Jefferson County steamrolls to win

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 23, 2016

FAYETTE — Diamond Smith has been the catalyst for Jefferson County High School all season long.

But on Monday night, the 6-foot-3 post player shared the spotlight with Kailynn Hammett.

The sophomore guard scored 10 points and Smith poured in 22 points as Jefferson County routed West Marion High School 78-28 in the opening round of the MHSAA Class 3A girls playoffs.

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“When we play defense, it turns to offense,” Hammett explained. “Then we’re able to score points.”

Hammett helped orchestrate an offense that managed to score a resounding 42 points through the game’s first 13 minutes.

She finished with seven steals, five assists and a pair of rebounds.

“She carries the load for us,” Jefferson County coach Flora McKnight said of her point guard. “She makes everyone else’s job easier — she can handle the ball and she can pass it. She does exactly what a coach wants her to do — control the ball game.”

Not to be outdone, Smith finished with three rebounds and two blocks, while fellow post player Antrell Gales had 10 points, three rebounds and two blocks.

“That’s two of the best players I’ve ever played with,” Hammett said of the tandem. “It makes my job easier, and Coach (McKnight’s) job easier, because they are two good post players.”

Jefferson County led 25-4 at the end of the first quarter. The Lady Tigers led by as many as 54 points late in the second half.

“In our last game (Friday night), we didn’t come out the way we are supposed to,” McKnight said. “I told them they have to reorganize, focus and finish what we started. We came out better (Monday).”

Jefferson County (24-3) will host a playoff game Friday against an opponent to be determined.

“We have the potential to win state,” Hammett said. “We have to stay together as a team and keep our head on straight.”

Jefferson County boys rescheduled
The Jefferson County boys basketball game against Seminary High School has been moved from today to 7 p.m. Wendesday due to potential severe weather in the area.