Last year there was some doubt over who was the best boys basketball team in the Big Smoky Mountain Conference.
That was last year.
Cherokee improved to 13-0 and 5-0 in the BSMC on Friday night with an 18-point win over visiting Robbinsville. The 57-39 final score was made possible by the contributions of Dustin Johnson (14 points), Eli Littlejohn (10), Logan Teesateskie (eight) and Jason McMillian (seven).
Johnson, who is a senior, scored his 1,000th career point earlier this week. The Braves shared the 2014 BSMC regular-season championship with Hayesville and Robbinsville, but the current group has beaten those two opponents (at home in both cases) by a combined 30 points.
Western North Carolina has three other undefeated basketball teams after Friday, including the Cherokee girls (12-0, 5-0), who polished off Robbinsville, 68-52, in their game.
Four Braves were in double figues – Lenoir-Rhyne recruit Kendall Toineeta (22 points), Ragan Barnard (14), Timaya Brown (11) and Le Le Lossiah (10).
Cherokee led Robbinsville and leading scorer Kinsley Orr (17 points) by 10 at halftime and then went on a 20-9 run in the third quarter.
In other action involving undefeated teams, the Mountain Heritage girls (12-0, 4-0) won at Mitchell, 68-56, and the Pisgah girls (15-0, 6-0) were successful in their road trip to Smoky Mountain, 65-56.
Former Western Highlands Conference Player of the Year Destiny Elkins (22.6 points per game) is a senior and the leading scorer for the Cougars, followed by freshman Ciera Chandler (8.4ppg.).