Bandys advances, sets sights on Shelby

The Lady Trojans jumped out to a 17-0 lead and never looked back.

Bandys advanced to the district round of the NCHSAA playoffs with an impressive win over Smoky Mountain on Monday.

The win was the first since the Lady Trojans won the Catawba Valley Athletic Conference tournament last week.

Bandys coach Beth Queen thought one of the keys to the game was Bandys' experience against Smoky Mountain's inexperience.

"For as young as Smoky Mountain was, I thought it was imperative that we get off to a good start and try to intimidate them a little bit, especially on our home court," Queen said. "That was part of our game plan and I thought our kids did a good job of carrying that out."

Bandys (25-3) raced out to a 17-0 lead by making their first six shots – five 2-pointers and one 3-pointer. They would miss their sixth shot, but made two more baskets before the Lady Mustangs (11-12) scored for the first time.

"I was real excited with the start of the game," Queen said. "Our kids came out focused at the beginning of the game. We put a lot of pressure on them and created a lot of turnovers."

Jesse Story led Lady Trojans in the 17-0 run and scored 15 of her team's 27 points in the first quarter.

However, in the second quarter, Smokey Mountain was able to keep their distance with the Lady Trojans. A large part of that was due to foul trouble for Bandys.

"In the second quarter, our defense let down a little bit," Queen said. "I was playing with three of my starters on the bench – Taylor Sigmon, Madi Story and Tara Potter – because of foul trouble."

Coming out of the halftime break though with a 45-23 lead, the Lady Trojans turned up the pressure and tempo.

"We had much better intensity in the third quarter," Queen said. "We were able to get our running game going again. We were able to put more of a cushion between us and them."

Bandys outpaced Smoky Mountain 29-16 in the quarter and 45-21 in the second half on their way to the victory.

Jesse Story led the Trojans with 24 points. Taylor Sigmon added 15 points, Madi Story scored 14 points and Chelsey Queen had a double-double with 13 points and 16 assists.

The Trojans now set their sites on a tough Shelby team. The Lady Golden Lions are undefeated at 23-0 and beat West Caldwell 47-27 in the first round.

Queen expects Wednesday's match up to be an extremely competitive one and already has a game plan ready for her team to use against Shelby.

"They are good in transition," coach Queen said. "One of the keys will be stopping that. They are athletic and do a good job on the boards. We will have to maintain and control the boards. They have shooters too. We are going to definitely have to get out, guard them and take away the 3-point shot."