By Gene Phelps
Special to the Gazette
MYRTLE – Sophomore guard Kinsley Gordon scored 30 points – 21 in the second half – in Myrtle’s 56-44 victory Thursday against Smithville.
Her coach, Chris Greer, says she’s just getting cranked up.
“She scored 30 and I really don’t call that a great game,” he said. “She missed a lot of shots. If she ever gets it together, I don’t think there’s a player better than her.”
Gordon connected on two 3-pointers and was 11 of 15 from the free throw line in the second half.
“We started hitting shots in the second half and really started breaking through,” Gordon said.
Smithville (1-1) led 24-19 at halftime only to see Myrtle rally in the third quarter behind Gordon, who scored 11 points. The Lady Hawks outscored the visitors 22-10 in the period to take a 41-34 lead.
“In the first half, we couldn’t play dead in a John Wayne movie,” Greer said. “As bad as we played, I told them at halftime, ‘We’re only down by five.’
“We made adjustments in the second half. I thought Lexi Hutcheson, Breanna Smith and Kinsley Gordon played well. Smithville makes you play sloppy. They play 1-2-2 drop zone.”
Hutcheson connected on two 3-pointers and finished with 12 points for Myrtle (1-1). Smith also hit two 3-pointers and scored eight.
For Smithville, Orlandria Smith scored 13 points, but was held to two points in the second half before fouling out.
Smithville defeated Myrtle 54-51 in the season opener for both programs.
(B) Smithville 69, Myrtle 39
Smithville had its football players, Myrtle didn’t.
The Seminoles also had junior guard Khieri Standifer, who scored a team-high 19 points, had nine assists and eight steals.
Also for Smithville (1-0), junior forward Blake Williams, a linebacker in football, scored 13 points and had 10 rebounds. He scored nine of his points in the third quarter as the Seminoles pulled away to a 49-27 lead.
Myrtle (0-1), missing its leading scorer in football running back A.I. Nugent, was led by Jaden Taylor with 16 points. He connected on four 3-pointers. Elijah Ingram added 10 points.
“We both expected to be without our football guys,” Myrtle coach Rob Browning said. “Low and behold, Smithville’s in a tough (football) division and didn’t make the playoffs.
“… This gave some other guys an opportunity to play. I thought we played hard, but when you’re without A.I. and (quarterback) Elijah Thompson, who we rely on to score, it’s tough.”