Smith Sparks Lady Bengals’ Rally

Alexis Mims (20) works the ball down court Friday. (Photo/Kristy Kimball Massey)

Alexis Mims (20) works the ball down court Friday. (Photo/Kristy Kimball Massey)

BLYTHEWOOD (Dec. 19, 2016) – The Blythewood girls appeared to be a few points behind their opponents once again, as River Bluff took an 18-14 lead into the half and looked to hold off the Lady Bengals for the rest of the way.

The Lady Gators didn’t count on Nia Smith.

The tall Blythewood forward took over early in the third quarter and led the Lady Bengals on a 10-2 scoring run. Smith’s effort was enough to propel Blythewood to a 43-39 victory Friday night.

“She stepped up tonight,” Blythewood head coach Steve Inabinet said. “Cameron (Bostick) was having a bad night, so I gave Nia a chance and she stepped up and had a great game. Had it not been for Nia, I don’t think we win the game.”

Smith started the third quarter off simply enough by hitting the back end of a two-shot foul. She then got a layup in to cut River Bluff’s lead to 18-17.

After Lady Gators forward Lamarria Carter got an inside shot to fall to make it 20-17, Lakyra Weeks hit a foul shot, and then Smith made a put-back to even the score at 20 at the 4:45 mark of the third.

Weeks made a basket, then a second basket on a Keshunia Jackson assist, then sank a third shot to give Blythewood (2-7) a 26-20 lead at the 2:05 mark.

River Bluff finished the quarter on an 8-2 run to even the score at 28 going into the fourth. The Lady Gators (3-6) eventually took a 37-33 lead with less than three minutes to go, but Blythewood rallied.

“Usually when we’re in a situation like that, we shut down,” Inabinet said. “But we kept playing, and I was pleased with the way they played. They kept their heads up and kept digging.”

After Weeks sank a foul shot and Bostick scored, Jackson made it 39-37 on a 3-point play with 1:49 left. Blythewood stayed a step ahead of River Bluff over that time and closed out its first win of December.

Weeks led the way with 13 points.

Carter led River Bluff with 16 points.

 

Blythewood 43, River Bluff 39

RB: 6-12-10-11 – 39

BHS: 8-6-14-15 – 43

River Bluff

Lamarria Carter 16, Strehlow 6, Weaver 6, Carson 4, Howell 3, Hutchinson 2, Sims 1, Walker 1.

Blythewood

LaKyra Weeks 13, Bostick 8, Smith 7, Kea. Jackson 6, Kes. Jackson 5, Mims 4.