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Lady Owls end 51 year state tournament hiatus, topple East Nashville in action-packed 2A Sectional


Lady Owls 40, East Nashville 37

By Terry Collins

Courier Sports

NASHVILLE — The Smith County High Lady Owls basketball team ended a 51 year drought with a 40-37 Class 2A Sub-State win at East Nashville last Saturday night. 

The only trip that Smith Co. had made to the state tournament was in 1973 under Bill “Big D” Landreth when the game was six-on-six. 

The Black-and-Gold got within one step a year ago with an overtime road loss to Community High School in the Sub-State. 

“My postgame message was just about how proud of them I was, how thankful that I am for them to get the opportunity to experience the state tournament,” said Smith County High head girls basketball coach Matt Ferrell. “Biggest thing I wanted them to know was how proud I am of those juniors and seniors for establishing the winning culture and creating an atmosphere where young kids are looking forward to being Lady Owls. They’ve laid the foundation for two years for all that has happened and will happen. I’m just so thankful they get to reap the rewards of their hard work.”

The game was filled with drama from the opening tip with Smith Co. holding the lead for most of the game. 

“My message in the pregame to them was pretty simple,” said Ferrell. “This will be an incredibly tough atmosphere to play in, but no worse than a year ago at Community, or than some of the atmospheres we’ve went into this year in the regular season AND we have the better team. We just have to prove it for 32 minutes. To their credit, when we got hit with punches, the girls responded. They made the plays we had to make to win. That’s what great players do.”


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