MT. JULIET — After a back-and-forth first quarter, Mt. Juliet’s girls dominated Beech for the following two periods in a 55-36 victory Friday night.
The Lady Buccaneers led 10-7 late in the first on Ashtin Banks’ three-pointer as Mt. Juliet made just 1 of 7 from long range.
Then Sally McCabe, Mt. Juliet’s leading scorer, scored on her first touch of the ball and went on to score 11 second-period points as the Lady Bears, who had the first of three 9-0 runs, during the quarter, led 26-20 at halftime.
“We had to focus on getting her the basketball,” Mt. Juliet coach Chris Fryer said of McCabe. “I thought she took herself out of the game a lot by staying out on the perimeter and not getting in the post area where she needed to be to begin with.
“It was a combination of her and our guards not doing a good job of reading each other. They did a better job in the second quarter.”
Mt. Juliet, historically a halfcourt team, tried to push the tempo and had success with it, held Beech to three free throws during the third quarter which included another 9-0 run and ended early in the third such spurt. The Lady Bears were up 44-25 before the Lady Bucs trimmed some of the margin with a too little-too late 7-0 spurt as Jordan Neal notched all eight of her points in the final period.
“We tried to focus on [transition],” Fryer said after his Lady Bears improved to 11-1 for the season and 3-0 in District 9-AAA. “When you’re playing a junk defense, which some people would call a combination of man and zone defense like they were playing, transition is an easy way to score and where people can’t find the girl, find the spots, it was key for us to push the ball.
“[Ashley] Roby did a good job getting the ball down the floor and getting us some easy opportunities. And it kind of fits us, too, Rae[yana DeGray] is a good runner and Sally is too.”
McCabe finished with 17 points while Ronjanae DeGray dropped in 10 of her 12 points in the fourth quarter. Roby racked up 10, including a pair of threes. Raeyana DeGray notched nine points, Tyia Waller five and Skye Riggan two.
Falon Baker finished with 12 points and McKenna Taylor 10 as Beech, coached by former Cumberland player Keri Maddox Douglas, fell to 9-5, 2-2.
“At times we made it look easy and at times we looked confused,” Fryer said. “Once we settled down and started figuring out what they were doing and it made it a little easier. And then late in the game, they went man and they really couldn’t guard us in the man.”
Mt. Juliet will travel to Hendersonville at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and Station Camp on Friday before traveling to Lebanon for a makeup game at Campbell Brandon Gym/Hester Gibbs Court at 6:30 p.m. next Saturday, all weather permitting.
Devilettes find first 9-AAA win on the road
GALLATIN — Lebanon’s girls picked up their first District 9-AAA win of the season on the road at Station Camp 42-36 Friday night.
The Devilettes used a 15-9 second quarter to turn a 9-7 edge into a 24-16 halftime lead and widened it further to 38-27 going into the fourth before returning home 6-7 for the season and 1-2 in the district.
Madison Sloan’s 10 points led Lebanon while Kelsey Yarbrough knocked down nine, Jameka Dowell eight, Morgan Bruce seven, Jordyne Denney five and Ireland Elie two.
Kendrea Duke dropped in 21 points and Samantha Parker 11 for the Lady Bison, who fall to 10-6, 2-2.
Lebanon will return to Sumner County on Tuesday to take on Gallatin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. The Devilettes will play host to Beech on Friday and Mt. Juliet, in a makeup, Saturday, both also at 6:30 in Campbell Brandon Gym/Hester Gibbs Court, any and all weather permitting.
Gallatin’s fourth-quarter rally stuns Central
GALLATIN — Gallatin’s girls, who have had little success since winning the state championship in 1999, stormed from behind in the fourth quarter to overtake Wilson Central 45-37 Friday night.
The Lady Wildcats led 34-25 before Gallatin closed out with a 20-3 fourth as the Lady Wave improved to 10-6 for the season and 2-2 in District 9-AAA.
Central coach Bud Brandon, whose school opened in 2001 and whose Lady Wildcats have faced Gallatin at least twice a season ever since, couldn’t remember a previous loss to the Lady Wave.
“We’ve gotten better through the holiday season, then we don’t bring the game we had been playing through the holiday season,” said Brandon, whose Lady Wildcats were held to three free throws in the fourth quarter in falling to 9-4, 2-1. “I can’t remember the last time, if ever, we don’t score a field goal in a quarter.”
The teams were tied 14-14 following the first quarter before Central edged in front 20-18 by halftime and used a 14-7 third to open a seemingly-comfortable 34-25 margin going into the fourth.
But that lead was a distant memory by the time the Lady Wave rallied from behind.
“Gallatin played harder than we did,” Brandon said. “They played smarter than we did. Just hope it’s a learning experience to get focused.
“I don’t think we’re hungry enough right now. It’s a mystery to me. We’ve got to get the confidence level up, the heart level up.”
Keanna Briscoe threw in 13 points and Aleria Duncan 10 for Gallatin.
Hailey Averitt poured in four three-pointers to lead the Lady Wildcats with 14 points while Dominique St. Louis dropped in 13 from inside. Hannah Brewer finished with five points, Rachel Burkett three and Kendall Spray two.
Central will play host to Station Camp at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday while Gallatin entertains Lebanon.
Tigerettes succumb at Goodpasture
MADISON — Facing host Goodpasture for the first time in District 8-A competition, Watertown’s girls gave the Lady Cougars a battle before succumbing 63-52 Friday night.
The Lady Cougars led 19-11 following the first quarter before Watertown climbed to within 28-25 by halftime and 46-42 through three as Goodpasture improved to 9-3 for the season and 2-0 in the district.
Morgan Warren tossed in 20 points and Lauren King 14 as each connected on four three-pointers for Goodpasture. Cariona Hassell and Micah Holmes had 11 apiece.
Bobbi Staats’ 17 points in the post paced the Tigerettes while Dae Dae Nunley notched 10. Alicia Jennings scored seven points while Bay Cole and Jasmine High had four each, Shelby Mofield a three-pointer; Katie Dalton, Jenna Haun and Mya Gaines two apiece and Mya Huddleston a free throw.
Watertown is scheduled to travel to Westmoreland on Monday for a 6 p.m. tipoff.