The St. Francis Lady Knights beat the Hancock Central Lady Bulldogs, 73-47, on Saturday night to advance to the second round of the single A state playoffs.
Led by junior Keyona Hayes, who scored 26 points, the Lady Knights seemed to score at will. Fouling her didn't throw her off her stride, and just added to her points. She was 11 of 13 from the foul line, sank 6 field goals and added a 3-point shot.
Nettie Brown also was in double figures with 18 points. She had four field goals, was 4 of 6 from the line and added two 3-point shots.
Sophomore China Henderson added 10 points, shooting four field goals and making two of her four free throws.
Hancock Central's Denise Holsey led the Lady Bulldogs with 21 points, matching the Lady Knights' Hayes with six field goals and one trey, but she shot 60 percent from the foul line, going 6 for 10.
Her teammate, Shambria Freeman, also was in double figures with 15 points, making four field goals and shooting 7 of 8 from the line.
The Lady Bulldogs only scored 5 points in the first quarter, falling behind 21-5. They outscored the Lady Knights 18-15 in the second quarter, but that still left them behind on the scoreboard. St. Francis went into halftime leading, 36-23.
The third quarter was the worst for the Lady Knights, as they scored only 12 points. But the Lady Bulldogs were held to 5 points, making it 48-28 going into the final quarter.
St. Francis doubled its scoring from the third quarter to the fourth, adding 25 points. Hancock Central bounced back, but 19 points was far too little to approach the home team.
St. Francis will play Darlington on Tuesday, March 1, in the second round of the playoffs.