By Carey Phillips
Brevard led from the opening basket and crushed Smoky Mountain 75-40 in Mountain Six Conference women’s basketball action Jan. 29 at Brevard.
Michele Lopez scored 24 points for the Lady Devils. Emma Berry added 12, and Tristen Berry had 10.
Natalie Parris led the Lady Mustangs (10-8, 3-3)with 10 points.
“As hard as we worked to prepare for Brevard, I don’t think the girls took them seriously,” Coach Ollin Dunford said. “They are actually a pretty good team. When the buzzer went off to start the game, we could never get up and it stayed that way the whole game. Brevard never looked back and didn’t let up on us. We are still fighting an excessive amount of turnovers, and they outworked us.”
With Hannah Cabe scoring four, the Lady Devils jumped to a 12-2 lead on Liz Chapman’s layup with 2:42 remaining in the first period.
They led 19-8 at the quarter break on Tristen Berry’s three-pointer with 44 seconds left.
Eight straight points extended the margin to 27-10 on Cabe’s two foul shots with 3:53 on the clock.
SM scored the last four points of the half but still trailed 33-21.
Emma Berry hit a trio of three-pointers to start the second half. She added another trey in an 18-2 run for a 51-23 lead when Isabell Musser scored with 1:59 on the clock.
The lead was 54-27 entering the fourth period.
Lopez and Musser both scored four in a 12-2 spurt for a 69-33 lead at the 3:39 mark.
The biggest margin was 73-35 on Makayla Honeycutt’s follow shot with 56 seconds left.
Parris made four field goals, including a three--pointer, and a foul shot.
Macy Wike added eight points, Aubrie Miller finished with five, Kevonna Tushka and Melanie Hoyle both netted four, Allison Macke scored three, and Ashton Buchanan, Addison Buchanan and Melanie Huddleston all had two.
The Lady Mustang JVs fell behind 8-0 but won 36-33. Brevard was up 8-7 after the first quarter and 21-17 at halftime. SM led 26-25 entering the fourth quarter.
Aiden Nicholson and Xalia Spencer both scored eight points.
“An ugly win is still a win, so we’ll take it,” Coach Jason Melvin said. “I’m not sure if we were off because we didn’t have school or the nearly two-hour bus ride, but we played most of the game without any energy or intensity. The team could’ve easily shut down and given up, but they have a resilience about them that you can’t teach. They are all natural competitors, and even though we are not satisfied with how we played, we are happy with the result. You can learn a lot from a game like that, and I expect us to continue to get better and play tougher next time we step on the court.”