YELLOW SPRINGS — Yellow Springs, led by freshman sensation Elizabeth Smith, is looking to get back on track in the Metro Buckeye Conference.
Bolstered by Smith’s 16-point performance, the Lady Bulldogs (5-5, 3-2 MBC) cruised past Dayton Christian (1-9, 0-6 MBC), 37-25, at home Thursday night.
The win may just be what the doctor ordered for the Bulldogs, who had dropped five of their last six entering the contest.
Yellow Springs jumped out to an early lead, taking advantage of 11 Warrior turnovers in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs committed six turnovers in the same period, but went unscathed, as Dayton Christian managed just one field goal in the quarter.
When the horn blew to end the first period, Yellow Springs had a 17-2 lead, and never came close to surrendering it.
Smith scored 14 of her final total in the first half, and closed out the second quarter with a deep 3-pointer that banked off the backboard.
Smith had no faith in the shot, but was glad to see it go down.
“I was thinking, if my dad had been here, he’d be like, ‘Finally, you’re using the backboard,’” Smith said after the game.
Entering the contest, Smith was leading the MBC with 15.3 points scored per game.
She said she didn’t anticipate to have this level of success early on in her varsity career, but credits her early accomplishments to playing year-round.
“I’ve been playing since the second grade, and I also play AAU in the spring…and we’ll play against people a year older, and we’ve played against people who are 6-foot-8,” she said.
The Bulldogs also got strong play from senior Kennedy Harshaw, who proved problematic for the Warriors in the paint as she scored eight of her 10 points in the first quarter.
According to Yellow Springs coach Jack Hatert, Harshaw’s experience has been invaluable.
“She’s got a lot of experience and we’ve lost her in some games, as far as not getting the ball to her, but when we get the ball to her, she’s definitely solid and dependable.”
Dayton Christian was led by Marin Reese, who scored seven points. She had all three of the Warriors second-quarter points off free throws, as the team failed to convert any field goals in the period.
With the win, Yellow Springs climbed back over the .500 mark in league play, and left Hatert confident the team could finish it’s regular-season schedule out strong.
“…We’d like to win eight or 10 of our last games,” he said. “We have 10 left, and I think walking out of this season with 13 wins is very reasonable. That’s what we’re aiming for.”