WATERTOWN — When push came to shove, Watertown’s girls pushed into the District 8-A championship game by shoving aside Red Boiling Springs 59-49 Friday night.
The Tigerettes will bring a 19-9 record into Monday’s 7:30 p.m. championship game against Goodpasture, which crushed Merrol Hyde 72-21 in Friday’s other semifinal. Both finalists will play home games next Friday in the Region 4-A opening round against either Pickett County or Clay County before the scene shifts to Livingston Academy.
“Huge win for our program,” said Watertown coach Lane Price, whose Tigerettes are seeking their first district championship since 1995.
Watertown led most of the way, but not for good until the Tigerettes forced a five-second call and Bay Cole scored off the glass to put the home team up 40-39 with just over six minutes to play.
A 9-0 run widened the margin to 55-43 and effectively drop the Lady Bulldogs [11-18] into Monday’s 6 p.m. consolation contest against Merrol Hyde and a region road game at either Jackson County or Clarkrange next Friday.
While Red Boiling Springs focused on controlling the post, Watertown pressured the Lady Bulldogs. But it was fouls which got to RBS, which lost to players to fifth fouls while the Tigerettes tossed in 27 of 34 free throws. The visitors went to the line 20 times, hitting 14.
“We got after them,” Price said. “That wore them down a little bit.
“They did a good job of containing our inside game.”
But the Lady Bulldogs lost sophomore Shelby Mofield enough for her to score 15 points, 12 coming on four three-pointers as she set a school record with 67 triples for the year on 40 percent shooting.
“That’s outstanding for a sophomore,” Price said.
Jasmine High hit 6 of 8 free throws on her way to 12 points while lone senior Alicia Jennings added 11, nine of which came from the line on 10 attempts. Center Bobbi Staats scored seven of her nine in the second half off the bench while Dae Dae Nunley and Bay Cole finished with five apiece and Katie Dalton two.
Mayson Burgener threw in 13 points, Kaithly McCarter 11 [including a pair of threes] and Cayley Tuck 10 for Red Boiling Springs.
The Lady Bulldogs led for much of the first quarter until High drove the lane for a layup to put Watertown in front 13-12 going into the second.
Nunley converted a steal into a three-point play for a 28-19 lead before Red Boiling Springs reeled off six straight to get back into the game.
But though the Lady Bulldogs kept nipping at the Tigerettes’ heels the rest of the night, their only other lead came on Burgener’s three-point play for a 39-38 edge early in the fourth quarter.
The boys will take over tonight for their semifinals. The Purple Tigers will face Gordonsville at 7:30 p.m. after Merrol Hyde takes on top-seed Goodpasture in the 6 o’clock opener. Tonight’s winners will play for the championship Tuesday night and play host to a first-round region game next Saturday while the losers drop into the third-place game and go on the road in the regional.
Gallatin scores late to oust Blue Devils
HENDERSONVILLE — Robert Clayton’s three-point play broke a tie in the closing moments and sent Gallatin to the District 9-AAA semifinals with a 53-50 elimination of Lebanon at Beech on Friday night.
Lebanon had just gone on a 9-0 run to wipe out a 50-41 deficit to tie the game on a KeShawn Abston free throw.
Though the Blue Devils kept it close most of the night, they trailed since it was 19-19 late in the first half. Their last lead was 8-7 on a Kadarian Garnett basket, whose back-to-back three-pointers had gotten Lebnaon off to a 6-2 start.
Garnett closed his Lebanon career with a game-high 18 points while Abston scored 16 and senior DaShawn McMurry 11, with seven rebounds and four assists. But it wasn’t enough to keep Lebanon’s season from ending at 14-12. Drake Allen dropped in a three-pointer and Dawson Hamilton two.
Ladarius House scored 16 points and Devonte Williams 15, including a pair of threes, as Gallatin will continue playing at least three more games, starting with today’s semifinal against Station Camp, with a 19-7 mark.
Wildcats roll into 9-AAA semifinals
HENDERSONVILLE — Wilson Central’s boys did what top seeds are supposed to do to No. 8s – finish them off quickly.
The Wildcats rolled into the District 9-AAA semifinals with a 63-42 pounding of Portland in Friday’s opening round at Beech.
Central used a 20-10 second quarter to widen a 14-11 edge into a 34-21 halftime cushion. The Wildcats finished off the Panthers with a 17-8 third period as they improved to 21-5.
The ‘Cats will play at least three more games, starting with tonight’s 8:30 p.m. semifinal against Mt. Juliet. They will also play in the Region 5-AAA tournament with tonight’s winner playing at home next Saturday.
Portland is finished at 4-24.
Jacob Williams added 16 more points to his school record total and secured a Wildcat-leading six rebounds along the way. Matthew Hall had 15 points while Jon Rosshirt had eight steals and five assists as he and Ben Palmer each put in 10 points. A.J. Franklin and Preston Reed each finished with four points, Jordan Roundtree a three-pointer and Justin Thompson a free throw.
Before Central’s boys play, the girls’ No. 1 seed, Mt. Juliet, will take on Lebanon in tonight’s 7 p.m. semifinal with the winner playing for the championship at 8 p.m. Monday and the loser in the 6:30 consolation. Tonight’s winners will also play a home region game next Friday while the loser goes on the road.
Bears battle back to bounce Beech on Bucs’ floor
HENDERSONVILLE — As the No. 4 seed, Mt. Juliet’s boys were the home team in name only against No. 5 Beech, which happens to be hosting this year’s District 9-AAA tournament.
But the Golden Bears overcame that obstacle as well as a first-half deficit to oust the Buccaneers 53-47 Friday night.
Beech built a 24-16 halftime lead before Mt. Juliet used a 17-6 third to go in front 33-30 and a 20-17 fourth to improve to 16-11.
The Golden Bears bought themselves three more games, starting with tonight’s 8:30 p.m. semifinal against Wilson Central, with the winner playing for the championship Tuesday night and at home in the Region 5-AAA tournament next Saturday. Tonight’s loser will play for third place on Tuesday and on the road Saturday.
Reagan Johnson’s 16 points led Mt. Juliet while Daniel Schroder scored 14 and Nolan Chowbay 10. James Womack supplied six, John Mark Bell five and Will Byrum two.
Parker Henry poured in four three-pointers to lead Beech with 19. But it wasn’t enough as the Buccaneers’ season ended at 17-12.