By Carey Phillips
Erwin jumped to a big early lead en route to a 63-47 non-conference women’s basketball victory over Smoky Mountain on Jan. 5 at Erwin.
Cecilee Silver and Madelinn Romsdahl both scored 17 points for the Lady Warriors.
Macy Wike had 15 points for the Lady Mustangs, and Kennedy Stewman scored 13.
Coach Ollin Dunford noted that while Erwin won the first meeting between the teams it was close, and he was expecting another tight game.
“We didn’t have any idea they were going to take it to us like they did,” he said. “We weren’t ready for that. We didn’t have a good practice the day before, and I think it carried over.”
With Alivia O’Connor scoring six, Erwin jumped to an 18-2 lead with 45 seconds left in the first quarter, which ended 18-4.
The Lady Warriors reeled off 11 straight points, all but two by Silver, for a 33-9 margin with 2:56 to go in the half.
The halftime score was 33-12.
Erwin started the second half with a 13-1 spurt, including six by Romsdahl, for a 46-13 lead with 4:29 left in the third quarter.
SM ended the period on an 11-1 run, including four by Wike, leaving the deficit 47-24.
Wike had seven in a 14-3 spurt, cutting the gap to 55-42 on Stewman’s three-pointer with 3:43 left in the game.
Dunford was glad that his team began to play better late in the game.
“It helped us kind of gain a little confidence about who we are,” he said. “The bottom line is we never got off the bus. It was evident that we weren’t ready to play.”
Wike made four field goals, including a three--pointer, and was six of six at the line. Stewman hit five field goals, including a trey, and two foul shots.
Triniti Littlejohn finished with eight points, Greenlee Flynn scored six, Aiden Nicholson had four and Ali Fortner made a foul shot.
The Lady Mustang JVs held on to win 30-28. They led at quarter breaks by scores of 8-6, 15-11 and 20-15.
Chesney Coggins scored eight points.
“We were full of nerves when we walked into the gym, but I thought we played a very good game,” Coach Jason Melvin said. “We did some great things on both sides of the ball. We did a much better job of transition defense and moving the ball well on offense. Towards the end of the game, we played some great defense that helped pull out the win. I was excited to see the team play as hard as they did for four quarters. We’re getting better everyday, and we are starting to do the little things we need to do.”