The Smith-Cotton girls basketball team struggled on offense in the third quarter as they fell to Warrensburg 45-33 on Friday.
Smith-Cotton opened the third quarter with a pair of Abby Perkins free throws before shooting 0 for 8 from the field in the quarter and turning the ball over five times as Warrensburg went on a 12-0 run to take a 36-21 lead into the final quarter.
”I think in the third quarter our defense let down,” said Smith-Cotton coach Zach Vandevender. “We got away from our game plan of setting the tempo. We got a lot of quick shots and I think our defense let up some.”
Jessica Tiller led Warrensburg with 15 points, scoring many of them in the paint.
”She did a good job,” Vandevender said. “They got the ball in to her and we had trouble defending. We tried to double her some but she played well.”
Abby Knight led Smith-Cotton with 13 points.
”Abby did a good job offensively,” Vandevender said. “She looked to attack some and that’s what we need out of her.”
The host Lady Tigers fell behind early but rallied back late in the first quarter. Kirby Lewellyn hit a basket on a drive and Knight added a pair of baskets to cut the Warrensburg lead to 9-8. Brianna Pollitt added a basket on a drive to put Smith-Cotton in the lead with 1:10 to play in the quarter and Cheyanne Tumlinson ended the quarter with a 3-pointer to put Smith-Cotton up 13-9.
“We came out with a game plan and executed our sets and tried to slow the tempo down,” Vandevender said.
One play that was working for S-C was a play to the high post where one of the front-court players would give the ball to a guard driving to the basket.
“It isolates and allows for a one-on-one situation,” Vandevender said. “It gets the defense to bite. We have a lot of players that can run that play.”
Warrensburg came back in the second quarter thanks to three straight baskets by Tiller to tie the game 15-15. The teams traded the lead back and forth before Warrensburg took a 22-19 lead into halftime.
In the fourth quarter, Smith-Cotton got a layup from Knight, a 3-pointer from Lewellyn and a 3-point play from Knight but the visitors scored their last seven points from the free throw line.