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Jenkins watches as Lanning sweeps awards
Mar 13, 2007 12:00 am
MURFREESBORO — Tierney Jenkins was back on a familiar stage late Saturday night – the floor of Murphy Center.
But a year after being in the center of the spotlight, the Wilson Central senior watched as Riverdale's Anne Marie Lanning made a clean sweep of the awards – State Tournament Most Valuable Player and Miss Basketball – just as Mt. Juliet's Alysha Clark did two years ago.
Missing the State Tournament as a player for the first time in her high school career, Jenkins settled for being one of the two other Miss Basketball finalists, along with William Blount's Angela Puleo.
"This is an honor just to be a finalist, I'm really grateful for that," said Jenkins, who was named tournament MVP last year as she led her Lady Wildcats to the state title. Ranked in the top 10 all season, Central was expected by many to repeat and was rolling through the tournaments until Antioch upended the Lady 'Cats 59-58 in the sectional, keeping them out of the State for the first time after three straight trips.
"I would give [Miss Basketball] up for anything to win the championship and we didn't get to do that this year," Jenkins said. "It's really sad. I shed a couple of tears on my way over here.
"But Anne Marie is our friend and I'm really glad she won and they did a great job."
Jenkins, a 6-1 forward headed to Alabama on a basketball scholarship, averaged 20 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals per game during the regular season, shooting 54 percent from the field and 75 percent from the free-throw line. The three-year starter was named All-State as a junior and scored over 1,800 points and grabbed over 1,000 rebounds.
But Saturday night belong to Lanning, the four-year starter who averaged over 24 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals per game. Playing on her future MTSU home floor, she led the Lady Warriors to a 51-40 win over Memphis Northside with team-highs of 24 points, seven rebounds and five assists while playing all 32 minutes to earn tourney MVP honors before a huge crowd of hometown supporters.
While Riverdale was rolling through the State Tournament, there was a void at Central as the Lady Wildcats abruptly found themselves without basketball.
"I've gotten over it a little," Jenkins said. "This first week back at school was a little sad."
Puleo, a 5-10 point guard/wing, averaged 26.5 points, 4.1 assists and 2.1 steals per game. The Georgia-signee shot 43 percent from three-point range.
Sports Editor Andy Reed can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 17 or by e-mail at email@example.com.