By Chris Yow
SPRING HILL — Getting out to a quick start and early lead is ideal for Matt Horton’s Spring Hill team. Behind the sister duo of Prairie and Sierra Stedman, the Lady Raiders (6-3, 2-0 11-AAA) earned a 68-56 win over Centennial at home on Tuesday.
The two combined for 15 points in the first quarter and 34 points in the game. Sierra, a sharp-shooting swing player, led her team with 19 points, including three 3-pointers.
“You know how siblings can be; it’s not always good,” Horton said. “But they’re all good kids and they enjoy playing together. It’s working in our favor this year.”
Getting those two acclimated to the level of competition in District 11-AAA took a little time, but their teammates were there to help from the start.
“The girls accepted them immediately, but the level of competition they were playing against wasn’t as high,” he said. “But they’re both playing really well, and they’re good players.”
Horton needed all he could get from the sisters, as well as Cole Alderson inside, who finished with 18 points in the game.
Despite jumping out to a 21-3 lead in the first quarter, a pair of 3-pointers cut the first quarter lead to 25-9, and Centennial stormed back in the second quarter and found themselves only trailing 35-32 at the break.
Sheraton Foster poured in 17 points in the second quarter alone, including three 3-pointers and a perfect 4-of-4 from the line. She finished with a game-high 26 points.
“Credit to their kids for not giving up. There were a couple times they could’ve laid down and quit, but they kept battling,” Horton said. “We have to get better and make better decisions with the ball at times. When we make value the ball a little more, those things won’t happen.”
Spring Hill extended their halftime lead to 47-32 before Centennial got on the board in the third quarter, but again the Lady Cougars battled back, cutting the lead to just six points going into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Raiders leaned on Alderson in the second half. The post player scored 10 points from the floor and added four from the charity stripe in a perfect effort. She finished with 18 points in the game. Belle Brashear went 5-of-6 from the line late in the fourth quarter to help secure the win as well.
Spring Hill’s girls are just three years removed from a 1-24 campaign, and Horton believes this team has a chance to be special.
“Our team is 2-0 in district, so that’s a lot better start than the past. We have to take care of us, and if we do that — everything else will take care of itself,” he said.
Spring Hill girls 68, Centennial 56
C 9 23 15 9 — 56
S 25 10 18 15 — 68
Centennial (56) — Lauren Johnson 14, AJ Lein 2, Katie Rock 3, Harper Kline 3, Maiya Boyer 2, Sheraton Foster 26, Tyra Petway 6
Spring Hill (68) — Kat Carter 2, Cole Alderson 18, Prairie Stedman 15, Belle Brashear 6, Sierra Stedman 19, Jaycee Brashear 3, Key Scales 5
3-pointers — Centennial 8 (Foster 3, Johnson 2, Rock, Kline, Petway), Spring Hill 4 (S. Stedman 3, P. Stedman, J. Brashear, Scales)
Photos by Chris Yow / SM-Tn Sports