Craig Harris/Macon County Times Red Boiling Springs junior guard Kennedy Fleming elevates for a shot in the lane in front of Smith County’s Allyssa West (11) and Allexis West.

Craig Harris/Macon County Times

Red Boiling Springs junior guard Kennedy Fleming elevates for a shot in the lane in front of Smith County’s Allyssa West (11) and Allexis West.

CARTHAGE -- The Red Boiling Springs High girls basketball team led Smith County for the majority of the second half when the two teams played on Nov. 27.

However, the visiting Lady Bulldogs faltered late and suffered a 55-52 loss.

"It's a tough one to swallow," RBS head coach Dustin McKinney said. "We never stretched (the lead) out, but we were right there, ready to take it and never took it."

Smith County freshman forward Anna Vining made a 3-pointer from the left wing with 16 seconds remaining to give her squad a 53-52 lead.

"When you are up 2, you never want to give up a 3," McKinney said. "They have to shoot it, because they are behind."

Vining finished with 26 points, but that was the only 3-pointer that she made. She did most of her damage on post-up opportunities near the basket.

"She played well," McKinney said. "They were really trying to feed her the ball, and it worked. They pounded it down there.

"That's a big shot (the 3-pointer) she hit for a freshman."

The contest was close throughout the first half, with the two teams tied at 13 entering the second quarter and again knotted at 25 in the final minute of the half.

Lady Bulldog junior guard Kennedy Fleming made a 22-footer to give her squad a 28-25, halftime lead.

"They started off in a box-and-one (defense on Fleming)," McKinney said. "Then, they went man. We shot it pretty well."

RBS made 10 3-pointers.

The Lady Bulldogs never led by more than five points. There were two lead changes and one tie in the third quarter.

The lead stood was back at 5 points after sophomore guard Liz Anderson made the fourth of her five 3-pointers with 5:19 remaining.

Anderson finished with a team-high 19 points.

"We talked about how that we're pleased with where we're at offensively," McKinney said. "We thought 50 points would be enough to win a girls high-school basketball game."

However, RBS didn't score again until Anderson made her final 3-pointer more than four minutes later.

"In the fourth quarter, we didn't move as well," McKinney said. "We didn't drive it as hard.

"We called a timeout, and the weird thing is that Kennedy has never really played point guard (prior to this season). I never really told them to slow it down, but we stopped driving it as hard."

Smith County answered every Lady Bulldog basket in the final minute. Following Anderson's 3-pointer with 67 seconds left, Emma Enoch drove into the lane for layin that retied the contest at 50.

RBS junior guard Haley Davis misfired on a 3-pointer seconds later, but classmate Briley Morgan collected the rebounded and converted on a left-handed putback to regain a 2-point lead for her squad.

However, Vining's 3-pointer came following a Lady Owl timeout.

The Lady Bulldogs missed an interior shot with five seconds remaining, and Smith County's Madison Hopper grabbed the rebound, was fouled and made both free throws with 1.5 seconds to play.

"We never got a stop defensively," McKinney said. "We were up 2 or 3, and if we get a stop, they have to foul. We just never got a stop."

Fleming and Davis backed Anderson's production with 13 and 12 points, respectively.

• RBS didn't produce a field goal during the fourth quarter on Saturday evening, suffering a 33-26 loss at Westmoreland.

The Lady Bulldogs (4-2) led for much of the first half, scoring 12 of the first 14 points and then taking a 12-7 advantage into the second quarter and a 19-18 lead into the second half.

A low-scoring third quarter consisted of just two baskets by RBS, a Fleming 3-pointer and another field goal from Anderson.

The Lady Eagles led 25-24 after three quarters, and two free throws from Morgan accounted for the only Lady Bulldog scoring in the final period, though RBS was still within two points with two minutes remaining.

Fleming finished with a team-high 10 points, followed by Anderson (5 points), Morgan (4), Lindsay Randolph (4) and Davis (3).

Westmoreland junior guard Leah Kendall poured in a game-high 15 points.

Smith County girls 55, Red Boiling Springs 52

RBS (52) – Liz Anderson 19, Kennedy Fleming 13, Haley Davis 12, Briley Morgan 8.

SMITH COUNTY (55) – Anna Vining 26, Allyssa West 8, Allexis West 8, Emma Enoch 7, Madison Hopper 6.

Half: 28-25, RBS. Three-point goals: RBS 10 (Anderson 5, Fleming 3, Davis 2), Smith County 3 (Hopper 1, Vining 1, West 1). Records: RBS 4-1, Smith County 5-2.