ST. PETERSBURG - Center Lee Smith scored 16 of her 23 points in the first half to lead Shorecrest past Northside Christian 40-33 in the opening round of the Class A, District 10 girls basketball tournament Tuesday night. Shorecrest plays Bradenton Christian on Thursday at 8 p.m.
The Chargers (5-14 overall, 3-9 in Class A) dominated early and built a 21-9 lead. However, Smith, who averages 23 points per game, picked up her fourth foul and was benched until the fourth quarter.
Northside (5-13, 3-9) took advantage of Smith's absence by going on a 16-4 run and pulling within eight of the Chargers by the fourth period.
"When Smith picked up her fourth foul, I was nervous," said Charger coach Kathy Sessions. "She scores 75 percent of our goals and they started to wear down our defense."
Forward Jenny Hester scored 14 points to lead the Mustangs.