MT. JULIET — Mt. Juliet Christian’s boys outscored Providence Christian by 10 points in the fourth quarter Tuesday night as the Saints prevailed 60-53 in a season-opening TSSAA Hall of Champions game.
Earlier, the girls went to overtime with Providence prevailing 48-38.
Providence’s boys led 37-34 going into the fourth before the Saints surged to victory. The Lions trailed 5-4 following the first quarter but were up 25-24 at halftime.
“Providence has definitely improved,” veteran Mt. Juliet Christian coach Paul Christensen said. “They have a lot of high risers. It was that and first-game rust.
“We graduated some guys and we’re putting in a new lineup.”
Zack Jones knocked down 19 points to lead the Saints while Alex Graves tossed in 12. Newman Ward sank a pair of three-pointers on his way to 11. Nathan Green supplied seven points, Landon Boyd five and Gilbert Russ, Andrew Headrick and Justus Willis two each.
Jake Johnson paced Providence with 20 points, including a pair of threes. Payton Thomas threw in 13.
The girls’ game was nip-and-tuck until after the teams went into overtime tied 36-36 as Providence won the four-minute extra period 10-0.
The Lady Lions led 12-11 following the first quarter, 17-15 at halftime and 22-19 going into the fourth.
Alex May tossed in a pair of threes in leading the Lady Lions with 14 points.
Meredith Orr and Lauren Wankel led the Lady Saints with 15 points apiece while Amanda Wall notched nine, Carly Hummel six and Caroline Scott three.
Mt. Juliet Christian will play host to new TSSAA member Hendersonville Christian at 6 p.m. Friday. Like MJCA, HCA is in Division II but in District 2-A while the Saints are in 1-A.
LHS boys, FCS girls lose post transfers
Friendship Christian’s girls and Lebanon’s boys haven’t tipped off their seasons yet, but both are facing life with an unexpected gaping hole in the post.
The Blue Devils said goodbye to 6-foot-5 sophomore Yalen Reed around Labor Day weekend. Reed, who averaged around 7.5 points, five rebounds and over two blocks per game as a freshman, transferred to District 9-AAA rival Station Camp.
Reed lived in nearby Hendersonville until moving to Lebanon around sixth grade. Here, he posted big numbers in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots at Walter J. Baird Middle School.
Lebanon is not playing in a TSSAA Hall of Champions game this week. The Blue Devils and Devilettes will open their seasons next Tuesday at Shelbyville. White County will come to Campbell Brandon Gym/Hester Gibbs Court for the LHS home opener Nov. 22.
Friendship lost two-time District 8-A Most Valuable Player Deja Jones to defending Class AAA champion Riverdale just before the start of school.
Jones scored over 1,000 points in three seasons as a Lady Commander despite missing much of her freshman year with an injury.
Friendship will open the season Thursday in a Hall of Champions game at Gordonsville. The boys will play despite being short-handed with several players still out for football.
Former Lady Commanders guard Aubrey Hawks has transferred to Gordonsville
McCabe to sign with Belmont, Former Mt. Juliet great to be honored Nov. 22, Williams faces knee surgery
Mt. Juliet center Sally McCabe will sign to play basketball for Belmont University today at the high school.
The 6-foot-3 senior is the latest in a long line of standout Bearettes/Lady Bears who have produced a steady run of winning seasons for nearly four decades.
It may have started with Shelia Johansson, who led Mt. Juliet to its first state championship in 1977 before becoming the first female scholarship basketball player at Vanderbilt.
A longtime middle school teacher/coach/administrator in Michigan, Johansson, whose last name is Cohen, will be honored by her alma mater Nov. 22 when Mt. Juliet plays host to Hillsboro.
A poster of her in action as a Bearette will be raised on the wall alongside later Miss Basketball finalists Courtney McFarlin, Jennifer Johnson and Alysha Clark. Clark, who won the coveted award in 2005, wore No. 22, as did Johansson. There was no Miss Basketball award when she played during the six-on-six halfcourt era.
Another Miss Basketball finalist whose photo has yet to be hung in the Mt. Juliet gym is MJHS scoring queen Caya Williams.
A redshirt freshman at Middle Tennessee State, the 6-1 Williams didn’t play in the Lady Raiders’ loss to Tennessee last Friday and is headed for knee surgery, coach Rick Insell told the Murfreesboro Daily News-Journal.
“I really don’t know what it is,” Insell told the DNJ. “She’ll probably be out the rest of the year.”
Williams was expected to complete for playing time in the low post as MTSU tries to replace the production of the graduated Icelyn Elie, who starred at Lebanon High.
“That was a young lady who would have helped us in the low post area,” Insell said.
Mt. Juliet will open the season Thursday in a Hall of Champions game in Murfreesboro against Oakland.