McIntosh Trail

Basketball Chiefs Win Annual Battle of the Bubble

Samantha Cornett, Sports Editor

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The McIntosh Chiefs took on rival Starr’s Mill High School, on Jan. 18 at home. The Chiefs were 6-11 on the season heading into the game. With a previous road loss to the Panthers 69-49 earlier in the season, the Chiefs were not favored to win the game.

In the first quarter, the Chiefs led the Panthers 23-16. The Chiefs’ whiteout student section was full of school spirit and excitement with senior barrel man, Shane Karafanda and senior green man, Nick Pruner, leading iconic McIntosh basketball chants.

“Going to the game was super exciting because it is a lot different than going to the rival games as a middle schooler,” said freshman Catherine Bach, “To scream chants to hype the team up and help their performance as an actual classmate was a much better experience.”

The Chiefs were leading the Panthers 40-31 at halftime. Senior Naj Ashley-Emory was leading the team with 19 points in the first half.

In the third quarter the Chiefs expanded to a 19 point lead over the Panthers. They ended the third quarter ahead 66-47.

The Chiefs beat the Panthers 85-61 and picked up their third win in a row to improve to 7-11 on the season. It was the most points scored in a game and largest margin of victory over a team all season.

Naj Ashley-Emory led the team with 31 points. In the last three games, he has scored a total of 98 points, making him the first Chief since former varsity player, Jordan Lyons, to average over 30 points in a three-game span.

“What’s really helped me the most is just going into the game with the right mindset to do everything in my power to get my team the win,” said Ashley-Emory. “Also, I think that what really helped me the most was keeping myself and my teammates engaged in the game and playing with a lot of confidence on the court.”

He was followed by senior Keenan Brown who had a total of 23 points and an 100% shooting percentage. Overall, eight for eight and a seven for seven from the three, meeting a new personal career high as a McIntosh Chief.

“It was honestly the best game I’ve ever played in my life,” said Brown, “On top of that, it was against our biggest rivals. There is no feeling comparable to the hype and energy in those type of games. To not miss had me feeling like MJ (Michael Jordan). It was definitely a night to remember.” 

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“It was honestly the best game I’ve ever played in my life,” said Brown, “On top of that, it was against our biggest rivals. There is no feeling comparable to the hype and energy in those type of games. To not miss had me feeling like MJ (Michael Jordan). It was definitely a night to remember.””

— Keenan Brown

The team traveled to Riverdale High School on Jan. 25 to take on the Raiders, winning the game 50-35. Following the game against Riverdale, the Chiefs followed the win with a home game against Griffin High School on Jan. 29, beating them 59-53 in over time. To finish the regular season and honor the seniors on Senior Night, the Chiefs hosted Jonesboro High School on Friday, Feb. 1.

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About the Writer
Samantha Cornett, Sports Editor

Junior Sam Cornett joined the newspaper staff her freshman year and has been sports editor for two years. Between being an editor for the Trail, Sam works...

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Basketball Chiefs Win Annual Battle of the Bubble