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The Hunt High girls varsity basketball team got a combined 58 points from a reliable source — juniors Bria Griffth and Imani Sutton and senior Tatiana Smith — to crush visiting 3-A Big East Conference foe Southern Nash, 66-33, Tuesday night.
Griffith, the Lady Warriors’ leading scorer at 17.8 points per game, made her mark early on defensively as her length and quickness in Hunt’s full-court press forced the Ladybirds (4-10, 0-3) into four early turnovers which helped the Lady Warriors (10-3, 2-1 Big East) jump in front 11-4. Griffith scored 12 of her team’s 16 first-quarter points and finished with 22 points on 9-of-11 shooting to go with four rebounds, four steals and two assists.
“She’s real lean and long, so it’s an asset in basketball to have her in that press, and she’s so quick off the ball, so we like to get her in the right spot so she can get those baskets,” Hunt head coach Tiffany Parks said.
In the second quarter it was senior Smith stepping up to score as she went 3 of 3 from the field and 2 of 2 at the free-throw line for 10 points. Smith, second in scoring at Hunt with 12.2 points per game, finished with 17 points, a team-high four assists, two rebounds and a steal.
Ladybirds head coach Jordan Bass believed getting down early hurt his team’s confidence. Bass said Hunt capitalized on its offensive mistakes by turning them into points.
“We struggled to score, but we can least get on defense and not let them get layups after layups,” Bass said. “I told them we needed to get out to a good start. That’s one thing we got to work is when we get down , especially so early, you can’t get down on yourself — you got to keep fighting.”
The Ladybirds found a bit of success late in the second quarter as senior point guard Shontell Nicholson started to get into the paint. Stretching over the second and third quarters, Nicholson scored on or assisted in 15 straight points. She finished with 11 points and four assists.
Southern Nash’s 6-0 run narrowed the deficit to 38-24, but Sutton knocked down 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions to push the game out of reach. Sutton, No. 3 in scoring for the Lady Warriors with a 10.5 average, finished with 19 points, five rebounds, two steals and two assists.
Hunt will host conference opponent Franklinton Friday night while the Ladybirds step out of conference play Wednesday to host Cleveland before returning to Big East action Friday at Rocky Mount.
SOUTHERN NASH (33)
Nicholson 11, Williams 4, Bailey 7,Mcclaston 4, Tabron 3, Gaure 2, Foster 2
Griffith 22, Sutton 19, Smith 17, Norris 2, Carlton 2, Thorpe 2, Rushing 1, Spells 1
Score by quarters:
Southern Nash 7 9 10 7 — 33
Hunt 16 18 21 11 — 66