PETTICOAT JUNCTION, S.C. --- Silver Bluff center Taylor Muterspaugh doesn't need any help drawing attention. At 6-foot-3, she's an easy target to find on the basketball court.
But in Thursday's 49-33 victory over visiting Strom Thurmond, the tall junior stood out for more than just her height.
"People are going to notice a girl 6-2 or 6-3 on the court," Silver Bluff coach Robert McKenzie said. "She's got to know she's not a freshman or a sophomore anymore, and we're going to need this out of her."
Muterspaugh came up three rebounds shy of a triple-double in the lopsided win. She led the Lady Bulldogs with 12 points and added seven rebounds and 10 blocked shots. The offense helped, but the defensive play underneath the basket changed Strom Thurmond's offensive approach completely.
"You have to play smart," Muterspaugh said after the game, raising her hands in a stiff but effecting defensive stance to demonstrate her blocking ability. "Just go straight up or they're going to call it a foul. You have to be careful."
Muterspaugh's offensive stats were a bonus. Sisters Kaylin and Jamie Foreman, who combined for 18 points, expect to handle most of the scoring duties this season. But the blocks from Muterspaugh were key Thursday night against a Strom Thurmond team that found itself simply outsized.
"We've got that size underneath, but I still think we can be more aggressive," McKenzie said. "Right now we're just trusting that we're taller than everybody and that's good enough. We can't have that. We have to be more aggressive."
The Silver Bluff defense held Strom Thurmond to 10 first-half points. After taking an early 12-3 lead with 3:26 left in the first quarter, the Lady Bulldogs allowed only two made shots the rest of the half. The Lady Rebels hit only three of 22 first-half shots, and their 26-10 halftime deficit was too much to overcome.
Sisters Amanda and Ashley Parks combined for 29 of Strom Thurmond's 33 points. Amanda Parks finished with a game-high 25.
STROM THURMOND (33)--Ashley Parks 6, Amanda Parks 23, Junicia Lee 1, Citiyah Burton 3. Totals 12 8-18 33.
SILVER BLUFF (49)--Roxanna Cheek 7, Jamie Foreman 10, Kaylin Foreman 8, Kia Jackson 10, Taylor Muterspaugh 12, Jasnequa Walker 2. Totals 21 4-7 49.
Strom Thurmond 7 3 14 9 -- 33
Silver Bluff 12 14 13 10 -- 49
3-point goals: Strom Thurmond 1 (Burton), Silver Bluff 3 (J. Foreman, Jackson 2).
Records: Silver Bluff 1-1, Strom Thurmond 2-2. Next: Silver Bluff at Midland Valley, 6 p.m., today; Laney at Strom Thurmond, Tuesday, 6 p.m.