By Chad Dixon
The Smiths Station Lady Panthers (5-17, 0-2) continue to attempt to reach their stride of their re-match with Central on Jan. 19 at home. Smiths Station lost their first two area games. Central defeated them 84-38 on Jan. 5 and the Lady Panthers lost to Auburn at home 65-17 four days later. Smiths Station lost 63-23 to the Golden Eagles of Booker T. Washington on Jan. 12 in Tuskegee, Ala.
Mya Brooks’ offensive rebound and two-point field goal gave the Lady Panthers their first lead with 3:39 remaining in the first quarter. Brooks scored six overall points in the first quarter, but the Lady Golden Eagles closed the opening quarter with a 25-13 lead. Smiths Station out-rebounded Booker T. Washington 6-5 in the quarter.
The Lady Golden Eagles began to separate themselves with ten steals in the second quarter and out-scored Smiths Station 16-6; they closed the half with a 41-19 lead. Nicole James scored 12 first-half points for the Lady Golden Eagles with a pair of second-quarter three-pointers. Brooks added a three for Smiths Station and finished with nine points and ten rebounds.
Booker T. Washington dominated the second quarter in scoring (18-1). Mikayla Williams’ free throw with 44.2 seconds remaining in the third quarter pushed the Lady Panthers’ score to 20. James led all scorers with 20 points. Brooks led Smiths Station with nine and Marissa Strickland added seven points.
Smiths Station’s next two games will be key for the area tournament. They will try to give Central their first area loss at home on Jan. 19. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. ET. They will re-match with Auburn on Jan. 23. The area tournament is scheduled to begin for Feb. 5.