The Cherokee High School Lady Warriors basketball team's impressive run of 23 consecutive victories was snapped on Tuesday night in the GHSA Class AAAAAA Girls State Basketball Tournament by a juggernaut Norcross squad expected to contend for the state title.
Despite the 76-43 loss, the ladies have many reasons to call this last season a successful one.
“We won 29 ballgames this season,” coach Matt Cates said to the Cherokee Tribune. “That hasn’t happened since 1966 or ’67. Yeah, it hurts a little, but our kids played tough. They went undefeated in the region, won the region regular-season title and the region tournament. They made it to the elite eight and won 23 straight ballgames. They have nothing to hang their heads about.”
Cherokee last lost a ballgame to in-county rivals Creekview on Dec. 8. Following the setback, the Lady Warriors ran the table in the regular season, earning the Region 5-AAAAAA championship.
The ladies then took the state tournament by storm, defeating Brookwood 58-41 in the opening round and handling North Forsyth 65-53 in the sweet sixteen.
Christine Mixon and Aunesha Williams led the Lady Warriors with nine points each in the final game of the season, but were outdone by the Norcross tandem of Diamond DeShields and Shayla Cooper. The two seniors scored 62 of their team's 76 points.
Cherokee High School's representatives on social media reacted to the defeat with a stiff upper lip.
"Good job tonight ladies u did ur best u guys made it so far keep your heads up! Think about all the teams that didnt even make it this far!!" tweeted OnlyAtCherokee, an unofficial Twitter account that reports goings on at the school.
The Norcross Lady Blue Devils will play Fairburn's Langston Hughes High School on March 2 at 4:00 p.m. at Georgia Tech in the state final four.