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Elie defense lifts Devilettes past Central
Dec 16, 2012 12:00 am
Six honored in LHS Sports Hall of Fame
By Andy Reed
With Lebanon's legends waiting for their moment in the Hall of Fame spotlight, the star of the Devilettes' 50-41 win over Wilson Central may have been somebody who didn't score a single point.
Scottlyn Elie entered the game in the third quarter and shut down Central's Dominique St. Louis after the Lady Wildcat big girl hit her first four shots on her way to a game-high 16 points.
What had been a close game through three quarters [Lebanon's 33-30 lead in the final moments of the period tied the largest margin for either side to that point], turned the Devilettes' way in the fourth as LHS improved to 6-4 for the season, 2-1 in District 9-AAA.
"I told [Elie] to play behind [St. Louis], to keep her hands behind her," Lebanon coach Courtney McFarlin said. "She's six foot and has arms that are just about as long and she did her job. She got some rebounds. It was a big change in the game for us."
And Elie didn't just stop St. Louis. When a Wilson Central guard had a chance to go to the basket with only Elie in between, she panicked and missed a pullup jumper.
"Scottlyn's presence is intimidating," McFarlin said. "I've never been around a kid as quick as she is, who can run down a ball, who can run down somebody one on one. She saved a ball down the court I knew was out. That was a great hustle play."
And it wasn't just Elie as Lebanon's backcourt defense kept Central from crossing the halfcourt line several times.
"We've really been working on trying to get the turnover in backcourt," said McFarlin, whose Devilettes will go to Smyrna on Monday night. "Pressuring girls, making them go to their non-dominant hand and then jumping them.
"I was really proud of our hustle, especially when there was a loose ball. We had our nose on every loose ball, and that's how you win ballgames."
"I'm over there on the sideline, I'm looking at the offense or something, I look up and they're laying the ball up," Lady Wildcat coach Brandon said of Lebanon's backcourt thievery. "A lot of those were where we're not attentive. We're not looking before we pass and [being] very casual when we're on the floor.
"Give Lebanon credit. They played harder than we did and they played smarter than we did and deserved to win."
The first half was a back-and-forth affair which ended with Central's Autumn Hopkins converting an offensive rebound into a fallaway and a three-point play for a 15-13 Lady Wildcat lead.
Kelsey Yarbrough scored six second-period points, including 4-of-4 from the free-throw line for Lebanon. But on the other end, St. Louis was scoring six in the quarter and nine in the first half on strong post moves. Sydney Floyd's baseline jumper lifted the Devilettes to a 27-26 halftime lead.
"Dominique really showed a lot of character about herself tonight," Brandon said after Central fell to 4-5, 1-2. "She got down there and scored some tough baskets for us."
A St. Louis free through brought Central within 31-30 with just over three minutes left in the third. But Abby Wright got the roll from the baseline and Julia Fox converted a steal into a layup for a 35-30 Lebanon lead going into the fourth.
Yarbrough sank 7 of 10 free throws for the night in leading Lebanon with 15 points while Fox added 11, Floyd seven, Wright six, Madison Sloan five and Morgan Bruce and Faith Rushing three each.
Hopkins and Hailey Averitt each scored six for Central while Sydney Comer finished with five, Rachel Bean four, Hannah Brewer three and Rachel Burkett a free throw.
The game was somewhat bittersweet for Brandon as his father/assistant Campbell was one of six LHS legends inducted into the school's Hall of Fame.
Campbell Brandon was joined by Hester Gibbs, Jim Andrews, Brenda Arnold Brown, the late Harold Dean Greer and the late Betty Rushing.
"It's a night where you would like to have a win," Bud Brandon said. "But we'll get a chance to play Tuesday [at home against Siegel] and we'll get a chance to play Lebanon again. The season's young. But what we're doing right now is not acceptable.
"But in the big picture of life, there's a lot of good, positive things that happened tonight."
"I attribute this to all the dedicated players I've had over the years," said Campbell Brandon. "The fans and the parents, my family and my wife. If it wasn't for them, I probably wouldn't have made it."
In addition to Brandon, one of his star players from the 1971 state champion Devilettes Brenda Arnold Brown was also inducted. A number of former LHS and Wilson Central players [including Sara Williams and Tierney Jenkins from the '07 Lady Wildcat state champs] were also in the packed house.
"I can remember when they were teenagers and they've almost caught up with me now," Brandon said with a laugh.
"I appreciate the effort it took in getting it set up," said Gibbs, who, like Campbell Brandon, coached LHS basketball for 28 seasons. "It's always to get an honor like that.
"I see a whole lot of people I haven't seen in a long time."
Jones, Teeter lead Lady Commanders to road win
BYRDSTOWN — Friendship Christian's post players put up big numbers Friday night as the Lady Commanders spoiled Pickett County's homecoming 54-44.
Deja Jones totaled 18 points and 10 rebounds while Kaitlyn Teeter collected 12 points and nine caroms as the Lady Commanders climbed to 4-2 for the season.
"We took care of the basketball a little bit better than we had," Lady Commander coach Deanna Teeter said. "It's a good win for us because going to Pickett is a tough place to play. It's a long drive, a dark gym and it was their homecoming.
"I was proud of our girls for holding on."
Kristian Watkins added eight points for Friendship while Courtney Petty finished with four, Aubrey hawks three and Brianna Stovall two. Taylor Patterson didn't score but pulled down five rebounds.
Friendship will play host to Middle Tennessee Christian at 6 p.m. next Thursday at the Bay Family Sportsplex.
MJCA starts East Tennessee trip with low-scoring win
SEYMOUR — Mt. Juliet Christian led from start to finish in a 27-10 triumph at King's Academy on Friday night.
The Lady Saints were up 3-0 in the first quarter, 14-4 at halftime and 21-9 through three as they moved to 5-4 for the season. This was their East-Middle Region opener.
Shelby Leech led the Lady Saints with 10 points while Lynnze Ethridge notched nine, Lauren Wankel four and Caroline Scott and Meredith Orr two each.
The Lady Saints will conclude their East Tennessee trip today with an 11 a.m. CST game at Knoxville Webb.
Sports Editor Andy Reed can be reached at 444-3952, ext. 17; or by email at email@example.com