MIAMISBURG — Facing double teams in a tie game at 29 early in the second half, Angie Smith finally got a one-on-one situation and used it to her advantage.
Backing down her defender and making a spin move from the paint to the block, Smith knocked down a fadeaway jumper to give Yellow Springs the lead with exactly four minutes left in the third quarter.
The field goal, her fifth make of the game, broke a five minute and 38 second scoring drought for the senior guard and also got her to eclipse 1,500 career points.
“I was thinking about it before the game because somebody was letting me know it could possibly happen, but when we were playing I definitely did forget about it,” she said. “I was just trying to play hard.”
The game briefly stopped directly after the key points were made so head coach Nick Minnich could present Smith with a basketball holding the message “Angie Smith 1,500 points”. She also received congratulatory hugs from coaches and teammates.
“I thought it was just a time out,” Smith said. “I was like, oh a break yay. And then it was like, oh I got it.”
Angie’s sister Elizabeth drove in from Athens for a surprise visit to the game and held onto the ball while the final 12 minutes played out. Elizabeth scored 1,620 points at Yellow Springs before graduating in 2017 and Angie was happy to get to pass along the memorabilia to her.
“It’s honestly amazing because when I started playing when I was eight, she was three, and the ball was like as big as her head,” Elizabeth said. “Just to see her develop as a player and be a more confident person as well as shooting and getting to the rim, it’s been really fun to watch. She’s going to beat me, and it will be the one thing that she beats me at, but I’m really happy for her.”
Minnich has been a part of coaching staffs during both of the Smith sisters time as players at Yellow Springs and has known the family for more than 10 years, getting to see Angie’s development into the player she has become.
“When we came here in 2017, we knew about Liz, but we weren’t sure how good Angie was yet, but you can see her out there that she is something different,” he said. “She should be able to beat her sister’s mark and eventually break the school record. She has the capability to do it.”
Yellow Springs defeated Dayton Christian 50-36 behind Angie’s 23 points to improve to 2-1 this season and 1-0 in the MBC.
The result remained in doubt until late with Yellow Springs leading by seven with 1:32 remaining. Angie calmly knocked down two free throws with 1:12 left to help put the game out of reach.
After going 7-for-7 at the line in the first half, she missed four times in the second half and identifies it as a goal she wants to improve on this season.
Smith also has taken more of a leadership role and wants to learn to be a more vocal in helping her teammates.
“Last year I think I was more of a lead by example but this year I need to speak up and I don’t really like public speaking or talking so it’s definitely a challenge for me,” Angie said. “I hope I do a good job not coming off as snobby or a know it all because I just want to be helpful.”
Angie got the scoring started 46 seconds into the game with a bucket and foul to display her scoring prowess early. She went on to score all 12 of the first quarter points for the Bulldogs.
Scoring 16 total points in the first half to set up what could have been an easy path to reach the mark being one point away, Dayton Christian upped the pressure coming out of the break and made Angie’s teammates step up.
They accepted the challenge as fellow seniors Corrine Totty and Aaliyah Longshaw scored 11 and eight points after halftime, respectively, to help hold off a second half comeback charge.
“I feel like it’s important to try to get everybody involved,” Angie said. “It’s not always the easiest thing to do sometimes but it makes wins even better when everyone participates.”
Angie scored over 500 points in both of her freshman and sophomore seasons, and was on pace to do so again as a junior had the school been able to participate in a typical amount of games as played prior to COVID-19 shortening last year’s season.
Now sitting at 1,506 career points, the school record may be next and a chance at reaching 2,000 is not out of the question yet.
“I hope so,” Angie said. “I’ll definitely have to be doing good. Maybe more Cedarville like games.”
Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on Twitter @Steven_Wright_.