DeKalb County sweeps Smith County Tuesday night; Connor Close Hits 1,000 Career Points

By Kailee Dick



The DeKalb County Lady Tigers defeated the Smith County Lady Owls in thrilling fashion in Smithville Tuesday night, 50-48.

“It was nice to see the turnaround from a week ago to here,” said DeKalb head coach Brandy Alley. “Smith County was a battle and it was nice to see us fighting back.”

Ella VanVranken opened the game with a deep three to make the score 6-3 Lady Tigers early in the first. Allie Melton gave DeKalb a five-point lead with 3:55 left of the first quarter after shooting a contested three-pointer to make the score 11-6 in favor of DeKalb.

Smith County battled back as an Emery Jones basket in the paint for the Lady Owls made the score 13-11 in favor of DeKalb late in the opening frame. Both teams were tied 13-13 at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter was slow for both teams as both struggled to find offensive rhythm. Jones again found the bottom of the net for the Lady Owls as she drained a three to make the score 19-15 DeKalb with 2:27 left of the second quarter. Smith County closed the second quarter strong as they entered halftime tied with DeKalb County at 19-19.

Smith County’s Chloe Collins opened the third quarter with a a three-pointer to give the Lady Owls their first lead of the night at 22-19. Aryin Enoch then extended the Lady Owl lead with a basket to make the score 26-19 in favor of Smith County.

DeKalb County battled back as a VanVranken three-pointer with 4:08 left in the third quarter tied the game at 28 all.

Smith County retook the lead before Lady Tiger Tess Barton laid a shot up at the buzzer to tie the game 33-33 at the end of the third quarter.

With the first three quarters ending in a tie, it was time for one team to emerge on top as they entered the fourth quarter knotted at 33 points each.

Chloe VanVranken opened the fourth quarter with a a three-pointer to give the Lady Tigers a 36-33 lead.

Smith County’s Harley Overstreet found the bottom of the net later in the quarter as a three-pointer tied the game at 38-38 with 6:00 remaining.

Chloe VanVranken again answered for DeKalb County as a three-pointer with 4:00 remaining put the Lady Tigers ahead 43-40.

Smith County stayed within a possession down the stretch, but DeKalb County held the Lady Owls off as they won by a 50-48 final score.

“I feel like all six or seven that touched the floor tonight showed leadership in some way,” said Alley. “Ella VanVranken is the one that easily calms us down, Tess Barton is also one to calm us down,  and Allie Melton is a sophomore who started for us tonight and knew when to slow it down.”

DeKalb County improves to 5-3 overall with the win while Smith County falls to 7-5. DeKalb is scheduled to travel to Cannon County on Friday while Smith County hosts Beech on Friday and Gordonsville on Saturday.


DeKalb County (50): Chloe VanVranken 16, Ella VanVranken 15, Allie Melton 13, Tess Barton 6


Smith County (48): Chloe Collins 12, Aryin Enoch 11, Harley Overstreet 9, Catie Bell McCarter 6, Emery Jones 4, Merissa Spivey 4, Julia Dickerson 2



DeKalb County held off Smith County Tuesday evening as they picked up a 10-point victory over the Owls, 66-56.

DeKalb County’s Connor Close reached a career milestone Tuesday as his second basket of the evening marked his 1,000th career point as a Tiger. Close finished with 15 points while Jordan Parker led DeKalb with 23 points. Clayton Rigsby scored 21 to lead Smith County

“Jordan Parker had a really good game for us tonight,” said DeKalb County head coach Joey Agee. “He hit a bunch of free-throws down the stretch, but all of the kids did a really good job. We still got to take care of the ball better late in the game, take good shots, and run some clock. Overall I am pleased.”

Close started off the game strong with a 5-0 run for the Tigers before a Jon Hendrix three-pointer extended their lead to 14-6 with 2:30 left in the first quarter.

Smith County controlled the later portions of the first period as the Owls finished the frame on a 10-0 run to take a 16-14 lead entering the second quarter.

“We started slow again,” said Agee. “I felt like after Connor got his 1,000th point, the energy level went down a little bit. It was kind of a weird time to stop the game to celebrate him and have to restart again.”

Smith County kept their narrow lead in the second quarter as the Owls outscored DeKalb County 10-9 in the frame to lead 26-23 at halftime.

DeKalb County came out of the locker room hot as a Dallas Kirby three-pointer tied the game at 27 points each with 6:07 left in the frame. Kirby wasn’t done there as he finished an and-one to give the Tigers a 30-27 lead with 4:52 left in the period.

Kirby tacked on a three-pointer late in the quarter as DeKalb County took a 39-29 lead into the fourth quarter following a 16-3 run in the third period.

DeKalb County kept their advantage at multiple possessions in the fourth quarter as a Close basket with 6:30 remaining gave the Tigers a 49-37 lead, their largest of the contest.

Close put the exclamation point on the victory with two minutes remaining as he threw down his second dunk of the night to put DeKalb County ahead 61-51. The Tigers closed out strong in the final 2 minutes to win by a 66-56 final score.

DeKalb County improves to 5-4 overall while Smith County falls t0 2-9. DeKalb is scheduled to travel to Cannon County on Friday while Smith County hosts Beech on Friday and Gordonsville on Saturday.


DeKalb County (66): Jordan Parker 23, Conner Close 15, Dallas Kirby 14, Alex Antoniak 8, Jon Hendrix 4, and Seth Fuson 2


Smith County (56): Clayton Rigsby 21, Peyton Hix 12, Gage Gibbs 9, Taylor Kemp 6, Tyler Jones 5, Riley Martin 3