CATEGORY: Basketball



By Todd Vinyard

Daily Journal

It may sound like a cliche right out of "Coaching 101", but Smithville coach Jason McKay says the words fit his 21-9 Lady Seminoles perfectly.

"We really have some great kids to work with," McKay said. "Everyone always says that, but is really true of this bunch. They have sacrificed and worked hard all year long."

It is paying off evidently considering the Lady Seminoles downed Noxapater 58-34 in the first round of North 1A action Monday. Smithville took command with a 30-8 lead at the half and never looked back.

"We are playing our best basketball of the year at the right time," McKay said.

A big reason is the inside play of 6-foot-2 sophomore Monica Blaylock and 5-9 senior Rachel Sargent, who are Smithville's leading scorers with around 15 points per game each.

Blaylock led the way against Noxapater with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Sargent added 20 points.

"They really play well together, and give us a good balanced attack inside," McKay said.

Smithville isn't lacking in the perimeter area. Ninth-grader Amanda Murray, junior Nicole Harper, and junior Tracy Carpenter continue to improve.

Murray came up big in Smithville's 3-1A title game win over East Webster. She scored a game-high 13 points including a 3-pointer with 1:29 left to put Smithville up for good 29-26.

Off the bench McKay looks to senior Talisha Wallace, and sophomore Laura Saylors for quality minutes.

All those players help Smithville play a tough brand of man-to-man defense which shows up in scores like the 31-26 win over East Webster.

"Our players take a lot of pride in playing solid defense," McKay said.

Smithville now turns its defense and other weapons towards Hickory Flat Friday at West Union.

"Anytime you play a coach (Guyton) Wilkerson team you know it will be a tough ball game," McKay said. "It should be a really challenge for us."

The Lady Seminoles have meet most challenges this year quite well, and the boys team, which McKay also coaches, advanced the boys North 1A action as well.

"Both teams give great effort every time out," McKay said. "We are just tickled to death."

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