by Will Gilbert
West Side versatile post player Bryanna Smith outscored Shirley by herself, torching the Lady Blue Devils with a game-high 37 points as the Lady Eagles cruised to a 69-38 conference win Friday at Brady-Hipp Arena in Greers Ferry.
Down 3-0 early, Shirley hung around for the first five minutes as forward Algelica Aryan sank a pair of jumpers and guard Mariana Larson canned a three launched from top of the circle.
Tied at 7-7, it was all Lady Eagles from there on out as West Side closed the first quarter with an 8-0 run and opened the second quarter with 18 consecutive points to take a 33-7 lead midway through the second period.
West Side’s run began with a pair of free throws from Smith, who was fouled after snaring an offensive rebound. Guard Kaitlin Towell added a rebound basket, forward Faith Birmingham picked a steal and passed to point guard Alli Broadway for two and Smith scored inside off an assist from guard Ciara Roberson as the Lady Eagles took a 15-7 lead to the second quarter.
The Lady Eagles outscored Shirley 30-10 in the second quarter, starting when Robersson came away with a steal and dished to Birmingham for a layup. Smith quickly added two more baskets, Roberson hit a jumper in the lane and Birmingham scored from left block off an assist from Broadway.
Roberson scored in transition then Smith stole the inbound pass and added two more. Moments later Roberson passed ahead to Smith for a fast-break layup to polish off West Side’s 26-0 run.
Smith stepped out and ripped a three late in the first half to extend the Lady Eagles’ lead to 45-17 at intermission and Smith picked up where she left off in the second half, nailing two more three-point shots.
With West Side leading 66-23, the clock ran non-stop in the fourth quarter as the Lady Eagles cruised to 14-11 overall and 8-2 in conference play.
Smith pumped in her game-high 37 points in the first three quarters. Roberson and Birmingham each added eight points and forward Katlynn Finch had five, while Broadway and Towell both tossed in four. West Side reserve guard Patricia Heffington sank a three-pointer to set the final score.
Larson scored 14 points to pace Shirley and guard Meghan Holifield scored nine of her 11 points in the fourth quarter. Guard Katlin Gibbons finished with seven points and Aryan had six for the Lady Blue Devils.