Updated Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 02:01 AM
SAMMAMISH — Skyline girls basketball coach Greg Bruns sent Haley Smith, one of his top players, get-well-soon wishes Wednesday night — at halftime, with urgency, with the seventh-ranked Spartans trailing Woodinville by 12.
"She's been sick all week, and she kind of showed it in the first half," Bruns said. "She was a little lethargic early, and we really challenged her at halftime. Boy, did she answer."
Smith, a 6-foot-1 senior, scored 10 of her team-high 14 points in the third quarter as Skyline rallied from a 29-17 halftime deficit to defeat the Falcons 56-53.
Smith's revitalized play provided a spark for the rest of her teammates as the Spartans (7-1, 5-0 KingCo 4A) finally tied Woodinville (5-2, 2-2) at 40 on Smith's turnaround baseline shot with 16 seconds left in the third quarter.
Skyline opened the third quarter on a 12-5 run, then held on as the Falcons cut the margin to three points in the final minute. A three-pointer by Woodinville's Midori Mcelwee rimmed in and out with less than 20 seconds to play.
Bruns was pleased Smith managed a quick recovery at intermission.
"Haley the first half was kind of playing the sick card and wasn't rebounding like she can and not scoring," he said. "She was defending OK, but she wasn't playing the way she normally does. That's why we said to her at halftime, if you're sick, we need to know. If not, you need to play like you can. She did."
"I wouldn't attribute it all to being sick," Smith said, "but I came out flat. The whole team kind of came out flat. So we had a nice talk with coach at halftime and all turned it around. I think our third quarter was one of the best we've played this year.
The Spartans outscored Woodinville 23-11 in the third. Senior guard Rachel Shim (10 points) hit a three-pointer at the start of the fourth quarter to put Skyline ahead for good.
Senior Kim Frost led Woodinville with 15 points. Junior teammate Sabin Keo finished with 13. Lacey Nicholson added nine for Skyline.