WATERTOWN — The bank was open late on Friday for Jenna Haun, and because it was, Watertown’s girls possibly closed their gym in grand fashion with a chance for one more home game.
Haun hit four three-pointers, with two coming off the glass, to ignite the Tigerettes from a slow start to a 52-46 ousting of Pickett County in the Region 4-A tournament opener.
Her heroics came after Watertown 9-0 at the first-quarter break. Haun hit a bank three in the second quarter and her other three in the third – one to tie the score 23-23 and the next to put the Tigerettes ahead for the first time 26-23.
After Pickett County’s Abbi Bock buried a triple on the other end, Haun’s final three put Watertown ahead for good and the Tigerettes, who couldn’t buy a free throw in the first half, sank 17 of 24 in the fourth quarter [including 9 of 14 by Jasmine High] to advance to the semifinals with a 20-10 mark.
“The first quarter, we were just nervous again, coming out before this big crowd,” said Watertown coach Lane Price, whose Tigerettes will take on defending state champion Jackson County at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Livingston Academy. “We missed some easy layups and some free throws that we don’t miss.
“I told them we just needed to calm down and we just needed to continue to execute and we would be fine.”
Haun had a career-high 15 points to lead Watertown while High and center Bobbi Staats each scored 10. Dae Dae Nunley and Bay Cole collected six points apiece while lone senior Alicia Jennings finished with four and Mya Gaines a free throw.
“I told them before the game that when you win and advance, people have to do things they have never done before,” Price said of Haun. “So I give her all the credit for doing that.”
Jayna Ferrell sank 6 of 7 free throws in pacing Pickett County with 14 points while Brinna Bowman threw in 13 as the Lady Bobcats closed their season 20-9.
Though the Lady Bobcats led early, Price felt the Tigerettes had Pickett where he wanted them.
“We were back guarding our basket, making it tough on them to score,” Price said. ”We felt we needed to play this game in the 50s to win it. Before, we were giving up 60 to them. Guarding our basket was going to be a premium tonight.
“They’re a small, quick team and they feed off scoring around the basket. Once we watched our first two games with them, we noticed how many baskets they made around the basket.”
Watertown will be in a new school next year. Barring a region championship [which got easier on paper when District 8 champion Goodpasture was upset at home by Clay County], the Tigerettes won’t play in their 31-year-old gym again. But they are two wins from doing just that if they can do what the boys did last year and advance past the region semis for the first time.
“Playing Jackson County twice before, we’ll take these next two days and get ready for them and go up there and give it our best shot,” said Price, who praised not just his girls, but the boys’ players and the student body dressed for the beach, as well as the community for helping to create a loud atmosphere.
“Our crowds have been huge,” Price said. “The district finals and this satellite game has been unbelievable. I counted 141 students over there tonight who dressed up in the beach attire to support us. I know these girls really appreciate it and it was just a great atmosphere for us.”
Both communities are expected back tonight when Pickett’s boys visit for the region opener. Tipoff will be at 7 p.m.
Lady Bears crush Clarksville
MT. JULIET — Mt. Juliet’s girls had little trouble with Clarksville on Friday night in a 74-29 trouncing to open the Region 5-AAA tournament.
The Lady Bears led 17-11 following the first quarter, 38-18 at halftime and 58-27 going into the fourth as they advanced to Monday’s 6 p.m. semifinal against Hendersonville [a 69-50 winner at Kenwood] at Rossview.
Raeyana DeGray’s 21 points paced the Lady Bears while twin sister Raeyana tossed in 12 and center Sally McCabe 11. Ashley Roby sank three 3-pointers on her way to nine points while Tavie Bell scored six, Skye Riggan and Tyia Waller five each, Savannah Sanders a three and Summer Adams two.
No one scored in double figures for the Lady Wildcats, whose season ended at 13-15.
Rossview pulls away from Devilettes in fourth
CLARKSVILLE — District 10-AAA champion Rossview got off to a good start and an even better finish Friday night in ousting Lebanon from the Region 5-AAA tournament with a 56-40 victory.
The Lady Hawks led 11-5 following the first quarter, 18-14 at halftime and 32-26 through three before closing out the Devilettes’ 13-16 season with a 24-14 fourth.
Janie White sank 7 of 9 free throws in leading the Lady Hawks with 17 points while Ashley Powers poured in three 3-pointers on her way to 15 as Rossview will stay at home for Monday’s semifinal against Beech with a 25-2 mark.
Madison Sloan closed her Lebanon career with a 15-point night, sinking 7 of 8 free throws. Guard Jameka Dowell added 11 while Kristen Dedman finished with four, Morgan Bruce and Kendra Brown three each and Bailey Sells and Kelsey Yarbrough two apiece.
McClain falls short in inaugural tourney final
Madison Academy rallied past host McClain Christian 59-56 on an Emmanuel Smith three-pointer in the final seconds Friday afternoon to capture the inaugural Bulldog Invitational at Immanuel Baptist Church.
McClain led most of the first half and opened a 12-point lead early in the third quarter before Madison used a 16-1 run to take the lead. Madison was up 50-43 with two minutes left before the Bulldogs came barking back to tie the game 56-56 on two Eli Shouse free throws with 14.6 seconds left.
But Smith’s triple with 6.3 ticks remaining held when Charlie Booher’s shot as time expired hit the front of the rim, ending Madison’s season at 12-11 and McClain’s at 3-20.
Tournament most valuable player Elliot Furman led Madison with 26 points and 16 rebounds while Donovan Tucker tossed in 10 points and Smith nine.
Shouse was named to the all-tournament team after supplying 17 points and five rebounds for McClain. Booher scored six of his 13 points in the final 90 seconds. Will Norton notched nine points, Jon Whitener eight points and four rebounds and Evan Tubb seven points and 12 caroms.
“Our kids played great,” McClain coach Scott Liptrap said. “This was a team that had handled us twice this year and we took them to the brink. That’s certainly something you love to see in the last game.”
“What a game,” MCA athletic director Seth Bass said. “That was everything you want out of a championship game, even if we did fall short. I couldn’t be more pleased with how this tournament has unfolded in its first year.”
Cornerstone Baptist topped Bowling Green Christian 61-36 in the consolation contest.
On Thursday night, McClain reached the championship game by beating Cornerstone Baptist 58-45.
“It was a great win, and probably our best performance of the season,” said Liptrap.
Shouse supplied 15 points and six rebounds for the Bulldogs while Whitener totaled 10 points and five caroms. Booher and Norton each notched nine points and Tubb seven rebounds.
Paul Byrnes poured in 19 points for Cornerstone, which fell behind 20-10 in the first quarter.
All four teams are independent teams not affiliated with any conference. Bass said he is looking to expand the field to eight teams next year and possibly 16 by 2016, in which case other schools would host opening rounds. The event was created to give independent schools and their players a chance to experience a postseason tournament.
“It was a great opening night of the tournament,” Bass said. “It’s the first time we’ve tried something like this, and we hope to get some more independent teams involved next season.
“We’re so grateful to Immanuel Baptist for allowing us to have such a great venue to host at.”