Smith’s 43 points lead Bears over Franklin Co.

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Tyler Smith found the coveted shooting zone Tuesday night inJack Case Gymnasium. West Lincoln’s senior guard scored acareer-high 43 points, directing the Bears to a 65-51 victory overthe visiting Franklin County Bulldogs.

In the varsity girls game, Franklin County posted a 55-46victory, powered by Victoria Hunt’s 19 points.

The Bears (1-2) realized their first win of theseason last night after losing to North Pike and Brookhaven. ForSmith, it was his first-ever varsity win over Franklin County.

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“I was in a zone and the lane was open a lot,” said Smith, sweatstill streaking his red hair. “I had a lot of good looks at thegoal.”

His total included 12 2-point field goals, 4 treys and a 7-for-8performance from the free throw line.

Smith was pleased to surpass his grandfather’s scoring record of42 points. Pete Johnston had accomplished that feat when playingfor Mars Hill High School in Pike County.

“My grandfather said I would never beat his record,” said Smithwith a smile. “Most important for me was to beat Franklin County,something we’ve never done.”

Smith had 18 points in the first quarter and 21 at halftime asthe Bears led 37-30.

“Tyler shot the ball well,” said West Lincoln coach Lane Young.”We also did a better job rebounding and defending the balltonight.”

The Bulldogs (1-2) are still missing four starters due to theirmembership with the Franklin County football team which hasadvanced to the semifinals of the Class 3A South state playoffs.Wesley Brown, a 6-4 center, led the Bulldogs with 19 points,scoring 15 the second half. Guard Ken Allen added 13 points.

“Compared to last Thursday, we are a lot better,” said FranklinCounty coach Chris Jordan. He was referring to his team’sseason-opening loss to Brookhaven.

“Brown was in foul trouble so I knew we would have troublescoring, Jordan pointed out. “I knew we would have a hard timeguarding Tyler, especially after he only scored two points,” inSaturday’s loss at Brookhaven.

The Lady Bulldogs (2-1), coached by CharlesMoore, used their superior quickness and rebounding skills to beatWest Lincoln. Hunt was followed by senior forward Tamara Gant with12 points and freshman post Shareka Hunt with 10.

“We expect to have a good season,” said Moore. His Lady Bulldogsadvanced to the second round of the South state playoffs lastseason. “We’ve got four returning (starters) and a freshman playingright now.”

Leading 40-34 to open the fourth quarter, the Lady Bulldogs gotback-to-back field goals from Shareka Hunt and 2 free throws fromGant to forge a 12-point, 51-39 bulge with 3:49 left to play.

“Franklin County’s girls are one of the toughest teams in SouthMississippi Class 3A,” said Coach Young. “We have to cut down onour turnovers and play smarter basketball.”

The Lady Bears (2-1), fresh from beating Brookhaven Saturdaynight, got a game-high 26 points from senior forward AliciaKennedy. She also had 5 rebounds.

In the JV boys game, West Lincoln beat FranklinCounty 34-24 as Aaron Shaw scored 13 points for the Bears. Sevenpoints by Bryan Bolin led the Bulldogs.