Whale Branch girls basketball ensured there would be no first-round letdown for a second straight year, blasting Carvers Bay 64-36 on the road Wednesday to open the Class 1A playoffs.
Senior star Kynew Barnwell left no doubt about whether she would play another game in purple and gold, pouring in 30 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter to erase any hope of a comeback from the Bears.
Kiana Smashum added 12 points and Layla Love scored 10 in a balanced effort for the Warriors, who came out strong and bolted to a double-digit lead after one quarter before extending it to 33-13 at halftime.
The Bears chipped away a bit behind 6-1 sophomore Jerchel Geathers, who finished with 14 points, but it was still an 18-point game going to the fourth, and Barnwell quickly put away Carvers Bay.
The Warriors (18-7) travel to Estill for a second-round game Friday, looking for a third win over the Gators this season. Whale Branch won the first two games by a combined 41 points, including a 19-point win at Estill.
Some local sports content that is not sponsored is now available only to LowcoSports.com’s Patreon supporters. Pledge your monthly support here for as little as $1 per month to ensure you have access to all of our grassroots LOCAL sports coverage!