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Bears, FCS fall on sectional road
Mar 07, 2007 12:00 am
NASHVILLE — Mt. Juliet's boys had no answer for DeMonte Harper Monday night as the 6-4 guard led Whites Creek past the Golden Bears 55-40 in the TSSAA sectional.
Harper, a Morehead State-committment who tossed in 21 points, scored seven first-period points to send Whites Creek to a 12-8 lead and 13 by halftime as the Cobras, running a patient offense against Mt. Juliet's zone and a tight man-to-man defense, struck for a 27-12 advantage.
"People assume they press and they shoot quick," Mt. Juliet coach Troy Allen said. "They'll play halfcourt man defense as well as you'll see.
"Offensively, they'll play patient until they find the matchup they want. When they get, they'll drive and when you bring help, they'll dish it off. Real simple but real effective."
Jeremy Dixon tried to bring the Golden Bears back in the third quarter with nine points. But Whites Creek still led 39-24 going into the fourth.
Whites Creek led 46-26 midway through the fourth quarter before the Golden Bears, who never led, put together their only run of the night. A 9-0 spurt brought Mt. Juliet within 48-38. But the Cobras connected on 7 of 8 free throws over the final 1:35 to send them back to the State Tournament with a 30-3 record.
"They're a great team," Allen said. "They're a better team than us right now. They played like a big-time team... Everybody on that team has been in that game the last three years and they know what it's about.
"We played pretty good in the second half. It took a while to get used to how intense they are defensively."
Mt. Juliet, in its fourth sectional since 1993, finished 21-12.
"We had a good year," Allen said. "We've improved both years I've been here. Hopefully, next year we'll take it one more step."
Center Josh Eddy tossed in 10 points for Whites Creek.
Demond Craig scored seven of his 16 points in the fourth quarter for Mt. Juliet while Dixon dropped in all but two of his 13 in the second half. Cory Payne powered in six, Antwuan Majors a three-point play to ignite the late rally and Ryan Overstreet two.
By the time the Bears made their final run, the stands were packed. Fans who didn't arrive real early were greeted by a long line outside. That line was still coming in well into the third quarter.
Crusaders ride past Commanders into State Tournament
CHATTANOOGA — Friendship Christian was in a good position with host Tennessee Temple until the Commanders self-destructed during a second-quarter run of disaster in what turned out to be a 64-41 sectional setback Monday night.
The Commanders led 10-9 following the first quarter and were up by five during the second before three straight turnovers led to eight Temple points in a 10-0 Crusader run.
"We went into our usual three-minute dry spell and you can't do that in the substate," Friendship coach Matt Bradshaw said after the conclusion of a 24-7 season.
Temple led 29-24 at halftime. Friendship kept pace with the Crusaders until three minutes remained in the third quarter when the Commanders hit another dry spell and fell behind 42-30 going into the fourth.
"You get into the substate game against the No. 1 team in the state and you can't stop scoring," Bradshaw said. "Give Temple credit. They did a good job keeping us from scoring."
Guard Jeremy Sexton led four Crusaders in double figures with 18 points while Mr. Basketball finalist Seth Skogen scored 16 and point guard Dean Newsome and center Josh Smith 12 apiece as Temple advanced to next week's State Tournament with a 29-3 record.
Michael Teeter scored 17 points in his Friendship finale while fellow senior Garrett McKnight tossed in 12, John Hatcher eight and John Doak and Matt Goodner two apiece.
"Our guys fought hard all year long to get this far and they have nothing to be ashamed of," Bradshaw said.
With Mt. Juliet and Friendship ousted, this is the first time since 1999 a Wilson County team won't play in either the Boys or Girls State Tournament. Lebanon's boys [2000 and '01], Mt. Juliet's girls ['00, 01, '03 and '05], Friendship's girls ['02 and '03], Wilson Central's boys ['04 and '05] and Central's girls ['04-'06] have represented the county in the state's round of eight.
This is the 11th straight year at least one county team has competed in the sectional round.
Sports Editor Andy Reed can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 17 or by e-mail at email@example.com.