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Lady Bears post victory at Wilson Central
Jan 18, 2013 12:00 am
Mt. Juliet ends first half of 9-AAA schedule tied with Lebanon for first place
By Andy Reed
GLADEVILLE — Wilson Central tried to make it a guards' game Wednesday night. But Mt. Juliet's inside players were unstoppable under the basket in the Lady Bears' 38-29 triumph.
Ronjanae DeGray totaled 21 points and fellow post Sally McCabe 10 before fouling out early in the fourth quarter for the Lady Bears, who improved to 13-6 for the season and 6-1 in District 9-AAA.
When McCabe and DeGray weren't scoring, they and Raeyana DeGray were helping to alter Central's shots on the other end as the Lady Wildcats, led by Rachel Bean's 10 points, had trouble putting the ball in the basket in falling to 8-9, 4-3.
"That's been the tale of our season," Mt. Juliet coach Chris Fryer said. "We've got to handle pressure down the floor and once we handle pressure, it gives us some opportunities to feed our post girls the ball because people get so spread out on us. That's the way we're getting used to being played and the way other teams are playing us. We're not very good at it right now but as the season goes on we continue to improve.
"Both teams seemed to be a little bit rushed. There was a lot of inexperience on the floor. Both teams rushed some shots they normally would have made."
Ronjanae DeGray and McCabe combined for 10 points as the Lady Bears bolted to a 15-5 lead late in the first quarter.
Three-pointers by Hannah Brewer and Bean got Central back into the game and Sydney Comer's driving layup down the lane brought the Lady Wildcats within 17-15.
But Ronjanae DeGray dropped in two free throws to open a 19-15 halftime lead and start a 6-0 run broken only by Kendall Spray's three from the wing, which turned out to be Central's only third-period points as Mt. Juliet went on another 6-0 spurt.
After McCabe fouled out, Brewer bagged another triple to bring Central to within 29-21. But Ronjanae DeGray scored six in the fourth to keep Mt. Juliet in front.
"Eight of those 31 points [by McCabe and Ronjanae DeGray] were putbacks," said Central coach Bud Brandon, whose Lady Wildcats were playing without center Dominique St. Louis, who was out with a back injury. "Six of them were in the first quarter.
"Our girls played hard. Defensively, we played as hard as we've played and we caused some havoc, caused some turnovers and caused them some problems. But we got to score better, we got to put it in the hole, we got to score some easy baskets."
Tyia Waller finished with five points and Raeyana DeGray two for Mt. Juliet.
Brewer added eight points for Central as she and Bean each tossed in a pair of threes. Comer finished with four points, Spray the three and Rachel Burkett and Autumn Hopkins two apiece.
This was Brandon's second game back on the bench after serving a two-game suspension following an ejection in Central's final game in the LandAir Ladies' Classic in Greeneville late last month. The Lady Wildcats won both games in his absence, starting a three-game winning streak, with assistants Campbell Brandon, Missi Oakley and Bryan Glasner on the bench. All three have head coaching experience.
"Everybody had good input," Bud Brandon said.
The teams finished the first half of the district race. Mt. Juliet and Lebanon are tied for first place going into Friday's 6:30 p.m. meeting in the new Campbell Brandon Gym/Hester Gibbs Court.
"Going to Lebanon and playing in their new facility, we're really looking forward to that," Fryer said. "I know Courtney's [McFarlin] team is playing really well so Friday night will definitely be a challenge."
The game will also be Lebanon's first homecoming in the new facility.
"We're not used to being people's homecoming games, but it's a good year to pick us as a homecoming opponent," Fryer said.
Meanwhile, the Lady Wildcats will open the second half at Hendersonville at the same time.
"This district is pretty evenly matched," Brandon said. "If we can keep getting better and keep staying healthy and keep getting lucky - like I tell them, the harder you work, the luckier you get. If you keep plugging, maybe some good things will happen."
Lebanon rolls past Portland, setting up first-place matchup with Mt. Juliet
PORTLAND — Lebanon rolled past Portland 49-29 Wednesday to stay tied with Mt. Juliet atop the District 9-AAA standings, setting up Friday's showdown for first place at the Devilettes' Campbell Brandon Gym/Hester Gibbs Court.
Abby Wright scored seven of her game-high 18 points in the first quarter as the Devilettes darted to a 15-5 lead. She had seven more in the third as Lebanon went from being ahead 25-10 at halftime to 38-21 going into the fourth as LHS improved to 11-8 for the season and 6-1 in the district.
Morgan Bruce added 11 points for Lebanon while Madison Sloan, Julia Fox and Scottlyn Elie each finished with four; Taylor Lebo a three-pointer, Kelsey Yarbrough and Faith Rushing two apiece and Amanda Greene a free throw.
No one scored in double figures for Portland.
Lebanon's first-place battle with Mt. Juliet will also serve as the Devilettes' first homecoming in their new facility.
Ezell-Harding pulls away from MJCA
ANTIOCH — Ezell-Harding's girls gradually pulled away to a 62-45 victory over visiting Mt. Juliet Christian on Wednesday.
The Lady Eagles led 15-10 following the first quarter, 33-22 at halftime and 49-36 through three as the Lady Saints slipped to 5-10 for the season and 1-4 in Division II District 1-A.
Anesha Harmon hit a pair of three-pointers as she and Tanginique Nowlen each notched 14 points for Ezell-Harding.
Lynnze Ethridge led the Lady Saints with a game-high 16 points while Lauren Wankel tossed in 12 and Shelby Leech 11. Amanda Wall finished with four and Meredith Orr two.
Mt. Juliet Christian will play host to St. Andrew's-Sewanee at 5 p.m. today.
Friendship game at Clay County called off due to flu
Clay County has called off Friday's game against visiting Friendship Christian due to a flu outbreak at the Celina school.
There was no word on rescheduling the contest.
Friendship's next game will be at 6 p.m. Saturday at Lancaster Christian in Smyrna, a makeup of Tuesday's contest which was called off due to the threat of ice.