By Kris Freeman for White House High School
SMITHVILLE – A blitz of three-pointers and an inside out game to the post proved to be the difference Tuesday night as White House dropped the season opener 74-48, in the Hall of Fame classic at DeKalb County.
Kadee Ferrell worked her way into the paint for 22 points to lead the host Tigers, who returned from last year’s Region 4-AA semifinal loss to No. 1 Macon County with a season-opening win.
“Our girls played hard and we didn’t quit,” said White House head coach Kelly Smelcer. “Our attitudes were good and we settled in the second half and got better.”
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White House was led by Chloe Hart with her first career double-double and a career high 16 points, as the junior twice connected on three-point plays following a foul. But for the Lady Devils, the hot spurts from the outside were killers in the second and third quarter, as the hosts built the lead to 20-plus by the end of three.
DeKalb County started the game on an 8-2 run, but White House crawled back to narrow the margin to 11-9 on a swish jumper by senior Alexis Bess and then a drive and foul for Hart. In her first game for the Lady Devils, freshman Marley Hyde came off the bench and scored 12.
Bess added seven, Avery Droz five, and Hannah Crabtree two.
DeKalb County waited until the middle of the game to start pushing the ball inside to Ferrell. but before then it was the outside shooting of Megan Cantrell and Ella Van Vranken. Cantrell had 15 points on five long balls and Van Vranken added 13 points including three of those shots from behind the line.
After White House got the lead down to two, the Tigers finished the first period with an 11-2 run to lead 22-11, then extended the margin to 37-21 by the half.
DeKalb County was an 18-game winner last season, and the Lady Devils are trying to rebound from a tough 2019-20 campaign with six wins in the column.
“I knew heading into District 8-AA that this was going to be a different game than we are used to,” Smelcer said. “It was going to be tough and that is a very good area for high school girls basketball in that region. But playing against that kind of competition is good for us, and we played hard.”
White House comes home Thursday to host a Hall of Fame Classic game, facing Stewart County at 6 p.m. The game was originally scheduled for Friday and was moved up a day.
Photos by Jennifer Freeman