By TONY STINNETT, Courier Sports Editor
SPARTA - Lionettes Head Coach Michael Dodgen saw a different Cannon County during Sunday’s practice for the Region 4-AA semifinal against Smith County.
The Lady Owls had not seen this Cannon County team, either.
MTSU signee Abbey Sissom scored a game-high 31 points and Madison Walkup poured in 21 as Cannon County shellshocked Smith County, 79-52, in the elimination game.
Erin McReynolds totaled 10 points, Kelli Davis five, Macy Clements and Autumn King four, Taylor Warren three and Rebekah Faulkner added two.
So, after three narrow games what gave in the fourth meeting?
“I saw a different team at practice,” Dodgen said. “It was a team that believed we were coming over here and we were going to win. They just believed it.”
Sissom said the Lionettes believed the game would not be close if they played up to their potential.
“We were saying we were going to win by 20 or more all day at school,” Sissom said. “We believed we were just that much better than them and we went out and played really well.”
Smith County standout Callie Hackett scored 28 but it was a quiet 28 and she was never able to become a strong factor in the game.
Cannon County jumped out to a 24-10 lead and never looked back.
Walkup’s eight straight points on three straight field goals, including two 3-pointers, to close the first quarter proved devastating.
“I hit those three shots and started feeling good,” Walkup said. “I was shooting with confidence. We all played well. We were determined not to let our season end in the region semis.”