By Carey Phillips
Robbinsville jumped to an early lead and held on for a 55-47 non-conference women’s basketball victory over Smoky Mountain on Dec. 19 at Robbinsville.
Yeika Jimenez scored 15 points for the Lady Knights, and Desta Trammell had 11.
Natalie Parris led the Lady Mustangs (5-2) with 23 points.
“I hate we lost, but I feel better about this loss than I do about the last two wins,” Coach Ollin Dunford said. “They battled. We ran into foul problems, and the girls kept on playing. I was extremely proud of the effort in the second half. We have to continue to address the fact that rebounding is our Achilles heel. It’s hard to win when you are giving teams second and third chances and then fouling.”
With Jimenez scoring five and Kennedy Cable having four, Robbinsville took a 9-0 lead in the first four minutes.
A three-pointer by Parris cut the gap to 11-7 at the 1:29 mark, and it was 13-9 at the quarter break.
Jimenez scored seven in an 11-1 run upping the lead to 24-10 with 4:21 on the clock.
The margin was 26-16 at halftime.
Kensley Phillips’ three--pointer extended the lead to 32-18 with 6:42 to play in the third period.
Parris had seven points in a 12-3 spurt narrowing the deficit to 38-35 with 22 seconds left in the quarter.
The Lady Knights led 40-35 entering the fourth period.
SM came as close as 43-41 on Melanie Hoyle’s basket at the 5:17 mark.
Robbinsville scored eight straight points, including four by Trammell, to regain control at 51-41 with 3:22 on the clock.
With Parris scoring four, the Lady Mustangs came within 51-47 with 50.9 seconds to go but failed to score again.
Parris made seven field goals, including a three--pointer, and eight foul shots.
Hoyle added eight points, Aubrie Miller followed with six, Lucy McRae scored four, and Kevonna Tushka, Macy Wike and Hannah Huddleston all had two.
The Lady Mustang JVs are 5-1 after a 49-18 win. Alisha Hall scored 11 points. Aiden Nicholson had eight steals, six rebounds and four assists.
SM led at quarter breaks by scores of 14-1, 25-4 and 34-7.
“I thought we played a great game,” Coach Jason Melvin said. “We are shooting the ball well, crashing the boards on every shot and playing great team defense right now. We are continuing to improve on the little things of the game and becoming more consistent in those areas, and our basketball IQ is rising every time we step on the floor. This has been a great start to our season, and I know we’re all excited to get into conference play and really see how we stack up.”