Junior Daisah Purnell scored 16 points to lead the Center High Lady Yellowjackets to a 55-29 win over Smith-Cotton on Friday night in the S-C McDonald’s Girls Classic.
The Lady Tigers kept the game close early on, with senior Cheyenne Tumlinson draining a 3-pointer to cut Center’s lead to one point, 9-8, with 28 seconds left in the first quarter. Purnell answered with a bucket to make it 11-8 heading into the second quarter, and the Lady Yellowjackets started the quarter with six more unanswered points to push their lead to 17-8. Another Tumlinson three ended S-C’s scoring drought and brought the Lady Tigers within six at 17-11, but that was as close as they would get for the balance of the game.
S-C Head Coach Zach Vandevender said Center has “been putting up a lot of points all year, and to get them into that half-court game was a goal that we set, not to get into that transition game where they score a lot of their points. We did that in the first half.”
Purnell’s pair of free throws put Center up 21-11 with 1:01 left in the first half, and junior guard Nadiyah Mahmud nailed a deep two-pointer as the buzzer sounded to give Center a 23-11 lead at the half.
The Lady Tigers had trouble with Center’s press to start the third quarter, and when the Lady Tigers did advance the ball, their offense stalled.
“We passed on a few shots and offensively we need to look to score and be ready to shoot,” Vandevender said. “Second half, they came out and got to us in the third quarter. They looked to their bigs inside.”
Kilen Watts added 12 points for Center. S-C was led by Tumlinson’s six points; Kiara Williams and Monique Grant each added five.
Press Release courtesy of Sedalia School District 200