Jarrett Van Meter
The Swain girls varsity basketball team doubled its season victory total this past week, winning two out of three games over a five-day span.
The Lady Devils walloped Andrews on Thursday by a score of 59-14 before falling on the road to Robbinsville, 55-38, the following night. Swain bounced back on Tuesday, grinding out a 46-43 road win over Highlands to push its record to 4-9.
“It’s a lot about the execution,” Head Coach Michael Turner said of his team’s sudden upswing in momentum. “We’ve got to learn to play four quarters. That’s been our issue in a lot of our games. We put up three quarters and then take one quarter off, either defensively or don’t execute offensively. We were able to put together four quarters today with Highlands and win a game.”
Savannah Smith led the way for Swain against Highlands with 15 points. Mazie Helpman added 12 points and Amaya Hicks 10 for the Lady Devils.
Swain will close out the season on Thursday when it hosts Hayesville for senior night, the final game in maroon and white for Bri Ross, Hannah Epperson, Rabekka Wolfe, and Natalie Stuckey. Swain fell on the road to Hayesville back on Jan. 26 by a score of 39-32.
“I’d like to see our seniors go out with a win,” Turner said of the rematch with the Yellowjackets. “It’s their senior night, so they will get an opportunity there, and I’d love to send them off with a win.
Despite the night’s pageantry and nostalgia, and despite the two wins this week, Turner said his primary focus is on getting his team to play its best basketball of the season, a feat he feels they have yet to achieve.
“Ideally, I’d love to see us play to our potential,” he said. “I don’t think we’ve done that all year in any game. We’ve shown glimpses of it, spots of it. Being consistent and playing to our potential as a team. Once they do that, the sky is the limit for them because there are a lot of great girls, from one to fourteen, on our roster. If they do that, no matter who we are playing, they’ve got a great chance, and it’s fun to watch when people maximize what they have.”