By Carey Phillips
Smoky Mountain never trailed Saturday and cruised to a 65-53 non-conference women’s basketball victory Roberson at the SM gym.
Aubrie Miller scored 18 points for the Lady Mustangs (3-1), and Macy Wike had 16.
Zoe Barilla netted 18 points for the Lady Rams.
“The girls came out with the right spirit after having a tough game the night before,” Coach Ollin Dunford said. “We had that game well in hand from the start. The girls were excited and excited for each other. We shot lights out.”
“We team bonded a lot before the game, and I think that really helped us pull together and make better decisions as a whole,” Miller said. “We have been practicing shooting a lot and going over drills. We worked really hard the practice before Friday so I think that helped us to keep pushing through Saturday.”
Miller hit four three--pointers in the game.
“I felt like it was finally clicking for me,” she said. “I was finally making them.”
“Aubrie was tremendous,” Dunford said. “She started the ball rolling for us then Macy came along and was just as good.”
Miller scored the game’s first five points in the opening minute.
The game’s only tie was 5-5 with 5:53 to play in the first quarter on a three-pointer by Barilla.
Kevonna Tushka hit consecutive baskets putting SM ahead to stay, and Natalie Parris’ fast break layup capped a 9-0 run for a 14-5 lead at the midpoint of the quarter.
The margin was 18-12 entering the second period.
The Lady Mustangs opened the second quarter with 12 straight points, including a three-point play by Parris, for a 30-12 lead with 4:57 to go in the half.
They were up 36-23 at intermission.
Miller hit a pair of three-pointers and scored eight in a 17-1 spurt for the game’s largest lead, 53-28, on Wike’s three-pointer at the 2:19 mark.
SM led 53-34 entering the fourth period.
A pair of three-pointers by Lauren Snedecor helped cut the gap to 60-49 with 4:19 on the clock, but that was as close as Roberson would come.
Julianna Welch was the Lady Mustangs’ top rebounder with 10. Parris had seven assists and seven steals.
Miller hit six field goals, including four three-pointers, and two of two foul shots. Half of Wike’s six field goals were treys, and she made a free throw.
Tushka added nine points, Parris followed with eight, Lucy McRae scored five, Welch netted four, Melanie Hoyle and Hannah Huddleston both had two, and Addison Buchanan made a foul shot.
The Lady Mustang JVs are 2-1 after a 48-24 win. Alisha Hall had 11 points.
SM led at quarter breaks by scores of 14-4, 29-11 and 42-16.
“This was our most complete game in regards to playing at a high level from start to finish,” Coach Jason Melvin said. “Everyone contributed in various ways, and we looked like a completely different team from our first game against Erwin just four days earlier. We nearly doubled Roberson in rebounds (51-29), and we had more assists (16) than turnovers (11) which is probably a first for me as a JV coach. I’m very proud of the way they handled their first week of games. The ceiling is high for this team.”