The Smith-Cotton girls basketball team fell 51-39 to O’Hara on Friday as the Celtics pulled away with an 11-2 run in the third.
A Darby Christian 3-point play with 6:01 left in the third cut O’Hara’s lead to 27-24, but Celtics answered with a run before Kiara Williams knocked down a 3-pointer.
“They started to attack the basket,” said Smith-Cotton coach Zach Vandevender. “Our defense broke down some. They have two really good players. (Gabbii) Cook, we wanted to make sure we knew where she was at all times on the floor.”
With O’Hara’s up-tempo style, Smith-Cotton stayed in a 3-2 zone to try to slow things down. O’Hara was able to push things in the third quarter, scoring 17 points.
With the win, the Celtics remain unbeaten at 10-0. Smith-Cotton held O’Hara to its second-lowest point total of the season.
“I was pleased with the way we competed,” Vandevender said. “We have a lot of people injured, we have two starters who are out, and the other girls have stepped in and done a great job.”
Christian scored 14 points to lead the Lady Tigers.
“We knew they played behind the post and we really focused on playing inside to her,” Vandevender said. “She plays physical. She plays hard. She just competed and I was pleased with her effort.”
Williams added 13 points.
Smith-Cotton (2-12, 1-3 WCC) is off until the start of the McDonald’s Classic. S-C opens that tournament against Nixa on Jan. 21.
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