WATERTOWN — Watertown’s girls matched Goodpasture’s intensity, determination, desire, defense, quickness and most any other intangible one can think of.
But the Tigerettes couldn’t match the length of Micah Holmes, who led the Lady Cougars to a 46-36 win in the District 8-A championship game Monday night.
Holmes blocked several Watertown shots with a loud bang. And when she got the ball down low, often on offensive rebounds, it was usually over as she totaled 24 points to lead the Lady Cougars to their 20th triumph of the season against seven setbacks in their first season in 8-A.
And if it wasn’t Holmes, it was district most valuable player Cariona Hassell, who hit a pair of three-pointers on her way to 15 points.
Watertown, which beat Goodpasture in overtime at home during the regular season, matched the Lady Cougars during the early going, exiting the first quarter with a 13-12 edge.
But Holmes’ layup to open the second quarter put Goodpasture in front and Paige Randolph’s transition basket broke a 14-14 tie and the Lady Cougars never trailed again.
Goodpasture led 22-16 at halftime. Watertown worked the margin to 27-26 on a pair of free throws by center Bobbi Staats, who led the Tigerettes’ with 10 points. Alicia Jennings’ driving layup made it 29-28 going into the fourth.
But after Bay Cole’s short baseline jumper pulled Watertown with in 31-30, Morgan Warren scored on a driving layup and Holmes hit three straight putbacks to open a nine-point lead to put the “home” team [as Goodpasture was the higher-seeded team] in control.
Cole, Alicia Jennings, Jasmine High and Dae Dae Nunley each scored six points and Katie Dalton two for the Tigerettes.
Watertown, in its first district final since around 1999, will bring a 19-10 record into Friday’s Region 4-A opener against visiting Pickett County. Clay County will travel to Goodpasture with the winners advancing to the semifinals next week at Livingston Academy.
Before the game, the all-district team was announced. Watertown’s Lane Price was named coach of the year. Jennings was named to the first team, Shelby Mofield t the second team and Staats, Nunley and High the third team.
Golden Bears knock off top-seed Central, will play for 9-AAA title tonight, Wildcats claim 3rd
HENDERSONVILLE — Mt. Juliet’s unlikely surge through the District 9-AAA boys’ tournament continued Saturday night when the Golden Bears upset top-seeded Wilson Central 65-52.
The Wildcats bounced back Monday night to beat Gallatin 54-42 to salvage third place.
The Bears, who knocked off host Beech the night before, will go for what is believed to be their first-ever district tournament championship at 8 p.m. Tuesday against Station Camp.
As it is, Mt. Juliet secured a home game for 7 p.m. Saturday in the opening round of the Region 5-AAA tournament against either Springfield or West Creek while Wilson Central will have to travel to tonight’s Henry County-Kenwood winner.
“It’s always a nice thing to be there,” said Mt. Juliet coach Troy Allen, whose Bears have won regular-season championships and reached the tournament finals, but never won the title which really counts. “Those guys deserve it. We had a tough last couple of weeks of the season. But we never game in. We kept fighting the fight.”
Two straight three-pointers by John Mark Bell and a third by Nolan Chowbay following a steal launched Mt. Juliet to a 14-6 lead late in the first quarter. A 10-0 Golden Bear run in the second opened a 26-10 margin and the Wildcats could get no closer than nine in the closing minutes as MJ moved to 17-10 for the season and Central slipped to 21-6.
“John Mark played incredible,” Allen said. “He’s been in a little slump late in the year where he didn’t play his best. He’s really had a good year moving to point guard as a senior. I couldn’t be prouder of how he played tonight.”
Bell sank 10 of 12 free throws in the fourth quarter to lead Mt. Juliet with 16 points while Chowbay finished with 15. Daniel Schroder sank 6 of 7 from the line as he and James Womack each tossed in 12 while Reagan Johnson scored six and Zac Anderson four as the Bears bagged 28 of 35 free throws.
But it may have been Womack’s defense on Central’s Jacob Williams, holding the Wildcats’ career scoring leader to 14 points, that was a key.
“I don’t think [Womack] felt like he guarded [Williams] as well as he could the last game and he takes that as a personal challenge,” Allen said.
“We know [Williams] is the best player we play every year and [Womack] took it personally how he went off the last game.
“Our whole team has to guard him and James will be the first to tell you that. We guard him with multiple people attacking him once he gets the ball.”
The Wildcats kicked up their defense down the stretch. But too many 1-for-2 and 0-for-2 trips to the free-throw line, where they were 16-of-29 for the game, didn’t help their cause.
“They just whipped us on the glass,” Wildcats coach Troy Bond said. “The other two games [both Central wins], we were able to control the glass a lot. They were more physical. We settled a lot on offense for shots where before we were patient, took our time.
“They came in with a purpose and what they wanted to accomplish. We were a little too cool and kept thinking ‘everything is going to materialize out’ and it never did. They just took it to us and we didn’t respond until late when we finally started playing a little bit. But you can’t spot a team 12 points and then decide to start coming in and trying to play the last four minutes.”
Central was called for six charging fouls, three of which negated baskets.
“We had some tough calls,” Bond said. “But you got to play through those. There are nights when we get those against other people. We’ve got to adjust to what’s going on on the floor and we didn’t do a very good job of that. We just didn’t seem real focused in.”
Big man Ben Palmer put in 18 points for Central while Jon Rosshirt scored seven, Casey Brandon and Matthew Hall five each, A.J. Franklin two and Deante Miller a free throw.
The Wildcats put aside Saturday’s disappointment enough to double the score on Gallatin in the first quarter to 12-6. The Wildcats led 27-15 at halftime and 37-27 going into the fourth.
After a struggling Saturday, Williams was sizzling on Monday with 29 points and 10 rebounds, hitting 11 of 12 free throws.
Miller scored seven points while Hall had six, Rosshirt five with three assists and four steals, Palmer four and Brandon three.
Lady Bears blow by Lebanon, Devilettes defeated by Hendersonville.
HENDERSONVILLE — Mt. Juliet’s girls punched their ticket to the District 9-AAA final early in Saturday’s semifinal, crushing Lebanon 52-26 at Beech.
Then on Monday night, the Devilettes dropped to fourth place with a 56-45 loss to Hendersonville.
The Lady Bears scored 10 straight to jump to a 17-4 lead early in the second quarter and never looked back in improving to 24-1.
Mt. Juliet will face host Beech at 6:30 p.m. tonight in the final. The Lady Bears will play a home Region 5-AAA opening game at 7 p.m. Friday while the Devilettes, who dropped to 13-15 with last night’s loss, will travel to either Kenwood or Rossview.
Raeyana DeGray scored 12 of her 21 points in the fourth quarter for Mt. Juliet while fellow post Sally McCabe tossed in 12. Tyia Waller supplied seven, Savannah Sanders sank a pair of three-pointers as she and Ronjanae DeGray each supplied six points. Summer Adams added two points and Taylor Bounds and Tavie Bell a free throw apiece.
Madison Sloan sank all eight of her free throws in leading Lebanon with 18 points. Morgan Bruce, Jordyne Denney, Kristen Dedman and Bailey Sells each scored two.
Against Hendersonville, Lebanon fell behind 28-17 at halftime as the Lady Commandos climbed to 21-7.
Senior center Emily Hatfield had 18 points and guard Carly Short 10 for the winners.
Bruce threw in 13 points and Sloan 12 for Lebanon. Kelsey Yarbrough finished with five points, Jameka Dowell and Kendra Brown four each, Ireland Elie three and Dedman and Sells two apiece.
Purple Tigers fall to Gordonsville, face Merrol Hyde in 8-A consolation tonight
WATERTOWN — Watertown’s fourth-quarter comeback fell short 51-48 to Gordonsville in the District 8-A semifinals Saturday night.
The Purple Tigers slipped to 13-14 and will face Merrol Hyde at 6 p.m. tonight for third place and travel to either Pickett County or Clarkrange on Saturday night to open the Region 4-A tournament. Gordonsville [15-13] will face top-seed Goodpasture at 7:30 p.m. tonight for the district championship
Gordonsville held a 22-20 halftime edge before using an 18-10 third quarter to open a 40-30 lead. Watertown closed the contest with an 18-11 fourth.
Dylan Speck scored 13 points from the post while senior guard Ty Jobe added 11 points to go with eight rebounds for the Purple Tigers. Seth Price pu tin eight points, Brandon George seven [with six rebounds], Zach Edwards five and Hunter Warren four.