aiden nicholson

Smoky Mountain’s Aiden Nicholson scored 14 points in last week’s win over West Henderson. 

By Carey Phillips


Smoky Mountain used a balanced scoring attack to defeat West Henderson 68-54 in a Mountain Seven Conference women’s basketball game Dec. 21 at the SM gym.

Triniti Littlejohn scored 15 points for the Lady Mustangs, who improved to 2-1 in the league. She was followed by Aiden Nicholson with 14, Macy Wike with 13 and Greenlee Flynn with 11.

West’s Jaza Wilson led all scorers with 29 points, and Jania Wilson had 12.

“The girls came out with a lot of energy,” Coach Ollin Dunford said. “I wasn’t real sure what West Henderson was going to bring. We ended up focusing on what we do and what we can do well. When the girls got cranked up in the first half, they played fantastic.”

After the Lady Falcons took a 5-0 lead, SM used a 13-2 run, including five by Nicholson, to take charge. Littlejohn’s basket made it 13-7 with 2:57 on the clock, and the margin was 16-10 at the quarter break.

Back-to-back three-pointers by Littlejohn keyed a 12-2 spurt for a 36-19 advantage on Wike’s basket at the 2:10 mark.

The Lady Mustangs scored the last six points of the half to lead 43-21.

Twelve unanswered points, including four each by Littlejohn, Flynn and Vivian Bell, built the lead to 59-31 with 1:14 remaining in the third period, which ended 59-33.

A full court press forced several turnovers and allowed West to come within 66-53 on Araya Padilla’s foul shot with 1:58 remaining.

“They were down and wanted to get back in it,” Dunford said of the Lady Falcons. “Their intensity level was higher than ours for sure. We have to be able to rise to that level.”

Littlejohn hit six field goals, including two three-pointers, and a foul shot. Nicholson made six field goals, including two treys. Wike’s points came on six field goals and a free throw. Flynn made three field goals, including a trey, and was four of four from the line.

Kennedy Stewman scored seven points, and Bell and Ali Fortner both had four.

“Aiden had a well-rounded game,” Dunford said. “I’m extremely proud of her total effort. Triniti played well the whole game. She is getting better, and the chemistry is starting to grow.”

West won the JV game 46-30. After a 9-9 first quarter tie, the Lady Falcons led 19-15 at halftime and 30-20 entering the fourth period.

SM’s Kaitlyn Tahquette had 10 points.

“We came out with some energy and we were doing some good things, but then we got rattled pretty easily,” Coach Jason Melvin said. “As soon as West would make a run, we did not react well. It felt like we lost all intensity and stopped fighting for the ball, took lazy shots and played lazy defense. I really felt like we gave up, and that’s frustrating as a coach because you see the potential that this team has.”