By Carey Phillips
Smoky Mountain held East Henderson to six points in the second half as the Lady Mustangs claimed a 53-21 Mountain Six Conference basketball win Feb. 1 at the SM gym.
Macy Wike scored 17 points in the victory, and Natalie Parris had 10.
Sontee Moore led the Lady Eagles with eight points.
“I was extremely proud of the girls,” Coach Ollin Dunford said “That was a team that we should handle very easily. I was impressed with the way they handled business. They all stepped up in every aspect of the game.”
Dunford was especially pleased with the defensive performance.
“I’m very defensive minded,” he said. “We strive to let the defense dictate our offense. That was the best defense we’ve played all season. I was most impressed with how we trapped a lot. We contested most every shot and had numerous steals. Our defense was clicking, and we rebounded well.”
The Lady Mustangs led from the opening basket. They scored the first quarter’s final nine points, including seven by Wike, for a 14-2 advantage.
East cut the gap to 14-10 on Kaitlyn McCraw’s three-point play at the 4:01 mark.
Parris had the final five points of the half for a 22-15 lead.
SM reeled off 11 straight points, including five by Wike and four by Parris, for a 35-17 margin with 50 seconds remaining in the third period, which ended with the score 35-19.
Allison Macke hit a pair of three-pointers in a 10-0 spurt for a 45-19 lead with 3:10 on the clock.
The Lady Mustangs ended the game with eight straight points, including five by Addison Buchanan.
Wike made seven field goals, including a trio of three-pointers. Parris hit four field goals and two free throws.
Macke added six points, Buchanan finished with five, Kennedy Stewman and Julianna Welch both netted four, Xaila Spencer had three, and Hannah Huddleston and Greenlee Flynn scored two apiece.
Flynn was the top rebounder with nine, and Stewman came up with five steals.
The Lady Mustang JVs won for the first time this season, 31-20. They led 4-0 after the first quarter but trailed 14-11 at halftime. SM was up 18-16 entering the fourth period.
Becca Corona-Smith and Vivian Bell both scored eight points.
“It felt great to get our first win of the season,” Coach Jason Melvin said. “We were missing Alisha (Hall), but everyone stepped up and did what we needed to do. I’m very proud of how hard we played the entire game. I was proud to see Becca really show some leadership and poise on the floor. Even when we got down a few points, we didn’t get rattled, and we responded with hustle and energy. I couldn’t have asked for more from anyone.”