OAKWOOD — Four games into the season, and with two wins on her side, West Hall High girls basketball coach Lynn Jarrett is all smiles regarding her team’s performance.
The Lady Spartans opened their 2007-08 Region 7-AAA campaign with a 58-45 win against Lumpkin County on Tuesday at the "Silver Dome" in Oakwood.
"Tonight’s win is so big for us," Jarrett said. "To bounce back from our win (last) Saturday, and to get a win here at home is big. Everyone was real excited in the locker room (after the game), but I told them that the most important game is the next one."
West Hall (2-2, 1-0) senior Kim Smigelsky scored 19 points and junior Jayla Moon added 17 points, six rebounds and two blocks, which proved to be too much for a young Lumpkin County (1-2, 0-1) team to contain.
"We won tonight with a combined team effort, but I couldn’t say enough about Jayla (Moon’s) and Kim (Smigelsky’s) performance tonight," Jarrett said.
According to Jarrett, the coaching staff has given Smigelsky the green light to score whenever the opportunity presents itself.
"It’s a privilege to have the chance to score whenever," Smigelsky said with a smile. "We all work really hard in practice to share the ball around and that’s what gets me open on the floor."
Jayla Moon, who finished 10-for-10 from the free throw line, credits the Lady Spartans work in the offseason as part of their early success.
"It was a lot of work, but I know that we all need to do our part if we want to win," she added. "I just wanted to do my part tonight, and the team did really good tonight."
West Hall, which trailed by a point following the first period, jumped out with an early 7-1 run to start the second quarter featuring a variety of defensive adjustments that led to a number of easy scoring opportunities.
"We started the game off in a man-to-man defense," Jarrett said. "But once Jayla (Moon) got in foul trouble, I felt like a zone defense would help us best. The zone was real effective, but it’s not something I wanted to stay in the whole game. We are just trying to mix up the defenses to keep the other team off balance."
Jarrett credits the Lady Spartans pregame speech as a major role in their victory.
"One of the big things we talked about before the game was having a home court attitude," she said. "(We feel) like it’s time for opposing teams to come in here and it be tough to win."
Despite the Lady Spartans hot start, Jarrett feels that her team still has a ton of things to work on at practice.
"Our passing has to get better," Jarrett added. "We also have to get better defensively. We have a ton to work on in these next three days."
Lumpkin County put together a late-game rally, reducing West Hall’s lead to just six points with less than three minutes remaining in the game.
But the Lady Indians failed to capitalize, as the Lady Spartans hit eight consecutive free throws to end the game.
Lumpkin County junior Ashley Brown led the Lady Indians with 18 points, while Cara Malone added 10.
West Hall visits North Hall at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Lumpkin County visits Fannin County at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
West Hall boys 68, Lumpkin County 55
Junior guard Terrell Penland led the Spartans (3-1, 1-0 Region 7B-AAA) with 17 points Tuesday night in Oakwood.
West Hall juniors Kavon Williams and Willie Morales finished with 13 points and 12 points respectively.
"We’ve got a lot to work on," West Hall coach Warren Sellars said. "I thought we played well in spurts, but we’ve got to be able to put 32 minutes together. Willie Morales gave us a big spark off the bench and played real well for us tonight. I was hoping we’d play a little better, but we’ll take it."
Lumpkin County (1-2) center Shawn Chapman led all scorers with 19 points.
West Hall visits North Hall at 6 p.m. Saturday. Lumpkin County visits Fannin County at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.