Central-Phenix City improved to 29-1 on the season with a 57-16 victory over Smiths Station on Thursday in the first round of the Class 6A Area 7 tournament.
Central, the tournament’s top seed, was led by B’Kiya Webb’s 21 points and 14 rebounds. Webb made good use of her time on the court since she played just 28 minutes after Central took control early.
Scoring was sparse early, even for Central. Ju’el Beasley scored Central’s first basket after almost a minute of play. It was more than a minute before Yasmine Thomas scored again for the Lady Red Devils.
A Smiths Station timeout seemed to help Central regroup offensively.
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Central scored 10 points over the next 60 seconds to take a 14-0 lead and the rout was on.
Sierra Booker scored Smiths’ first points of the game, and only points of the first quarter, with 4:30 on the clock. Central finished with five points in the last minute and the Lady Red Devils were well on their way to a third victory (66-18 and 61-13) over Smiths Station this season.
As Central coach Carolyn Wright prepares her team for Saturday’s title game against Opelika, a 52-32 winner over Auburn in the first game of the night, she’ll take what she can from Thursday’s victory.
“We tried to work hard on everybody. We tried to play the way the officials were calling and not reach and be disciplined,” she said. “We tried to play hard, box out, go for loose ball. We tried to fix the things you’ve got to fix to win down the stretch.”
Central substituted freely, playing 12 players and 10 of them scored.
“We tried to get everyone to play with the intensity we always play with,” Wright said.
Central never stopped pressing on defense, though they didn’t foul much down the stretch.
As Central prepares for a showdown with Opelika at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Wright knows what to expect.
“We’ve got to work on really, really, really playing against man defense because I saw Opelika play Auburn tonight and they played a full-court man,” she stressed. “We’re going to have to really step our game up. It’s really, really good that we have this day in between to work on some stuff. Opelika is a good team and they have challenged us this year. So we’re going to have to be ready to play and bring our A game.”
Thursday at Central-Phenix City
Smiths Station 2 2 6 6 –16
Central-PC 19 18 11 9 –57
Smiths Station (16)
Sierra Booker 11, Bess 3, Carter 2
Watkins 2, Banks 6, B’Kiya Webb 21, Thomas 7, Glance 4, Lane 4, Shanks 4, Beasley 6, Spencer 2, Howard 1