The Pisgah varsity girls basketball team landed a knockout punch early in the Jackson County Tournament semifinals.

The top-seeded and Class 3A No. 1-ranked Eagles soared to a 31-0 lead in the first half on the way to a 68-22 win over fifth-seeded North Sand Mountain Thursday night at Pisgah High School.

Pisgah (22-1), the five-time defending county champion, advanced to play second-seeded and 1A No. 2 Skyline in the tonight’s Jackson County Tournament championship game at 6:15 p.m. 

Skyline advanced with a 73-60 win over third-seeded North Jackson in Thursday’s other semifinal.

Pisgah’s full-court press forced 11 first-quarter NSM turnovers, resulting in 17 Pisgah points. The Eagles led 29-0 after one quarter, 43-9 at halftime and 62-15 at the quarter breaks.

“We moved the ball well,” said Pisgah head coach Carey Ellison. “We were getting the ball up the floor and finding open people. When we get in a flow like that we can be hard to beat.”

Kallie Tinker scored a game-high 17 points for Pisgah while Molly Heard had 14 points, seven rebounds and two assists and Madison Myers had 11 points, three assists, four rebounds and seven steals. The Eagles also got nine points from Layla Hatfield, eight points, nine rebounds, four assists and six steals from Chloe Womack and five points from Anna Young.

Jasmine Higdon scored six points and Nady Poore added five for NSM (3-14).

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