MT. JULIET — After a pregame visit from the 1977 state champion Mt. Juliet Bearettes, the 2013-14 Lady Bears turned in a dominating performance in a 67-23 triumph over Hillsboro in MJ’s home opener Friday night.
Shelia Johansson, the star of that ’77 team, was honored following the game as a poster of her in action was hung high on the wall next to later Miss Basketball finalists Alysha Clark [who won the honor in 2005], Jennifer Johnson and Courtney McFarlin.
Mt. Juliet seized control with a 20-0 first-quarter run as center Sally McCabe scored 12 of her game-high 26 points in the first quarter.
McCabe, who also grabbed 12 rebounds, recently signed with Belmont and is the latest in a long line of Lady Bears who have helped the program reel off a run of success that has lasted 40 years.
“She appreciates how hard these kids even today work to maintain the tradition of our program,” coach Chris Fryer said after his Lady Bears improved to 3-0. “She knows the commitment and she knows the pain that they go through every day to prepare for games and I think our kids took that to heart because they have worked hard and now they’re seeing a Lady Bear legend come in here and tell them they did the same thing and she said ‘We appreciate you’ instead of her saying that ‘We started the tradition’.”
Rae DeGray finished with 15 points, five assists and five steals for Mt. Juliet while twin sister Ronjanae DeGray scored seven. Karly Dyer and Taylor Bounds each dropped in two three-pointers for six points apiece while Skye Riggan rang up a three and Tyia Waller and Tavie Bell two apiece.
Capria Holmes hit four three-pointers to pace Hillsboro with 15 points as the Lady Burros fell to 1-1.
Mt. Juliet will play host to Antioch at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
White County spoils Devilettes’ home opener
White County got in the first shots on Lebanon as the Lady Warriors spoiled the Devilettes’ home opener 50-43 Friday night at Campbell Brandon Gym/Hester Gibbs Court.
The Lady Warriors led 21-8 following the first quarter and 33-17 at halftime before the Devilettes used a 15-7 third to draw within 40-32 as the home team fell to 0-2.
Loren Foster fired in five three-pointers in leading the Lady Warriors with 23 points while Amber Hudgens added 11.
Abby Wright led Lebanon with 18 points while Kelsey Yarbrough added eight, Madison Sloan six, Kristen Dedman five, Morgan Bruce four and Jameka Dowell two..
Lebanon will travel to last year’s Class AA runner-up Macon County, for a 6 p.m. game Tuesday.
Friendship falls to Centennial
Centennial’s girls spoiled Friendship Christian’s home opener 50-41 Friday night at the Bay Family Sportsplex.
The Lady Cougars led 11-7 following the first quarter, 27-14 at halftime and 37-18 through three as Friendship fell to 0-2.
Delani Distephano led the Lady Cougars with 16 points.
Haley Pittman popped in a pair of three-pointers in leading the Lady Commanders with 15 points while Ashlyn Pittman put in 11, Abby Hinton seven, Rebecca ettross five and Taylor Patterson a three-pointer.
Friendship will play host to Davidson Academy at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
MJCA takes lead in 2nd qtr. to beat Hampshire
COLUMBIA — Mt. Juliet Christian’s girls took the lead in the second quarter and held on for a 33-22 triumph over Hampshire in the Zion Christian Thanksgiving Classic on Friday.
The teams were tied 7-7 following the first quarter before Mt. Juliet Christian opened a 17-9 halftime lead and a 25-14 advantage going into the fourth.
Lauren Wankel’s 13 points led the Lady Saints while Amanda Wall and Meredith Orr each added eight and Caroline Scott and Abi Hildabrand two apiece.
No one scored in double figures for Hampshire.
Mt. Juliet Christian will return today for a 5 p.m. game against Zion.