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Defense sends Lady Bears past Lebanon
Jan 20, 2013 12:00 am
Mt. Juliet moves into sole possession of 9-AAA lead
By Andy Reed
Mt. Juliet's defense clamped down on a local rival for the second time this week and as a result, the Lady Bears share first place in District 9-AAA with no one.
MJ held Lebanon to 27-percent shooting Friday night as the Lady Bears spoiled the Devilettes' homecoming 51-36 in a meeting of first-place teams at Campbell Brandon Gym/Hester Gibbs Court.
The Lady Bears never trailed as center Sally McCabe scored six of her game-high 19 points in the first quarter for a 10-5 lead.
Ronjanae DeGray had eight of her 16 in the second quarter from inside as the visitors went into halftime ahead 27-12.
Two free throws by DeGray, who dropped in 8 of 10 from the line for the night, opened a 33-16 lead in the third quarter before the Devilettes went on their first, and as it turned out, only run of the night, a 10-2 sport to draw within 35-26 on a pair of foul shots by Julia Fox.
But Mt. Juliet wiped that run out with a 12-2 spurt of its own, with Savannah Sanders sinking a pair of three-pointers from the same spot on the left wing, to re-take command 47-28 with just over two minutes gone in the fourth quarter.
It was a raggedy game which saw two Devilettes foul out and Mt. Juliet dealing with fouls of its own. The Lady Bears tossed in 20 of 29 free throws while Lebanon knocked down just 10 of 19.
"Both teams had substitutes on the floor because of foul trouble," Mt. Juliet coach Chris Fryer said after his Lady Bears moved to 14-6 for the season and 7-1 in the district. "I know Coach [Courtney] McFarlin didn't want to lose [Abby] Wright, and Wright had to sit some. [Madison] Sloan had to sit a little bit. And we had [Tyia] Waller sitting for us and [Karly] Dyer. You're going to your bench and your bench is having to play.
"Defensively, we've gotten better. It's been a big focus of our practices. We want to get solid on that end of the floor. At this time of year, defense wins games."
DeGray, a sophomore post player, often brought the ball down the floor against the Lebanon press.
"The last few games, we changed our press offense," Fryer said. "She's a good ball-handler and getting better. She's pretty confident. Sometimes, it's a tough matchup when your post is bringing the ball down the floor. We've got a pretty young team, a freshman point guard and we have a few sophomores playing. Don't have a senior and we're looking for leadership, and we think Ron is a good leader."
Sanders sank three triples for her nine points while Raeyana DeGray dropped in 5 of 6 free throws for her points and Waller tossed in two.
Big girl Scottlyn Elie came in off Lebanon's bench to drop in a team-high 11 points while Sloan and Julia Fox each added eight, Faith Rushing four, Wright three and Kelsey Yarbrough two.
"It was a defensive game and we didn't shoot the ball very well at all, and that played right into Mt. Juliet's hands," said McFarlin, MJHS Class of 2002. "They're big and they like to pack it in a little bit.
"We held then decently, and I was proud of our defensive effort. Our team played very hard the whole game and never quit... It's hard to get into a rhythm whenever you get in the foul situation like we had. And they hit their free throws."
"Lebanon played awfully hard and they were super physical with our players," Fryer said. "I know they outrebounded us on the offensive end of the floor and outworked us. We got to make sure that we work on that this week in practice."
Mt. Juliet will try to stay in the league lead Tuesday night when the Lady Bears go to Gallatin for a 6:30 p.m. tipoff while second-place Lebanon plays host to Hendersonville at the same time.
"It's a long way and in our district, everybody can beat everybody," Fryer said. "There's not a team that you can go out there and get some action in for your subs. There's no telling what will happen in the next five games in the district, and everybody said that, and it's so true, more so this year than in any year that I've coached. Teams are so evenly matched, it's unbelievable."
Lady Wildcats win low-scoring affair
HENDERSONVILLE — Defense was the order of the night Friday as Wilson Central prevailed 37-25 in a low-scoring District 9-AAA battle.
The Lady Wildcats led 7-6 following the first quarter, 20-16 at halftime and 26-22 through three before finally putting away the Lady Commandos with an 11-3 fourth as Central pulled even at 9-9 for the season and climbed to 5-3 in the district.
Forward Rachel Bean led the Lady Wildcats with 12 points while Kendall Spray scored six, Autumh Hopkins five, Hannah Brewer and Rachel Burkett four each, Sydney Comer a three-pointer, Kayla Jackson two and Hailey Averitt a free throw.
No one scored in double figures for the Lady Commandos, who will travel to Lebanon on Tuesday night while Central returns to West Sumner County for a 6:30 p.m. game at Beech.
Fast start sends Watertown past Trousdale
HARTSVILLE — Watertown fired out to an early lead Friday night and the Tigerettes were never threatened afterward in a 64-44 victory at Trousdale County.
The Tigerettes roared to an 18-7 first-quarter lead and were up 33-15 at halftime before holding serve in the second half to go to 9-10 for the season and 1-3 in District 8-A.
Jasmine High had 15 points and fellow guard Alicia Jennings 13 for Watertown. Bay Cole notched nine points while Jenna Haun had seven, Shelby Mofield and Bobbi Staats six each,Katie Dalton and Kirstin Vantrease three apiece and Hannah Zackary two.
Sydney Shoulders sank a pair of three-pointers in leading the Lady Jackets with 13 points while Hannah Gregory had 12.
Watertown will step out of the district on Monday night for a trip to Eagleville. Tipoff will be at 6 p.m.
Wankel's 29 leads Lady Saints past St. Andrew's
MT. JULIET — With Lauren Wankel leading the way, Mt. Juliet Christian bolted to a big early lead Friday night and the Lady Saints never looked back in a 57-25 triumph over St. Andrew's-Sewanee.
MJCA led 12-3 following the first quarter, 26-8 at halftime and 44-12 going into the fourth.
Wankel totaled 29 points while Amanda Wall notched nine, Meredith Orr eight, Shelby Leech four, Caroline Scott and Liz Russ three each and Bailey Jarrett a free throw.
Michaela Shakelford sank three 3-pointers in leading the Lady Lions with 16 points.
Mt. Juliet Christian will play host to Trousdale County at 6 p.m. Tuesday.