The Lady Hilltoppers’ junior dominated, finishing with 27 points, 13 rebounds and three steals as Science Hill crushed Boone 68-55 in the semifinals of the Region 1-AAA girls basketball tournament Monday night at Snyder Gym.
“She’s a heck of a player,” said Science Hill head coach Scottie Whaley. “Everybody knows that. She comes to play every night. For three years, she has played hard every game. She just sets the tone for us.”
Improving to 29-3, Science Hill earned yet another rematch with rival Dobyns-Bennett in Wednesday’s championship at 7 p.m. The Lady Indians (27-6) earned their spot with a 46-31 pounding of Sevier County.
Both Science Hill and D-B earned berths in Saturday’s sectional round, where a berth in the state tournament will be at stake.
It was a season-ending loss for Boone (22-11).
There were moments when Boone would string together a few unanswered buckets and appear to have a fighting chance. Then Smith would step up and take away hope.
“I felt a little sluggish in the beginning, but I felt the only way we could win, I just needed to help my team by scoring and taking it to the rim,” said Smith.
She certainly took it to the rim, making several high-degree-of-difficulty buckets on slashing drives.
When Smith wasn’t tormenting Boone, the rest of her teammates were posing problems for the Lady Trailblazers.
Jeila Greenlee had 13 points and three assists, Samantha Fugate had seven points and eight rebounds, and Yana Hill totaled six points, four assists and three steals. Erin Egerbrecht chipped in with eight points.
Whaley said his team was motivated by talk that Boone would upset the Hilltoppers.
“There had been a little bit of chatter that we were going to get upset tonight,” said Whaley. “Our kids took it personally. They accepted that challenge and did a great job.”
Jaycie Jenkins and Bayleigh Carmichel were warriors in a losing a cause.
Jenkins finished with 21 points, seven rebounds, four steals and three assists. Carmichel added 16 points and eight rebounds.
Sevier County 31
Courtney Whitson totaled 20 points to lead the Lady Indians to their second sectional berth in four years.
Ta-Tionna White added 10 points.
Science Hill 68, Boone 55
DANIEL BOONE (22-11)
Runnels 9, Miller 2, Stevens 4, Gibson 3, Jenkins 21, Carmichel 16.
SCIENCE HILL (29-3)
Fugate 7, Greenlee 13, Hill 6, Smith 27, Egerbrecht 8, Cullop 2, Marion 5.
Daniel Boone 8 11 10 26 — 55
Science Hill 15 13 14 26 — 68
3-point goals — Boone 3 (Runnels 2, Jenkins), SH 3 (Egerbrecht 2, Hill).
D-B 46, Sevier Co. 31
Ayers 2, Francis 3, Whitson 20, Wallace 2, White 10, Lane 1, Domby 4, Johnson 4.
SEVIER COUNTY (17-14)
Smith 2, Clabo 6, Huskey 9, Myers 3, Muse 7, Fox 4.
Dobyns-Bennett 13 6 15 12 — 46
Sevier County 9 4 8 10 — 31
3-point goals — D-B 5 (Whitson 4. Francis), Sevier County 2 (Muse, Myers).