MT. JULIET — Wilson Central’s boys won a typical Wildcat-Mt. Juliet Bear battle 64-58 Tuesday before a rip-roaring bi-partisan crowd.
The Golden Bears scored the first six points before the Wildcats reeled off the next seven. With both teams playing baseline-to-baseline intensity, the lead changed hands until Jacob Williams’ corner three-pointer put Central ahead to stay 15-12 in the final minute of the first quarter.
Central led by as much as nine points, 38-29, in the third quarter as Matthew Hall scored a fastbreak layup off a Williams pass.
Mt. Juliet made a run and cut the margin to two before the teams exchanged scores. But Central swished 14 of 20 free throws in the fourth as the Wildcats climbed to 12-4 for the season and 4-1 in District 9-AAA.
A big sequence was a five-point Central trip when Williams hit the first two of a three-shot foul. His third-shot miss was saved inbounds by A.J. Franklin and Williams sealed the series with a three-pointer for a five-point trip, giving the Wildcats a 55-44 lead.
“It was a melee,” Wildcats coach Troy Bond said. “It was a tough battle, great crowd, great atmosphere, close game. Kids played hard on both ends.
“Mt. Juliet would make a run to cut the lead and our kids responded and made a big play. We were fortunate to come out on top. All of our starters and kids off the bench played well.”
Point guard Jon Rosshirt led Central with 18 points, hitting 8 of 9 free throws in the second half. Williams sank three 3-pointers on his way to 15 while big man Ben Palmer muscled in 10. Casey Brandon bagged a pair of threes on his way to eight and made a pair of big defensive plays in the first half to diffuse Mt. Juliet fastbreaks near the basket. Franklin scored all seven of his points in the second half, hitting 5 of 6 free throws.
Hall, in his third game back after missing seven with a high ankle sprain, finished with four and Preston Reed two.
All four Bears who scored reached double figures as Mt. Juliet fell to 10-8, 3-3. Nolan Chowbay threw in three triples in leading everyone with 20 points. Reagan Johnson tripled twice on his way to 14 while Daniel Schroder scored 13 and James Womack 11, including nine in the fourth.
Mt. Juliet will play host to Lebanon on Friday night while Wilson Central will entertain Hendersonville.
In makeup games, Central’s game at Hendersonville has been moved from Jan. 26, a Sunday, to the following night, while a home game with Station Camp is tentatively reset for Jan. 22.
Mt. Juliet will play at Hendersonville next Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, with the girls tipping off at 5 p.m.
MJCA boys break long dry spell against FCS
MT. JULIET — Mt. Juliet Christian welcomed Friendship Christian to the East-Middle District 1-A with the Saints’ first win over the Commanders in more than a decade, and just MJCA’s second over their Wilson County rival, 61-42, Tuesday night.
The Commanders, still seeking their first win of the season, jumped to a 13-10 first-quarter lead. But Mt. Juliet Christian used a 15-4 second period to go up 25-17 at halftime and a 20-12 third to lead 45-29 as the Saints moved to 9-8 for the season. Friendship fought to within 13 with about three minutes left before falling to 0-11.
Both teams had plenty of free-throw practice chances as Mt. Juliet Christian connected on 29 of 48 foul shots and Friendship 15 of 29. The Commanders lost Andrew Wood to fouls in the third quarter and Colton Gaines in the fourth.
Zack Jones’ 18 points led Mt. Juliet Christian. Newman Ward swished a pair of three-pointers on his way to 16. Wyatt Oberg added nine points, Landon Boyd six and Alex Graves, Nathan Green and Justus Willis four each.
Zach Blair threw in 13 points and Gregory Elliott 11 for Friendship. Mackey Bentley added eight, Andrew Ward five, Adam Neal and Tyler Alverson two each and Cody Walker a free throw.
Friendship will play host to Goodpasture on Thursday at the Bay Family Sportsplex. Mt. Juliet Christian will make an East Tennessee swing to King’s Academy on Friday and Knoxville Webb on Saturday.
McDaniels’ five threes lead Lebanon past Portland
Lebanon’s boys breezed past visiting Portland 74-45 Tuesday night at Campbell Brandon Gym/Hester Gibbs Court.
The Blue Devils led 18-6 following the first quarter, 36-25 at halftime and 64-38 through three as they improved to 12-4 for the season and 4-2 in District 9-AAA.
Eddie McDaniels dropped in five three-pointers in leading Lebanon with 21 points while Corvell Huddleston had 15 inside. DaShawn McMurry swished in three triples on his way to 11 while Kadarian Garnett added eight, Mickell Taylor seven, Jemel Officer six on a pair of treys and KeShawn Abston, Bryce Lester and Kobe Neuble two each.
Jackson Cook finished with 14 points for Portland while Raymond Russell and Devante Stewart each scored 10 on a pair of threes each as the Panthers fell to 3-16, 1-6.
Lebanon will travel to Mt. Juliet on Friday night.
McClain outscored 72-69
McClain Christian’s boys were outscored 72-69 by visiting Daniel 1 Academy on Monday night at Immanuel Baptist Church.
Daniel 1 led 15-12 following the first quarter, 36-29 at halftime and 51-48 going into the fourth.
Eli Shouse scored 15 points for McClain while Charlie Booher finished with 14 points and seven rebounds, Evan Tubb 13 points and seven caroms, Jon Whitener 13 points and Will Norton 11.
“Very proud of our total team effort,” McClain coach Scott Liptrap said. “We had five guys in double figures and were impressive on defense all night.”
McClain will be back at Immanuel on Thursday when the Western Kentucky Trailblazers come in.