Intense Bulldogs romp at Monroe tourney

By Melissa Meador/Monroe Journal

ABERDEEN – Defending champion Aberdeen had no trouble getting through the first round of the Monroe County Tournament with a 95-22 win over Smithville before their home crowd on Thursday.
Aberdeen held Smithville scoreless in the first quarter while rolling out to a 35-0 start. Ken McCoy, the Bulldogs’ leading scorer on the night, scored 11 of those points and finished with 17.
“You’re never satisfied, but overall I think we had a good showing,” Aberdeen coach Roy Hazzle said. “We wanted to come out with some intensity.”
Jeffrey Ware put Smithville on the board at the start of the second with a basket and led Smithville with 8 points.
Rico Haughton (11) and Alan Keaton (10) also finished in double figures for Aberdeen.
The win puts Aberdeen in a semifinal matchup with Hamilton in the final game tonight and sets up a possible Aberdeen-Amory championship game on Saturday. Amory plays Hatley in the first game of the day.
“They’re quick and athletic. They can shoot the ball, and they defend well,” Hazzle said of the Panthers. “They’re very much a mirror of us, and it’ll be down to who wants it more and who can defend better.”
(G) Hatley 43, Amory 38: Hatley halted a fourth-quarter Amory run to set up a showdown with division rival Hamilton in the semifinals today.
The Lady Tigers opened up a 13-point gap at the start of the third quarter, but the Lady Panthers fired back in the fourth to tie it up three times before Taylor Richey hit a layup to put Hatley ahead for good.
Jamelle Vance led Hatley with 11 points, while Ashley Thompson had 18 points and Kerina Harris scored 11 for Amory.
(G) Aberdeen 48, Smithville 19: Aberdeen held a 24-4 lead at the half with senior Alexis Walker leading the way for the Lady Bulldogs with 24 points, including 13 in the first quarter.
A 3-pointer from Laken Armstrong brought the Lady Noles to within 15 in the third quarter, but Aberdeen followed with a 9-0 run.
melissa.meador@journalinc.com