MT. JULIET — The Lebanon-Mt. Juliet series completely flipped from last Saturday to last night.
Six nights after absorbing come-from-ahead 10-point loss at Lebanon, Mt. Juliet paid back the Blue Devils with a homecourt 65-52 victory before a rocking bi-partisan crowd Friday night.
Lebanon came from behind last week by pressing the Golden Bears and beating them down the floor. This time, Mt. Juliet beat the Blue Devil defense down the floor with long outlet passes and, on the other end, got back on defense to force LHS to operate out of the halfcourt.
And it didn’t help Lebanon’s cause to lose guard KeShawn Abston to a first-quarter foot injury after he picked up a couple of fouls.
“The game tonight was about as total opposite from Saturday as you could get,” Lebanon coach Jim McDowell said after his Blue Devils dropped to 12-5 for the season and 4-2 in District 9-AAA. “On Saturday, we were the ones getting the transition baskets. We were the aggressors. The shoe was on the other foot tonight.
“You got to tip your hat to Coach [Troy] Allen and Mt. Juliet. They made some adjustments from last week. Anytime you play them, you’re going to have to match their toughness. I was proud of our guys for the way we competed in the first half. [But] they were by far the tougher team in the second half.”
Eddie McDaniels dropped in a three-pointer from the wing to draw the Blue Devils within 26-24 going into halftime.
But Mt. Juliet seized control with an 18-9 third quarter capped by Daniel Schroder’s baseline basket.
The opening minutes were back and forth until Lebanon used an 8-0 run to go up 13-8 on DaShawn McMurry’s fadeaway in the lane.
But Mt. Juliet reeled off five points in a row to catch Lebanon at 13-13 on James Womack’s coast-to-coast layup. His transition layup put the Goldean Bears ahead for good at 20-18 3:14 before halftime.
Nolan Chowbay didn’t start, but came off the Bear bench less than three minutes in and led the home team with 19 points while Schroder scored 17 and Womack 16. John Mark Bell swished seven and Reagan Johnson six, all in the fourth quarter, as Mt. Juliet improved to 11-8, 4-3.
McMurry led Lebanon with 14 points while big man Corvell Huddleston had foul trouble on his way to tossing in 12. McDaniels threw in three triples for his nine while Kadarian Garnett added eight, including a pair of threes. Abston had all four of his points early and Jemel Officer two off the bench.
Both teams will next travel to Hendersonville – Mt. Juliet on Monday and Lebanon on Tuesday.
First-place Central rolls past Hendersonville
GLADEVILLE — In what can be described as a dog-eat-dog district on most nights, first-place Wilson Central’s boys enjoyed a relative breather in a 69-45 win over visiting Hendersonville on Friday night.
The Wildcats led 16-6 following the first quarter, 31-13 at halftime and 51-30 going into the fourth as they climbed to 12-4 for the season and 5-1 in the district.
Big man Ben Palmer powered in 24 points and secured six rebounds for Central while guard Jacob Williams nailed a pair of three-pointers on his way to 19. Deante Miller notched nine points to go with four steals and four assists while Jon Rosshirt supplied seven points and five assists, Matthew Hall six points and Tyler Rogers and Cortez Owens two points apiece.
Central will play host to Beech on Tuesday night and Station Camp in a makeup game Wednesday.
Price, Speck lead Purple Tigers past Trousdale
WATERTOWN — Watertown’s boys remained comfortably in second place in District 8-A with a 66-43 win over Trousdale County on Friday night.
The Purple Tigers led 16-10 following the first quarter, 38-17 at halftime and 53-32 through three periods.
Seth Price poured in a pair of three-pointers as he and Dylan Speck each scored 17 points for the Purple Tigers. Price also pulled down six rebounds, passed for three assists and swiped four steals.
Hunter Warren notched nine points to go with five rebounds while Ty Jobe supplied six points, seven rebounds and three assists; Colin Jennings five points and three assists, Zach Edwards four points and three assists, Devon High a three-pointer, Brant Martin and Brandon George two points apiece and Cameron Jennings a free throw.
Watertown will remain in district action Tuesday when the Purple Tigers bus to Red Boiling Springs.
Finally – Commanders celebrate first win
Once a St. Andrew's-Sewanee 3-point shot attempt fell harmlessly to the floor Friday night, Friendship Christian's boys basketball team had reason to celebrate.
The Commanders celebrated their first win, a 45-42 verdict at the Bay Family Sportsplex, with the student body.
Andrew Wood had 15 points and Zach Blair's 10 points included a clutch free throw with eight seconds left to spark FCS (1-12).
"We battled the whole game with them, and kept taking the fight to them," first-year Friendship coach Ben Johnson said following his first win at his alma mater. "They had one kid who hit three 3s to get them back in the game, but we kept fighting, fighting and fighting.
"It was good to see the kids rewarded."
Colton Gaines added eight points while Gregory Elliott added five, Michael Hawks had four, Joseph McNamee two and Tyler Alverson one.
The teams were tied at 8 after one quarter and at 17 going to halftime. The Commanders took a 32-24 lead into the fourth quarter and held on.
"It was an excited locker room," Johnson said. "Our student section stormed the court. They know how hard we've been working and it was good to celebrate with them."
Friendship will stay home Tuesday to play host to Lancaster Christian on Tuesday night.
Riverside avenges loss to McClain
Visiting Riverside Christian avenged a December loss to McClain Christian by beating the host Bulldogs 84-74 Friday night before a packed homecoming crowd at Immanuel Baptist Church.
The Knights led 29-24 following the first quarter, 49-40 at halftime and 70-57 through three as the Bulldogs dropped to 1-11.
“Probably our best rebounding game of the season, but this was a tough loss for us, no doubt,” McClain coach Scott Liptrap said.
Jon Whitener led McClain with 20 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks while Eli Shouse scored 16. Evan Tubb finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds while Daniel Boyer added 11 points and six steals.
McClain will play host to the Middle Tennessee Heat homeschool team at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Immanuel.