By Michael Lindsay
The Smith County Lady Owls completed the season sweep of their rivals to the south Saturday evening in Carthage as they defeated Gordonsville, 65-43.
“I didn’t think we played out best; we were coming off a tough game Friday and on Tuesday,” said Smith County head coach Matt Ferrell. “We had to really dig deep and we shot the ball well.”
The three-point line was key for Smith County as they hit 12 three-pointers Saturday in the win.
“We shot the ball the first five or six games really poorly, but I kept thinking that the average was going to correct itself,” said Ferrell. “Hopefully, we’re starting to turn a corner and starting to shoot better later in the year.”
Sophomore forward Chloe Collins led the Lady Owls with 18 points, followed by career-highs from both Airyn Enoch with 16 points and Julia Dickerson with 15. Merissa Spivey also hit double-figures with 14 points.
“We have a bunch of kids that can score,” Ferrell said. “Any given night, four or five can put up double digits. I’m proud of them for sharing the ball; we have a really unselfish team who wants to win more than anything individual.”
Kamara Young led Gordonsville with 13 points along with 11 by Kali Underwood.
Enoch opened the game with back-to-back three pointers along with a trey by Collins as Smith County led 12-5 with 1:55 left in the opening frame.
Enoch hit her third three-pointer of the first quarter with 1:27 remaining as Smith County led 15-6 after one period.
Gordonsville reeled off a quick 7-2 run to open the second quarter, cutting their deficit to 17-13 with 5 minutes left until halftime.
The Lady Owls responded as 5 consecutive points by Enoch pushed Smith County’s lead back to 9 points (22-13) with 4 minutes left in the second quarter. The 9-point lead stood until the break as Smith County led 26-17 at halftime.
Smith County opened the second half strong as a Spivey steal and layup gave the Lady Owls a 31-17 advantage with 6:32 left in the third.
The basket was part of a 19-5 run to open the third quarter as Smith County took a 45-22 lead over Gordonsville on back-to-back three-pointers from Collins with 2:56 left in the period.
The Lady Owls led 45-24 entering the fourth quarter as they held on to win by a 65-43 final score.
Smith County improves to 8-6 overall while Gordonsville falls to 2-7.
“We’ve put ourselves in a position when we get in those big district or region games, we’re not going to be wide-eyed,” Ferrell said.
Up next for Gordonsville is the DTC Christmas Classic Dec. 20-22 in Smithville while the Lady Owls are set to compete in Slidell, LA, after Christmas.
Smith County (65): Chloe Collins 18, Airyn Enoch 16, Julia Dickerson 15, Merissa Spivey 14, Anna Dallas 2
Gordonsville (43): Kamara Young 13, Kali Underwood 11, Makenzie Herron 8, Kaka Roberts 8, Madison Askew 3
The Smith County Owls got back in the win column Friday as they completed the season sweep of their rival Gordonsville, 55-49.
“It’s a rivalry game and records don’t mean a lot,” said Smith County head coach Trey Sanders. “They (Gordonsville) are a good ball team and we’ve struggled a little bit. I thought tonight defensively, we did a really good job. To hold them to 49 points is a goal for us. We have to defend well.”
Peyton Hix led a balanced scoring night for the Owls with 13 points, followed by Gage Gibbs with 9 and Clayton Rigsby and Morgan Sinclair each scoring 8.
Sophomore guard J Foster led Gordonsville with 17 points along with 8 by Brodie Sykes.
Smith County came out swinging Saturday as they jumped out to a 7-0 lead 1:20 into the first quarter.
Gordonsville settled in and chipped away at the Owls’ lead as a Foster layup with 2:18 left in the opening frame tied the game at 11.
“They got some good looks and good shots against us,” said coach Sanders. “We gave up some transition stuff.”
Foster gave his team the lead at the end of the first quarter as a buzzer-beating three-pointer gave the Tigers a 17-14 advantage.
Gordonsville pushed their lead to double digits as a transition basket by Tristian Wood with 4:41 left in the second period gave the Tigers a 26-16 advantage.
Smith County chipped away at Gordonsville’s lead as back-to-back Sinclair baskets cut the Owls’ deficit to 28-26 with 1:10 remaining in the second period.
“Morgan sparked us in the second quarter,” Sanders said. “He came off the bench and made a three, got a steal and got an easy basket in transition.”
Gordonsville took a 28-26 advantage into the locker room at halftime and held a one-possession lead through most of the third quarter.
Smith County caught the Tigers late in the third period as a Hix free throw with 18 seconds left in the frame tied the contest at 38 points each.
The Owls took their first lead since the first quarter with 1.1 seconds left in the third period as Hix connected on two free throws to give Smith County a 40-38 advantage entering the fourth quarter.
A Taylor Kemp steal and transition basket gave the Owls a 42-38 lead with 6:47 remaining in the contest. Smith County pushed their fourth-quarter advantage to 9 points with 1:50 remaining as a Gibbs three-pointer put his team ahead 53-44.
Gordonsville answered with a three-pointer on the ensuing possession, but got no closer than two possessions down the stretch as Smith County closed out to win by a 55-49 final score. The Owls never surrendered their fourth-quarter lead in the victory.
“We had a few turnovers, but we’ve got three freshmen out there a lot,” said Sanders on the fourth quarter. “But for them to be able to play in this type of environment was a good learning curve for us.”
Smith County improves to 3-10 overall while Gordonsville falls to 6-2 with both losses coming to the Owls.
Up next, Smith County is scheduled to compete in the Gordonsville Christmas Classic Dec. 20-22 while Gordonsville is set to play in the DTC Christmas Classic in Smithville the same dates.
Smith County (55): Peyton Hix 13, Gage Gibbs 9, Clayton. Rigsby 8, Morgan Sinclair 8, Tyler Jones 7, Taylor Kemp 6, Rick Hembree 4
Gordonsville (49): J Foster 17, Tristian Wood 9, Brodie Sykes 8, Eli Adams 6, James Peoples 5, Clinton Pope 4