Best’s 12 points leads Royals in easy victory

CHARLOTTESVILLE — For the Eastern Hancock Royals girls basketball team on Tuesday night, it was pedal to the metal, and the visiting Southwestern (Shelbyville) Spartans couldn’t keep up.

Using an expanded lineup to exploit personnel issues of Southwestern, the Royals were able to control the game from the start and improve their record to 4-4 with a 55-38 victory.

“One of their starters went out with an ankle issue early in the first quarter,” Royals coach Shari Doud stated afterwards. “Once I knew they had to use their JV players I knew we could substitute more often and keep the pace up to wear them down.”

The Royals did indeed come out fast and lead 13-2 at the end of the first quarter and 32-14 at halftime. Juniors Jenna Smith and Haley Best fueled the Royals on the offensive end.

Best hit all three of her 3-pointers in the first half and would finish the game with 12 points. Jenna Smith had 10 first-half points and would finish the game with 15.

“Jenna is just a great stat-stuffer type player for us,” Doud said afterwards. “Even on the nights she’s not scoring, she works hard on the boards and does so many other things. We’d like her to become more consistent on the offensive end, and she’s working hard towards that.”

The Royals only scored nine points in the third quarter, but their lead was never in question.

“We didn’t play particularly hard in the third quarter,” Doud said. “But I liked how the girls responded and showed me a little bit how bad they want to play.”

The Royals will get a chance to get above .500 on Saturday afternoon as they travel to Liberty Christian for a 1:30 p.m. tipoff.