GLADEVILLE — Lebanon's student body stormed the Wilson Central court after their Blue Devils wore out the Wildcats 63-47 Friday night.
No championship was at stake, but it was the Blue Devils' first win over their local rival in at least five years, well before the current students and players arrived in high school.
"We had a big crowd, a big bunch of students and they helped carry us all night long," third-year Lebanon coach Jim McDowell said after his Blue Devils moved to 3-2 for the season and 2-0 in District 9-AAA.
An 11-0 run turned a 12-9 deficit into a 20-12 Lebanon lead in the second quarter and the balanced Blue Devils kept the pedal to the hardwood the rest of the night.
"[We] did a good job of executing our game plan," McDowell said. "Late in the first quarter and in the second, we picked up our pressure and picked up our fullcourt press.
"It was a physical game. Our guards did a good job handling the various traps."
With guard Jemel Officer sitting out with a sprained hand sustained Tuesday against Hendersonville, McDowell basically played seven Blue Devils, four of whom scored in double figures.
KeShawn Abston sank a pair of three-pointers on his way to 15 points while big man Corvell Huddleston had 14, guard DaShawn McMurry 13 and Eddie McDaniels 10, including a couple of threes, in the second half. Kadarian Garnett supplied six points, Mikell Taylor three and Donovan Blair two.
Wilson Central scoring leader Jacob Williams, guarded by McDaniels, was shackled by foul trouble and fouled out a minute into the fourth quarter as he and Matthew Hall led the Wildcats with 11 points apiece. Deante Miller dropped in nine off the bench while Jon Rosshirt scored seven, Ben Palmer five, A.J. Franklin three and Casey Brandon a free throw as the Wildcats fell to 4-2, 1-1. Palmer and Rosshirt also spent considerable first-half minutes on the bench in foul trouble.
"We're just not playing very well; that's the bottom line," said Central coach Troy Bond, whose team started its season later than most. "Lebanon played really hard. They wanted this game more than we did.
"Our kids didn't compete like we need to. We've got to get back to the basics of what got us there in the past."
McDowell coached the Wildcat seniors on an undefeated freshman team which won the district. The nucleus, which had been essentially together since they were 11- or 12-years old, has gone on to play in one state tournament and reach the sectional in another.
"This bunch has had a lot of success and done really well," Bond said. "But they have to go back to the drawing board. I've got to do a better job of making them understand every season's a totally different season."
Meanwhile, McDowell's rebuilding plan at Lebanon is proceeding nicely.
"We talked about our kids getting tougher," McDowell said. "A lot of games last year, we weren't tough enough to win, whether it was mentally or physically.
"I was proud not only of the guys who played, but the guys the last two days of practice in simulating the game plan, and for our assistant coaches.
"It was a big win for our program."
Lebanon will travel to Macon County at around 4:30 this afternoon for a makeup game while Central will play host to an Arlington team which has four McDonald's All-America nominees at about 5:30. Williams is a nominee for the Wildcats.
Balanced Tigers win on the road
HENDERSONVILLE — Seth Price had 13 points as Watertown went on the road and got a District 8-A victory at Merrol Hyde 60-48 Friday night.
Ty Jobe and Zach Edwards added 11 and 10 points, respectively, for the Purple Tigers (5-4, 2-0). Dylan Speck's nine points and Hunter Warren's eight also were key, while Brandon George (five points), Brant Warren (two) and Cameron Jennings (two) rounded out the scoring.
Watertown took a 16-12 lead after the first quarter, a margin that grew to 34-23 by intermission.
"I thought the kids played well," Watertown coach Matt Bradshaw said. "We went ahead and played well on the road, and that's something we hadn't done very well so far this year."
Watertown will play host to Pickett County tonight.
Golden Bears roar past Portland
PORTLAND — Four Mt. Juliet boys scored in double figures Friday night as the Golden Bears pulled way from Portland 78-43.
The Bears were up 22-13 in the first quarter and 43-22 at halftime.
Reagan Johnson finished with 14 points and Daniel Schroder 11 for Mt. Juliet. John Mark Bell drained three 3-pointers as he and Nolan Chowbay each tossed in 10. James Womack notched nine points, Bailey Howard seven, Will Byrum five; Austin Brown, Nick Sadler and Trey Pruitt four apiece and Justin Williams two.
Mt. Juliet will play host to the Chick-fil-A Classic next weekend.