A second quarter surge lifted Smithton to a 59-36 win over Slater at the W-K Shootout on Saturday at the Fred E. Davis Multipurpose Center.
Smithton broke an 8-8 tie with a pair of free throws late in the first, then scored the first 16 points of the second quarter to take a 26-8 lead.
“We were just getting up and down like we like to do,” said Brandon Amos. “We like to run, so we started running.”
Anthony Richardson opened the second quarter with a jumper, Amos followed with a layup and Drew Apsher came up with a steal and a layup to make it 16-8 just a minute and a half into the second. Amos followed with another layup and another basket off of a Garrett Dowdy steal, then converted an alley-oop from Apsher.
“We talked about it at the end of the first quarter and at halftime that we didn’t do a really good job of passing the ball at times,” said Smithton coach Rich Pond. “… We haven’t played a 1-3-1 all year. It’s harder to pass over them so we struggled with that. Once we got it figured out, we were all right.”
In the first quarter, Smithton fell behind 6-0 early. Cole England opened the game with a 3-pointer for the Wildcats and Latrell Johnson added a basket inside. Smithton turned things around after four turnovers in its first four possessions. Amos got the Tigers on the board with a layup and Apsher added a pair of baskets to tie the game. After a steal by Evan Breheim, Amos put the Tigers in front for the first time with 1:48 left in the quarter on a basket in the paint to make it 8-6.
“We came out a little sluggish, still had the aftermath of our last game,” Amos said. “We got it going in the second quarter and just kept it up.”
Smithton took a 30-13 lead into halftime and after a couple Slater baskets early in the third, pushed the lead back to 19 points with a 3-pointer from Apsher and a basket in the paint by Amos.
Amos finished with 16 points.
“He had a slow start, but one he got going, it was alright,” Pond said.
Apsher finished with 33.
Smithton (6-2) will open the new year at the Otterville Holiday Classic.
Eric Ingles can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @Eric_Ingles