From start to finish, the Smyrna Lady Eagles basketball team was dominated 65-46 by the host Sanford Lady Warriors on Saturday afternoon. The final score of doesn't reflect the hard work and hustle by the Eagles, but it does show that Sanford had a much better day shooting the basketball than did Smyrna.
"Nobody takes us out of our game, but today we took ourselves out of the game right from the beginning," said Smyrna coach Rachel Woodall.
Sanford jumped out to a 15-7 lead on inside shooting and solid rebounding. Initially, the Lady Eagles were limited to one or two shots at the basket before the Warriors grabbed a rebound and raced down the court on hustling, fast-break attempts. 25 and 14 got the Sanford offense rolling in the early going.
Smyrna led only once during the entire game, and that was at 1-0 on a free throw by senior Allison Davis.
Sanford, which had a little size and speed advantage maintained its face pace in the second quarter and increased its advantage to ten points at 33-23 heading into the halftime locker room. The Eagles picked up their offense and nearly kept pace with Sanford by scoring 16 points.
At the start of the second half, Smyrna got possession and had an opportunity for an open three pointer, but the shot just missed. It proved to be a bad omen for the visitors, since instead of trailing by only seven, Sanford zipped down the court, nailed a short jumper, and the result was a 12-point Warrior lead. From that point, Sanford continued to play solid basketball on its home court and in front of the small mostly home crowd.
Smyrna trailed 49-32 after three periods.
In the meantime, Sanford's defense was strong throughout the game, limiting Smyrna to single digits in the first and third quarters. Smyrna also had a tough time with outside shots as well as three pointers. But to their credit, the Lady Eagles hustled from start to finish.
"We are very pleased with our defense right now, and we are playing consistent basketball at both ends of the courts," said Sanford coach Marcus Thompson.
In the fourth quarter Sanford remained consistent at both ends of the court and built up a 20 point lead midway through the period. With less than two minutes remaining, Sanford removed all of their starters to give its second team some valuable varsity minutes. Sanford outscored Smyrna 16-14 in the final period to close out the 65-4 victory. The Eagles Amari Brooks nailed a long three-pointer with about 4 seconds remaining to finish the scoring.
Senior Taylor Price led the Eagles with 21 points. Her teammates Alexis Stroud netted 11 while Davis added five points.
Smyrna will host Cape Henlopen on Tuesday evening beginning at 7:15 p.m.
Page 2 of 2 - Sanford improved to 11-1 on the season. The Warriors were led by Alison Lewis who totaled 21 points, Chrishyanah Alston added 13 points, Shauntel Williams scored eight, and Ayana Thompson added seven in the victory. The team will host Caravel Academy on Tuesday afternoon at 3:45 p.m.