The close matchup I blogged about a couple of hours ago never came to pass.
Hill City took command early and never let go. The Ringnecks never trailed and won 54-36, breaking a five-game losing streak vs. Smith Center. It was 8-1 before the game was four minutes old, forcing Smith Center to call an early timeout. The Lady Red were down by as many as 11 in the first quarter.
Smith Center trailed Stockton by as many as 17 last Friday, 15 at the start of the fourth quarter, and won in double overtime, so there was still plenty of time left. Sure enough, when Sara Mann converted a 3-point play with 4:37 left in the second quarter, the Ringnecks’ lead was down to 19-15.
Amanda Conway, who was Hill City’s high scorer with 15 points, canned a 3-pointer to stop the Lady Red’s momentum dead in its tracks. The Ringnecks went up 10 on a Conway 3-point play, and built the margin to 32-19 by halftime.
There was still a half to go, but Hill City had this one in the bag barring a collapse.
It didn’t happen. The Ringnecks led by as many as 19 in the third quarter and never by fewer than 14 the rest of the way.
Drew Mann was Smith Center’s high scorer with 19 points. Three other Hill City players joined Conway in double figures: Lexie McDowell with 12, Conner Keith with 11 and Adrianna Nickelson with 10.
Hill CIty is 10-4 on the year and Smith Center falls to 10-5. The Lady Red are at home twice next week, vs. Logan Tuesday and Ellis Friday.
Now the boys are warming up. Coach Riley is his dapper self in his navy blue sports coat and red tie.