By Michael Lindsay
The Smith County Owls picked up their fourth consecutive win Friday afternoon as they defeated Trousdale County in the DTC Christmas Classic championship game, 51-23.
“I’m really proud of our defensive effort,” said Smith County head coach Trey Sanders. “That’s been our focus. We’ve been able to hold those teams under 50 points in each of those games. Offensively, we’re starting to get a little more comfortable with what we’re trying to do.”
Smith County defeated Gordonsville last Saturday before reeling off wins in the DTC Christmas Classic against Nashville Christian, Red Boiling Springs and Trousdale County.
Peyton Hix led the Owls Friday with 15 points Friday along with 14 by Tyler Jones, 12 of which came from three-point range.
Smith County held a 7-2 lead after one quarter and grew their advantage to 11-3 early in the second period.
Trousdale County battled back late in the second quarter as they cut Smith County’s lead to one possession (15-12) with 55 seconds left until halftime.
The Owls controlled the final minute of the first half as an and-one by Hix and transition layup from Clayton Rigsby gave Smith County a 20-12 halftime advantage.
Smith County put the game away in the third quarter as the Owls opened the second half on a 16-0 run to take a 36-12 lead with less than 4 minutes left in the frame.
“We made some adjustments on how we wanted to attack that zone,” Sanders said. “We were trying to force the bottom part to come out to guard the ball, and if they didn’t then we had the shot.”
Jones hit four three-pointers in the first four minutes of the third quarter as part of the run.
“Tyler Jones made a three on three possessions in a row, which opened things up,” said Sanders. “We moved him from the point because he’d been shooting the ball better in practices and games. We moved him to the wing and it worked out.”
The Owls led 38-16 entering the fourth period as they outscored Trousdale County 18-4 in the third. Smith County cruised through the fourth quarter to win by a 51-23 final score.
Smith County improves to 5-10 overall and is set to play next in the AFLAC Christmas Classic at Watertown Dec. 27-29.
“We have some tough competition after the break,” Sanders said. “We’re going to give them a couple of days off and enjoy the Christmas break.”