The 5-6 grade basketball season has been a rollercoaster ride filled with ups and downs for many teams this year. It was evident in the first round of the postseason tournament held at Dibrell.
The Lady Bulldogs bottomed out Monday night, while the Centertown Lady Warriors peaked and defeated the Lady Bulldogs, 24-9.
Jaden Smartt for the Lady Warriors led all scorers with a game-high 11 points and outscored the entire Lady Bulldog team by herself.
It was far from the Lady Bulldogs best performance of the season and the postseason tournament was not a good time for the offense to go cold.
In the first quarter, Eastside could not get anything to go its way on either end of the floor. Shelby Smartt has been the Lady Bulldogs go-to player on offense and many teams have already figured that out.
Not the same can be said for Centertown. The Lady Warriors spread the ball around the floor and it made much harder on the Eastside defense to know who to cover. Four separate Lady Warriors picked up points early in the post and outside. Madison Hollis made it happen deep in the post and Alyssa Mosley shot from just outside the paint.
Katy Mae Cantrell and Smartt combined and hit 3-of-4 from the charity stripe and Centertown took an early 7-0 lead after one.
The Centertown offense carried its momentum over into the second quarter and Jaden Smartt picked up a pair of baskets as the Lady Warriors extended their lead. Michaela Hallum also helped the Lady Warrior offense before the half.
The Centertown defense blanketed Shelby Smartt for the second straight quarter and the Lady Warriors defense was determined to force someone else to score for Eastside. The Lady Warriors did not give up anything easy and the Lady Bulldogs got all three of their second-quarter points from the free-throw line.
Maria Barboza and Kourtney Gurreo each connected for 1-of-2 and Shelby Smartt added a third from the free-throw line. Eastside trailed at the half, 15-3.
It did not get any better in the second half for Eastside. The Centertown defense came out hard in the second half as well. The constant pressure on Shelby Smartt was relentless and she was forced to give the ball up to start the third. Sarah Grace Vinson connected on the only made basket in the third for Eastside.
Jaden Smartt for Centertown connected for five of her 11 points in the third and the Centertown lead swelled to 22-5. Hollis dropped both ends of a one-and-one in the third.
At the final buzzer, Centertown had accomplished its goal and move on to the second round. The Lady Warriors defeated the Lady Bulldogs by a final score of 24-9.
LADY WARRIOR SCORING – Jaden Smartt 11, Madison Hollis 6, Alyssa Mosley 4, Michaela Hallum 2, Katy Mae Cantrell 1
LADY BULLDOG SCORING – Kourtney Gurreo 3, Savannah Winfree 2, Sarah Grace Vinson 2, Shelby Smartt 1, Maria Barboza 1