Craig Harris/Macon County Times Macon County High junior guard Keeley Carter elevates for a second-quarter shot in the lane in front of Smith County’s Kristen Shoulders.

Craig Harris/Macon County Times

Macon County High junior guard Keeley Carter elevates for a second-quarter shot in the lane in front of Smith County’s Kristen Shoulders.

The Macon County High limited visiting Smith County to three field goals on Friday evening, rolling to a 51-18 victory in the two teams' District 8-AA opener at Nera White Gymnasium.

"Defense is our main thing," Tigerette sophomore guard Abby Shoulders said. "It wins our games, because our hands are so active. When we get a turnover, it gets us excited, and we get more active every time down the floor."

Macon County (4-1) forced 31 turnovers but struggled to turn those turnovers into points.

The Tigerettes scored just 12 points over the game's first 11-plus minutes.

"We only scored 10 points off turnovers," Macon County head coach Larry White said. "We just didn't shoot the ball well at all."

The Lady Owls employed a zone defense that slowed the Tigerettes.

"We wanted to get to the basket better," White said. "I don't remember anybody playing zone against us even at (summer) camp. I think we'll do a better job of attacking it next time ... I hope we will.

"It bothered us. Maybe this will be good for us. We'll work to get better against it."

Macon County shot just 25 percent from the field and connected on just 6 of 28 3-pointers.

"We were trying to take the easy shots, the threes," Shoulders said. "Coach was trying to make us attack.

"After halftime, we got the hang of that more. Not many people play us a 2-3 (zone). We thought they might play us a 2-3. So, we practiced against it. Then, we thought it was going to be a spread-out man (defense), and they were in a 2-3."

Tigerette junior guard Jamie Ashburn banked in a 3-pointer late in the first quarter, sparking an 18-1 run.

Smith County didn't score in the second stanza.

"It was one of those nights where we couldn't hardly throw one in the ocean," White said. "That's where defense wins games for you."

In fact, the Lady Owls were held without a field goal for more than 24 minutes after freshman Anna Vining converted on a putback with 5:27 remaining in the first quarter.

Shoulders, Keeley Carter, Jalynn Gregory and Marah King all provided second-quarter baskets, and Shoulders opened the third quarter by sinking another 3-pointer, creating a 25-7 margin.

Macon County forced 10 turnovers in the second quarter.

"At the beginning, we were a little slow," Shoulders said. "Our job was to run and jump them (on the full-court press). At the beginning, they were going by us. In the second quarter, we were trapping and got going."

Tigerette junior McKaylee Mix tossed in a 3-pointer late in the third period, and Shoulders converted a three-point play less than a minute later for a 31-9 lead.

Smith County shot just 12 percent from the field and misfired on all eight of its 3-pointers.

Vining scored a team-high 8 points.

Carter finished with 13 points and 9 rebounds, and Shoulders also scored 13 points to go along with 4 rebounds and 3 steals. Gregory provided 11 points, 6 rebounds and 4 steals.

Macon County girls 51, Smith County 18

SMITH COUNTY (18) – Anna Vining 8, Kristen Shoulders 3, Emma Enoch 2, Brennan Rigsby 2, Allyssa West 2, Gracie Williams 1.

MACON COUNTY (51) – Keeley Carter 13, Abby Shoulders 13, Jalynn Gregory 11, Graci Scott 4, Jamie Ashburn 3, McKaylee Mix 3, Emily Ashburn 2, Marah King 2.

Half: 22-7, Macon County. Three-point goals: Smith County 0, Macon County 6 (Shoulders 2, J. Ashburn 1, Carter 1, Gregory 1, Mix 1). Records: Smith County 5-3 overall, 0-1 in District 8-AA; Macon County 4-1, 1-0.