There will be no 0-for-District 7-AAA for Smyrna’s boys this season.
The Bulldogs stopped a 13-game losing streak within the league thanks to a 73-63 victory over host Riverdale on Monday night at Johnny Parsley Memorial Gymnasium.
It was the first district win for the Bulldogs since a Feb. 17, 2012 district tournament victory at Oakland. That team also closed the regular season with a victory against the host Patriots a week earlier.
“Coming in and setting up a system, these kids are thinking a whole lot right now,” first-year Bulldogs coach Brian Turner said. “A lot of times you’ll see our kids on overload, but doing the little things well is what we continue to preach.”
Smyrna turned a five-point first-quarter lead into a 13-point halftime lead. The Bulldogs led by as many as 20 points in the second half, shooting 24-of-42 from the field and 21-of-38 from the free throw line for the game.
“More than anything, I’m just happy with the defensive intensity we showed in the first half,” Turner said. “That put us in the full court and the more we transition the better we are.”
Mykale Repress came off the bench and scored all 10 of his points in the first half. Jaylen Johnson and Desmond Davis each had seven in the first half for Smyrna (5-2, 1-0).
Davis finished with 10 points, Johnson with 11 and Gonda Ameri paced Smyrna with 14 points on 5-of-5 from the field and 4-of-6 at the free throw line, scoring 12 of the 14 in the second half.
“Repress really helped us out because he got in the game and he ran the floor,” Turner said. “We’ve got to have that first big run the floor rim to rim and he did that. I think he even encouraged Ameri to do the same thing in the second half and he hasn’t been doing that.
“That offensive execution mixed in with defensive intensity, there you go. If we had done that a little more consistently in the second half, maybe we’d have won by a little more.”
Riverdale (3-5, 0-1) dropped in 11 3-pointers for the game, including four from Brad Woodson on his way to a team-high 16. Steven Wilson had three 3s and Johnathan Mathews two.
“The final score was closer than it actually was,” Riverdale coach Kevin Woodson said. “Give them credit, they beat us in every phase of the game. They had four guys bigger than any guy we’ve got and they really took advantage of that. They did a good job of getting it to those big guys, and they whipped us in the paint and on the boards.”
The Warriors shot 20-of-47 from the field, 11-of-24 from 3-point range and 12-of-15 from the stripe.
Smyrna continues district play Friday when it plays host to Stewarts Creek. Riverdale welcomes Bradley Central Saturday for non-district action.
Smyrna 73, Riverdale 63
S 19 23 16 15 — 73
R 14 15 11 23 — 63
Smyrna Mosbey 1, Desmond Davis 10, Vanderbilt 9, Jaylen Johnson 11, Mulligan 7, Mykale Repress 10, Gonda Ameri 14, Ferrell 9, Haralson 2.
Riverdale: Brad Woodson 16, Steven Wilson 13, Duff 4, Campbell 6, Mathews 6, Tyler Smithson 15, Bell 1, Barge 2.