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Lady 'Cats dominate Dickson, return to sectional
Mar 01, 2007 12:00 am
HENDERSONVILLE — Dickson County and Wilson Central traded basket for basket and lead for lead during the first 12 minutes of Monday's Region 5-AAA semifinal at Beech.
Then the light clicked on for the defending state champion Lady Wildcats, who punted the Lady Cougars back to Dickson with a 67-34 thumping.
A steal and pullup jumper by Rebecca Simpson put Dickson County up 22-21 3:53 before halftime.
But Central's Jamine Hassell was fouled on a go-ahead putback. Her missed free throw was rebounded by Sara Williams, who fed Tierney Jenkins for a layup to complete the four-point trip.
It went from bad to worse for the Lady Cougars, who were outscored 10-2 to close the first half, 25-6 in the third quarter and 36-10 in the second half to end a 23-9 season.
The Lady Wildcats are on their way to the region final and sectional for the fourth straight season with a 31-3 mark.
"It's one of the goals for the year is to move on," said Central coach Bud Brandon, whose No. 2-ranked Lady Wildcats will catch Northeast, a 55-46 upset winner over top-ranked Mt. Juliet in Monday's second game, in Wednesday's 7 p.m. final at Beech. "Where we are now, that's where we should be. The girls feel like we should be. We just want to take it one game at a time and continue to have a great season."
Monday's game was enough for Central to concentrate oon as the Lady Cougars crashed the offensive boards early and kept the Lady Wildcats from establishing any momentum. The teams were tied 10-10 at the first-quarter break.
"When you shoot threes, you get long rebounds," Brandon said. "Our keys to winning were there were going to be long rebounds and our guards have got to pick them up and it didn't happen in the beginning of the game and they got two or three opportunities. We never seemed to get settled the first half into what we wanted to do. As a coach, I couldn't get a good feel. We just didn't get into a good rhythm.
"We did a good job the second half of getting control of the game."
Central held Dickson County to 2-of-24 shooting from the floor in the second half while the Lady Wildcats went from hitting half their shots in the first half to two-thirds over the final 16 minutes.
"That's a tremendous defensive effort," Brandon said.
With Alabama coach Stephany Smith watching from the bleachers, Crimson Tide signee Tierney Jenkins tossed in 20 points [and passed for four assists] while sophomore center Jasmine Hassell scored 17 and Williams 12 [with a game-high nine rebounds]. Lauren Wasson supplied six, Jessyca Christopher four, Chelsea Burroughs and Lauren Farmer three each and freshman Ashley Parton two.
"T [Jenkins] let the game come to her tonight," Brandon said. "We had a seven-point lead at half. At that point, we wanted to be patient. We didn't want to do anything in a hurry because one or two three-pointers, they're back to within one. We just wanted to be patient and build on what we had. We did a good job of coming out, taking good shots and putting the ball in the hole.
"Defense is what carried us in the third quarter. We did a good job of cutting the threes down and didn't give those looks. That's what fuels their team is three-point shooting."
No one scored in double figures for the Lady Cougars, who were led by center Stacey Dampf's eight points.
The winner of Wednesday's game will host a sectional at 7 p.m. Saturday while the loser goes on the road. Brentwood and Antioch reached the Region 6-AAA final and will provide the opposition this weekend.
Lady Eagles soar away from Lady Bears late
HENDERSONVILLE — After leading Monday's Region 5-AAA semifinal most of the way, Mt. Juliet seemed powerless to stop surging Northeast as the Lady Eagles soared away with a 55-46 victory at Beech.
James Madison-signee Dawn Evans spelled dusk to Mt. Juliet's season with 26 points, including three 3-pointers. She scored 10 in the fourth quarter and 17 for the second half as Northeast climbed out of a 32-24 halftime hole. The Lady Eagles finally took their first lead 46-45 on her long pass to Jayde Singleton with 2:45 to play.
After Jordan Nixon brought the Lady Bears into a tie, Evans converted a driving layup into a three-point play and knocked down all five of her free throws down the stretch to send her team into Wednesday's 7 p.m. final against Wilson Central with a 31-7 record.
"[Evans] did what a senior is supposed to do," Mt. Juliet coach Chris Fryer said after his ninth season ended 27-4. "You really want your seniors to step up and in the fourth quarter, the third quarter, I thought she took over the game and did a great job. Becca [Sharpe] did a heck of a job on her in the first half and in the second half she elevated her play and did a great job. And you do that when you're a senior. She's a winner."
The Lady Bears led 15-11 following the first quarter and never trailed until late. But Northeast's quickness took its toll as the game progressed.
"They're awfully quick," Fryer said of the Lady Eagles. "We knew that coming in there would be a matchup situation with quickness on their side and we would have to play really well. I thought we turned the ball over too much tonight and those kind of things get you beat for sure."
Senior K.C. VanAtta threw in three 3-pointers on her way to 17 points for Mt. Juliet while Nixon tossed in 12 from inside, center Heather Miller nine and Sharpe eight.
Kamika Williams notched 11 ponits, nine rebounds and five blocked shots for the Lady Eagles, who used their quickness to strip the ball from Mt. Juliet dribblers and block shots inside.
"We didn't throw it in there enough," Fryer said. "We needed to have a few more blocks. Miller had nine points, but I didn't see them stopping her from scoring inside. We just didn't throw the ball to her. We didn't get into our offense enough to get her the basketball. Nixon got called for a few walks at the high post that I thought were questionable at the time and those kind of things hurt us. We've been able to do that this year and tonight we just didn't get those things done."
Boys' semifinal action will be held tonight as Mt. Juliet and Wilson Central will meet at 6 p.m., followed by LaVergne against Clarksville, with the winners advancing to Thursday's final and next Monday's sectional.
In the Region 4-A tournament at Watertown, Clarkrange knocked off District 7-A champion Red Boiling Springs 57-46 whiel Jackson County eliminated the final District 8 team, Gordonsville, 48-43. Those winners will play for the championship at 6:30 p.m. tonight.
Friendship Christian's boys will face upstart Trousdale County in a meeting of District 8 rivals at 8 p.m. tonight, following Jackson County's 6:30 p.m. battle with Pickett County. Tonight's winners will play for the championship Thursday and advance to next Monday's sectional.
Sports Editor Andy Reed can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 17 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.