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Elie FTs lift Devilettes in 2 OTs
Dec 08, 2006 12:00 am
When London Elie went to the free-throw line for two shots in the final seconds of the second overtime with her Lebanon team trailing by a point Tuesday night, the only ones in Campbell Brandon Gym who were excited about the prospect were probably the White County Warriorettes, who had seen the Devilette post miss 7 of 11 during the game.
But the junior center looked like a 95-percent shooter with 7.9 seconds left as she swished both shots to lift Lebanon to a 70-69 victory.
"I was like, 'If I miss these, I might as well just run off right now'," Elie said after an 18-point performance. "I just had it in my head I was going to swish both of them and that's what I did because I haven't been doing too well at the free-throw line at all, so I had to make those. I my mind, I knew I was going to make them."
First-year Lebanon coach Darian Brown said, "We've talked to London so many times about, step up there and believe you're going to make it. That was the one thing right before she shot Coach (Emily) Piercey hollared out to her and said, 'London, believe it's going in, believe it's going in'. And she stepped right up there and she knocked them down. And that's a credit to her because she had the confidence to jump up there and make the stroke like she'd been doing all along."
At 5-4 for the season, the Devilettes surpassed last season's victory total. More importantly, Lebanon is off to a 2-0 start in District 7-AAA following the back-and-forth victory.
"To be in a game like this and find a way to win, that says a lot where these girls have come and what they're doing," said Brown, who inherited a program with a total of 10 triumphs over the previous three seasons. "This is two games, we went into overtime with Father Ryan and now this game with White County. We've found a way to win in overtime. That says a lot about who we are and says a lot about being a winner."
Elie said, "It feels great. As everybody knows, we haven't had a winning season in years and now that we've got a taste of it, we're not going to let it go."
The game was a back-and-forth affair which saw both teams appear to be on the verge of locking it away. A three-pointer by Lacy Yslas, who totaled 21 points, mostly from within 10 feet, opened a 61-55 lead in the first overtime. But triples by Jasmin Brooks and Ebony Marshall forced a second four-minute extra session at 62-62.
Baskets by Crystal Howse, who led Lebanon with 23 points, twice put the Devilettes up by eight points, the latter at 41-33, in the fourth quarter.
But Yslas sank 10 fourth-period points to bring White County back. Her baseline jumper put the Warriorettes up 54-52 inside the final minute. But Brooks' pullup shot from the baseline forced overtime 54-54.
"So many times, you'd think, 'Uh-oh. Are we going to be able to get back?'," Brown said. "And we'd find a way to get back and we'd get ahead and we'd think, 'We're going to put it away'.
"Nobody could ever take control of the game. It wasn't a situation where the teams weren't executing. Both teams just showed up and played well."
The teams went back and forth in the first quarter before Brittany Cash's fastbreak layin brought White County into a 10-10 tie.
Yslas' layup put the Warriorettes in front to begin the second quarter and White County went up by as much as 20-13 on Rachel Scott's 19-footer. But Howse hit two from the line to draw the Devilettes within 22-19 by halftime.
A steal and layup by Kim Ha enabled Lebanon to finally catch White County 31-31 with just over three minutes left in the third quarter. Ebony Marshall's fastbreak layup put the Devilettes in front 35-33 going into the fourth quarter and ignited an 8-0 run.
Brooks and Icelyn Elie each tossed in 10 points for Lebanon while Marshall finished with five and Ha and Chastidy Herrod two each.
Cash scored 16 points and Scott 10 for the Warriorettes, who slipped to 5-2, 0-2.
Lebanon will head to Murfreesboro on Friday to face another resurgent district rival, Oakland, at 6:30 p.m.
Lady 'Cats parade past LaVergne
LAVERGNE — LaVergne freshman Laquinta Jefferson made a quick first impression on the defending state champions Tuesday night.
But Wilson Central imposed its will down following the first quarter in a 72-42 victory in the teams' District 9-AAA opener.
Jefferson scored nine of her 14 points in the first period which ended with LaVergne in front 18-17. She sank 7 of 8 shots.
"The first quarter, they challenged us pretty good," Central coach Bud Brandon said after his Lady Wildcarts climbed to 7-0. "They just took the ball out of our hands."
But Central shot the ball better as the night progressed, going from 47 percent in the first half as the Lady Wildcats led 35-26 at halftime to 56 percent in the third and fourth quarters. LaVergne hit 13 of 24 in the first half before cooling off to 28 percent in the second half.
"We really shot the ball well," said Brandon, whose Lady Wildcats were the grand marshals in Lebanon's Christmas parade Sunday. "We did a great job in transition."
Tierney Jenkins totaled 21 points for Central while Jasmine Hassell added 11. Chelsea Burroughs and Sara Williams each notched nine, Lauren Wasson eight, Lauren Farmer six (on two three-pointers), Krystin Clark five and Jessyca Christopher a three.
Central will host district rival Beech at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
Tigerettes stay ahead of Trousdale County
WATERTOWN — Watertown took an early lead Tuesday and played from ahead all night in a 46-35 District 8-A victory over Trousdale County.
The Tigerettes were up 13-6 following the first quarter, 27-13 at halftime and 31-23 through three periods as they improved to 4-2 for the season and 2-1 in the district.
"We got off to a good start and were able to play with the speed we wanted to play," Watertown coach Jeff Luttrell said. "We shot the ball better tonight.
"A pretty good team effort."
Brittnee Sells tossed in two three-pointers on her way to 13 for Watertown. Forward Amanda Montgomery managed 12 and center Miaushia Thompson 10 from inside. Sarah Reeder also racked up a pair of triples on her way to eight while Laura Clark connected on a trey.
Alyx Longnecker tossed in a pair of threes on her way to 10 for Trousdale.
Watertown will travel to Mt. Juliet Christian on Thursday for a 6 p.m. tipoff.
Five weeks of practice makes perfect for Friendship
After more than five weeks of practice, Friendship Christian finally took to the court for real Tuesday night and promptly crushed visiting Merrol Hyde 58-27 at the Bay Family Sportsplex.
The Lady Commanders were left on the season's starting block while the football team, with all but three of the boys basketball players, were extending that season to the limit in the BlueCross Bowl last Friday.
"We've been practicing," Lady Commander coach Deanna Teeter said. "The girls were glad to finally play because we're tired of practicing.
"The girls played well. We got after them on defense, a lot of hustle."
Friendship fired out to a 20-2 first-quarter lead and carried a 38-14 margin into halftime.
Lindsey Farmer finished with 11 points while fellow post Katy Vaughan tossed in 10. Carly Warmath notched nine, Sara Hay eight, Jesse Couch seven and Gabbie Lowe and Lacey Farmer two apiece.
No one scored in double figures for Merrol Hyde.
Friendship will bus to Clay County on Friday for a 6:30 p.m. tipoff.
MT. JULIET — The Smyrna-Mt. Juliet rivalry was one of the great ones a generation ago.
With Smyrna a force to be reckoned with again, Mt. Juliet blasted the Lady Bulldogs 80-58 Tuesday moments before The Cave was christened Tommy Martin Gymnasium.
Tommy Martin led Mt. Juliet during the rivalry's earlier hayday in the early 1980s as the teams won state championships in consecutive years.
"It's an honor and very humbling to have the gym named after me," Martin said. "I've spent a lot of hours in here, just an honor. I'm humbled and honored to have my name associated with Lady Bear basketball and Mt. Juliet High School."
Current coach Chris Fryer, in his ninth season after succeeding Martin in 1998, pushed to have the gym named for his predecessor.
"People don't realize what a quality person Coach Martin is besides his quality coaching ability," Fryer said. "They just don't make people like him anymore."
As for the game, the Lady Bears bolted out to a 28-7 first-quarter lead and carried a 46-23 margin into halftime.
Taylor Hall was shackled by foul trouble while K.C. VanAtta was held in check by Jasmine White. But Jordan Nixon came through with 24 points in the post while Heather Miller and Becca Sharpe scored 17 each as the Lady Bears improved to 6-1 by winning their District 9-AAA opener.
"If you told me we werre going to win and be ahead 33 points (in the first half) against Smyrna with the big kids they have and (point guard Emily) Pollock, with two of our better offensive players not having a big night, I wouldn't have believed it."
Sharpe sank three 3-pointers while VanAtta, who scored seven, and Hall, who had six, tossed in two triples each. Miaca Bowman finished with five points while Corley Bell and Katie Bryan had two apiece.
"I like the balance on our team," Fryer said. "It's hard to say you got to stop this one and stop that one when you have great balance."
White tossed in 21 points and Alex Adams 11 for Smyrna.
Mt. Juliet will travel to Hendersonville on Friday for a 6:30 p.m. district game.
Westmoreland presses past Lady Saints
MT. JULIET — Using quickness and offensive rebounding, Westmoreland raced past Mt. Juliet Christian 56-20 Tuesday night.
The Lady Eagles pressed their way to a 12-0 first-quarter lead. It was 34-5 at halftime as the Lady Saints slipped to 2-4 for the season and 1-1 in District 8-A.
Point guard Lindsay Jones finished with 14 points and fellow guard Rachel Saucier tossed in 12 for Westmoreland.
Sarah Worden threw in 13 points for Mt. Juliet Christian while Christine Humes had three, Paige Hudson two and Anna Haley and Leanna Sanders a free throw each.
Mt. Juliet Christian will host district rival Watertown at 6 p.m. Thursday.
Sports Editor Andy Reed can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 17 or by e-mail at email@example.com.