murphy Lady Bulldogs all the way to the championship. Be sure to follow us on facebook, instagram and twitter for updates as the post-season progresses!
1st round (Feb. 20):
1-Pamlico County vs BYE / 16-Perquimans vs 17-Northside (Pinetown)
8-East Columbus vs BYE / 9-Riverside (Williamston) vs 24-Ocracoke
4-Cape Hatteras vs BYE / 13-Creswell vs 20-Raleigh Charter
5-Roxboro Community vs BYE / 12-Vance Charter vs 21-Rocky Mount Prep
3-Northampton County vs BYE / 14-Lakewood vs 19-Southside
6-East Carteret vs BYE / 11-Manteo vs 22-Voyager Academy
2-Plymouth vs BYE / 15-Gates County vs 18-Edenton Holmes
7-Neuse Charter vs BYE / 10-Weldon vs 23-Princeton
2nd round (Feb. 22):
3rd round (Feb. 24):
4th round (Feb. 27):
East final (March 3):
State championship (March 10):
1st round (Feb. 20):
1-Mount Airy vs BYE / 16-South Davidson vs 17-Alleghany County
8-Lincoln Charter vs BYE / 9-Highlands vs 24-Blue Ridge
4-East Wilkes vs BYE / 13-Albemarle vs 20-Hayesville
5-Chatham Central vs BYE / 12-River Mill Academy vs 21-Piedmont Community
3-Murphy vs BYE / 14-Pine Lake Prep vs 19-East Surry
6-Union Academy vs BYE / 11-Bishop McGuinness vs 22-CSD
2-Mitchell County vs BYE / 15-Highland Tech vs 18-Robbinsville
7-Gray Stone Day vs BYE / 10-Cherokee vs 23-Hiwassee Dam
2nd round (Feb. 22):
3rd round (Feb. 24):
4th round (Feb. 27):
East final (March 3):
State championship (March 10):
The Murphy Lady Bulldogs have been nothing short of legendary this season, but that’s nothing new for them. Last year the varsity girls went 26-2, falling by only one point in the Elite 8 to the eventual state champions.
“I couldn’t ask for a better team. They work extremely hard and do everything asked of them,” Murphy head coach Ray Gutierrez told TeamFYNSports last week. This week was no exception.
The Lady Bulldogs (18-1, 7-0) kicked last week off with a 52-32 win on the road at Hayesville, followed by a 74-26 road win over Andrews.
Sydni Addison, the ball hawk of the night, had seven steals on defense, scored six points and pulled in seven rebounds.
How do you beat two great wins on the road? You turn around and win two big games back-to-back at home.
How do you beat a 19-90 road win over Nantahala (Topton, NC)? You hold them under 10 points of offense.
On Friday, Nantahala took a rough road trip down to Murphy only to leave with their lowest offensive performance of the season. The Lady Bulldogs (wo)man-handled the Lady Hawks, coming away with a 77-8 home win, their 17th team victory of the season. They knew Saturday night’s game would be a true test.
Following the huge win over Nantahala, the Braves of Cherokee High (then 10-4, 7-0), came to Murphy for the matchup the entire state of North Carolina has been waiting to see.
“Cherokee had won 30 straight regular season conference games,” coach Gutierrez said of their opponent. “The gym was packed and both teams played their guts out. It was a great atmosphere for a basketball game.”
The first quarter was a close one – much closer than many of the games Murphy has played this season – with the Lady Bulldogs holding only a 4-point margin over the Braves, 18-14. The Lady Bulldogs, who average more than 60-points per game, were hitting their usual offensive numbers; but the Braves’ offense was up to the task early-on, making this game a true challenge for Murphy.
By halftime, Murphy had extended their lead by only one point. Trailing by five (43-38), the Braves were still in a dangerous position and neither team was a sure victor. Sharpshooters Clapsaddle and Pickens refused to leave the game in anyone’s hands other than their own. The two combined for 8-of-11 3-point attempts, combining for 31% of the total points for the Lady Bulldogs.
In the end, the Lady Bulldogs held on to defeat the Cherokee Braves 77-74, giving the Braves their first conference loss of the season (breaking a 30-game streak).
Clapsaddle scored 30 points, while Pickens had 14. Beckner scored 12 points in the game while Thompson scored nine points, Bri Moore had six, Martin scored four points and Addison scored a basket for two. Addison led the team with rebounds (8), while Beckner also pulled in eight boards, three offensively and five on defense.
Join us as TeamFYNSports, FYNTV, FetchYourNews proudly present the LIVE coverage of the entire Gilmer Parks & Recreation annual basketball tournament. Coverage begins Saturday morning and all games will be streamed LIVE on FYNTV.com and our YouTube Channel and we will be posting updates via our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram social media accounts.
Saturday, Jan 5, the Panthers headed to Andrews, NC to play a non-region matchup. The Lady Panthers tipped off at 5pm, and they got off to a hot start. The Lady Panthers outscored the lady wildcats 13-3 in the first quarter led by senior guard Bailey Daniel.
Daniel scored 7, she also reached her 1000th point during this quarter. When asked after the game how she felt about this accomplishment she said, “It’s honestly just such a blessing to have such great coaches and teammates I couldn’t ask for any other group of people.”
Sophmore forward Andelin Hill led all Union County scorers in the second quarter with five points to extend the lead to 26-16 at the half.
The Lady Panthers came out of the half and went on a 12-1 run to extend the 3Q lead to 38-21. Sophomore center Kait Mccarter led all UC scorers with 6 points.
The final score was 48-29, and junior forward Jordan Rogers led the 4th quarter in points with 5.
Kait Mccarter led the team with 16 points followed by Andelin Hill whom had 11.
The Lady Panthers improve to 11-4 which matches last years win total.
By Isaiah Garrett, TeamFYNSports reporter
The lady panthers got off to a slow start falling behind 16-14 at the end of the first. However, Senior Bailey Daniel led a lady panther 3 point parade by shooting 3-4 from downtown in the 2nd quarter.
Union led 31-26 at the half. Both teams were plagued with turnovers in the 3rd quarter, a combined 14 turnovers led to a score of 38-33 at the end of the 3rd. However, Darlington battled back to tie the game at 52 with only 57 seconds left in regulation.
Junior forward Adeline Dockrey made an incredible fade-away hook shot with 17 seconds left to grab the lead, a shot so impressive you had to see it to believe it. A Darlington 3-pointer at the buzzer fell inches short as it bounced off the rim. Union takes the win, 54-52.
Bailey Daniel led the panthers with 22. The lady panthers advanced to the semi-finals to play Murphy, NC at 4pm on Dec 28th. Full story to follow.
The 24th Annual Battle of the States Christmas Tournament kicked off in Hiawassee, Georgia on Wednesday, Dec 27. The tournament consists of eight boys and eight girls teams, who represent GA, NC, TN, and AL. There will be eight games a day for all three days of the tournament.
Here are the the first day results from the girls’ side of the bracket:
In the 10am game, Murphy NC beat Lumpkin County Girls by a score of 76-55. Post, Jessica Beckner led the Lady Bulldogs with 24 pts. Lumpkin was led in scoring by Makenzie Pulley, who had 19 pts.
In the 1pm game, Hokes Bluff, Alabama defeated Polk County, TN by a score of 32 – 23. Amanda Noah led Hokes Bluff with 21 pts. Nikki Ball led Polk County with 11 pts.
In the 4pm game, Union County defeated Darlington Academy in a close fought contest. Union pulled out a 54-52 victory as Darlington missed a game-tying field goal as time expired. Adeline Mockery paced the Lady Panthers with 22 pts. Caroline Dingler led Darlington with 21 pts.
In the 7pm tilt, the Towns County Lady Indians defeated rival, Hayesville, NC by a score of 52-42. Towns County kept the lead the whole first half, taking a 22-19 lead into intermission. The two teams were tied at 26 before Towns County’s press stretched the lead to 43-30 at the end of the third. Towns closed the game with a 10pt victory. Freshman, Kennedi Henson led Towns with 16. Junior, Taylor Cornett gave 9 pts, with a trifecta of long distance shots. Senior Madison McClure had 8 pts, hitting four crucial free throws in the game’s final minutes. Hayesville was led in scoring by Junior, Savanna Annis with 18 pts. Hailea Rickett finished with 17 pts.
Day Two of the Battle of States tournament will feature 4 girls and 4 boys games through the whole day of Thursday, December 28th. The tournament will conclude on Friday, December 29th with 8 more games to determine Battle of the States’ Champions, as well as 2nd through 5th place for Boys and Girls.
Day 2 Schedule (Thursday, Dec. 28)
10 am – Lumpkin County vs Darlington Academy (Girls)
11:30- Piedmont, AL vs Lumpkin County (Boys)
1:00 – Polk County, TN vs Hayesville, NC (Girls)
2:30 – Polk County, TN vs Hayesville, NC (Boys)
4:00 – Union County vs Murphy, NC (Girls)
5:30 – Union County vs Murphy, NC (Boys)
7:00 – Towns County vs Hokes Bluff, AL (Girls)
8:30 – Towns County vs Hokes Bluff, AL (Boys)
The Murphy Lady Bulldogs can play, folks. They opened the Battle of the States tournament at Towns County High School against a quality opponent, the Lumpkin County Lady Indians. Lumpkin (4-4, 1-1) was coming off a big 51-24 win at home against Mt Zion, after a tough 2-pt loss at Gilmer. Lumpkin’s biggest win of the season so far was against region rival Dawson County (46-39). The fact of the matter is – Lumpkin County is no push-over.
All that being said, Murphy’s varsity girls (6-1, 1-0) may carry the most talented roster TeamFYNSports has seen step onto a basketball court.
Nine different Lady Dawgs scored in the game, as Murphy head coach Ray Gutierrez worked to spread the playing time among his elite corps of hoopsters. Murphy senior Jessica Beckner was easily the TeamFYNSports player of the game, as she scored 24 points with 9 field goals and she went 6-of-7 from the free throw line.
Junior Ellie Martin, one of three Lady Dawgs to hit shots from beyond the perimeter, was the second-leading scorer with 12 points, two of her baskets coming from outside the arch.
Juniors Aubrey Clapsaddle and Bri Moore each scored 8 points in the game, followed by sophomore Sydni Addison and senior Hailey Thompson with 7 points each. Freshman Kaiya Pickens scored 6 points in the game. Senior Brittin Johnson and freshman Sarah Pulliam each scored 2 points for Murphy, respectively.
The first quarter was all Murphy – scoring 21 points and holding Lumpkin to only two points of offense, both points coming by way of free throws made by Raven Chester of the Lady Indians. With a 21-2 first quarter, most expected this game to be over before it even began.
However, the Lady Indians’ offense came alive in the 2nd quarter, ignited behind the effort by Karlee Armstrong, who hit two 3’s and a field goal to put up 8 of Lumpkin’s 18 points. Makenzie Caldwell hit a three-pointer and Clara White put up six points in the effort as Lumpkin fought to challenge Murphy’s dominant start.
Murphy’s offense was as consistent and accurate in the 2nd as it was in the 1st quarter, despite the offensive push-back by Lumpkin County. The Lady Dawgs put up 21 points (again) and led 42-20 going into the locker room at halftime.
Throughout the second half, both teams saw surges in which Murphy would increase their lead, followed by Lumpkin patiently chopping away at it. Ultimately, the margin would prove too great for the Lady Indians to overcome.
Murphy won the game by a final score of 76-55, advancing to face Union County in the second round, Thursday afternoon. Lumpkin’s varsity girls moved to the other side of the bracket, facing Darlington (GA) Thursday morning.
I could start out I suppose with some screed about the disappearing Al Franken(stein) but he’s done so much damage to himself and his party that little more need be said. Just keep it in mind that Al Franken is a really creepy fellow. My lasting image of him was his role in the movie Trading Places mocking a caged gorilla. I can’t get that image out of my mind and listening to big Al, now a humorless US Senator from Minnesota, interrogate Trump appointees as a member of the Senate Judiciary committee, I’m not convinced at all that the real gorilla truly didn’t get released back into the African wild. Enough on Al.
President Trump has just returned from his first presidential tour in the Far East. His reception by the Chinese was triumphal yet marred in the eyes of Trumps Chinese hosts by the ugly American incident that embarrassed President Trump, and should have embarrassed all American’s.
It seems that the UCLA Basketball team was on a tour playing against teams in the Chinese People’s Republic, when three of UCLA’s sterling members, Americans of African descent as it turns out, brought shame and embarrassment to President Trump and disgrace to themselves, and our nation, by assuming they were in their neighborhood corner convenience store where they could freely help themselves to pairs of sunglasses without paying for them. It’s called shoplifting or petty theft but, it’s still a crime. Could get you killed in Ferguson, Mo.
While the ‘brothers’ may look upon such actions here in America as their rightful due because their ancestors were once slaves, the Chinese look upon such social trivialities with different eyes. Ten years in a Chinese prison can be no picnic and, except for the incidental presence of an embarrassed President Trump, that’s exactly where they would have been, for a long, long time and nobody would be crying racism because nobody would care.
To their good fortune, President Trump sprung them from their worst possible nightmare of actually being enslaved as prisoners of the Chinese State. He got them home safe into the embrace of their communities where such behavior is apparently expected and alas, accepted. The three, their eyes cast down to the printed words provided to them mumbled, without contrition, their appreciation to President Trump for their salvation yet, not one word of apology was expressed to the American people for shaming our country by their feckless behavior.
People like these three are not really Americans because they have no pride and no shame. And, except for the fact they were born here, they are really just US citizens in name only, of no value to American prosperity or advancement and should be considered as such.
The three miscreants have passports and therefore, as individuals, should be allowed to come and go to foreign countries as they wish, but never, never, ever should they be allowed to go abroad again as members of any organized sports team, debate society, or anthropological research team, representing America. We have enough problems with our own government perverts stalking storm ravaged Caribbean Islands looking for poor children to molest and groping women in corporate work places to add these guys to our burden.
One big problem for America is that we have lost our morality on an individual basis. We truly believe that all (Americans) are equal yet we send forth goodwill ambassadors, passionate exponents for their sports, mostly, and they become the ugly Americans. What’s to be done?
Remember, freedom is the goal, the Constitution is the way. Now, go get ‘em! (18Nov17).