The Swain County High School varsity girls basketball team dropped both contests last week, but junior Mazie Helpman notched her 1,000th career point during the Lady Devils’ 64-52 loss at Cherokee.
“It’s a credit to how much work she has put in from the beginning,” said Head Coach Michael Turner. “She started really young…and she’s put in a lot of work inside and outside of the season, constantly working on trying to get better, playing for travel teams, and constantly looking to improve herself because that’s her dream, to go on and play at the next level.”
Helpman tallied 14 points for the game. Savannah Smith was the team’s high-scorer with 19.
The Tuesday loss at Hayesville was an even narrower defeat, 39-32. Turner remains optimistic that the close margins will eventually be converted into wins for his group.
“Throughout the year there have been a few games like the Murphy game that kind of got away from us, but everything else has been right there within our grasp,” he said. “A few better plays here or there, some better executional things we could do, getting some stops, hitting some shots, whatever it is, there have been opportunities there to win.”
The team will suit up twice this week, traveling to Andrews on Tuesday before hosting Rosman on Friday. Swain defeated both teams earlier this season, topping the former by a score of 65-22 on Jan. 9 and the latter on Jan. 23, 63-52. Turner said the previous results will carry no weight in how his team prepares for the rematches.
“Our conference is just enormously deep, from team one to team seven,” he said. “It’s hard every night. You’ve got to bring you’re a game. In fact, right after we played Cherokee, Rosman played Cherokee and ended up beating them. Every night you’ve got to show up and play and you’ve got to execute.”