By TONY STINNETT, Courier Sports Editor
CARTHAGE - When No. 7 -ranked Cannon County traveled to Carthage to face Smith County it would have been easy to consider it a breather on the schedule with three crucial district games looming.
After all, Smith County is near the bottom of the standings and has offered little resistance in recent games.
The Lions (23-4, 10-1) left nothing to chance as they roared to a 78-55 win against the Owls (4-21, 2-8).
Cory Henley led the ambush with 28 points on the strength of six 3-pointers. Josh Ruehlen had one of his better all-around games with 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting, along with five assists, three rebounds and three steals. A.J. Daniel added nine points for the Lions, who had 10 different players reach the scoring column.
The Lions led 17-12 after the first quarter and methodically pulled away as the game unfolded.
Cannon County turned a nine-point halftime lead, 37-28, into a 19-point lead (64-43) going into the fourth quarter.
“I’m proud of the way the guys came in here and took care of business,” Lions Head Coach Matt Rigsby said. “Smith County is never an easy place to play and you can’t take anything for granted. We preach that you always have to respect your opponent, and we do.”
Tanner Larson (4), Dalton Ryan (4), Jacob Nave (4), Tommy Mitchell (4), Marshall McReynolds (3), Garrett McReynolds (2) and Austin Martin (2) all got into the scoring column for the Lions.
Cannon County was 30-of-59 from the field, including 6-of-15 from 3-point range.