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LHS, FCS, MJ post first-round region wins
Feb 25, 2013 4:30 pm
Jones dominates late as Friendship ousts state champs
By Andy Reed
Friendship Christian scratched a 10-year Region 4-A itch Friday night when the Lady Commanders pulled away from visiting Clay County and eliminated last year's Class A state champions 50-34 at the Bay Family Sportsplex.
The Lady Commanders, whose last win in this tournament came in 2003 when they made the second of back-to-back trips to the State Tournament, led early, weathered a 12-0 Clay County run in the second quarter and pulled away behind the determined effort of center Deja Jones, who scored 16 of her 29 points in the fourth quarter to send Friendship to Monday's semifinal against Jackson County at Watertown with an 18-8 record.
Jones scored eight first-period points as Friendship built a 19-9 lead early in the second quarter. But point guard Kristian Watkins went down with a turned ankle and Clay County turned up the press and feasted with a 12-0 run which saw the Lady Bulldogs take their first lead, 21-19, on a 19-footer from the top of the key by Olivia Copeland 47 seconds into the second half. The Lady Commanders committed eight second-quarter turnovers.
"[Watkins] being out kind of put us in unchartered territory," said Lady Commander coach Deanna Teeter, who was an assistant to Jonathan Hemingway on the '03 team before taking over the next season. "I was trying to break a press without her out there. Sometimes that's difficult.
"She's so tough and came back and played through. You could tell at the end [the ankle] was really bothering her."
Watkins' ankle didn't bother her near as much as Jones' post play bothered Clay County. Aubrey Hawks hit a pullup jumper from the lane to tie the score and Jones scored inside to put Friendship back in front 23-21.
A layup off a steal and a runner by Ashley Owens put Clay County back in front 25-23.
Jones scored on a putback on the other end and Friendship never trailed again.
Owens sank a three-pointer from the top of the key to bring the Lady Bulldogs into a 28-28 tie going into the fourth quarter.
But Friendship owned the fourth as Jones bedazzled the Lady Bulldogs with her post moves and fastbreak layups.
"We talked at halftime about how you can't come out here and lay down," Teeter said. "You got to come out here and fight for each other. This group of girls has been extremely close all year long. Deja showed tremendous leadership in the whole second half and especially in the fourth quarter.
"Everybody rallied around her."
Jones added 12 rebounds and four steals to her point total while forward Kaitlyn Teeter totaled 12 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists [often on high-low dropdowns to Jones] and three steals. Hawks finished with five points while Watkins added eight rebounds as she and Courtney Petty each pitched in two points. Friendship finished with 18 turnovers, with just seven in the second half.
Mattie Monroe scored all 12 of her points, including a pair of threes, in the first half while Owens added 10 as the Lady Bulldogs finished a 14-12 season.
It wasn't clear Friday night what time Friendship will play on Monday. But historically, this region has scheduled the visiting district's No. 1 seed to play the early game and Jackson County, which ousted Watertown last night, won the District 7-A championship. That would mean a 6 p.m. tipoff with Clarkrange and Gordonsville to follow.
Lebanon shuts out Kenwood in OT to advance in 5-AAA
CLARKSVILLE — Lebanon led the entire game except when it mattered most. But the Devilettes got a second chance to finish in overtime and took home a 59-48 win from Kenwood in Friday's opening round of the Region 5-AAA tournament.
LHS led 15-12 following the first quarter, 25-22 at halftime and 38-30 going into the fourth. But Kenwood, which never led, forged a couple of late ties, including 48-48 to force overtime.
Lebanon pitched a four-minute shutout in overtime as Madison Sloan scored five points, sending the Devilettes to the semifinals for the first time since current athletic director Darian Brown coached them to the 2008 sectional.
"They followed the game plan of what we wanted to do," said Lebanon coach Courtney McFarlin, whose 17-13 Devilettes will face Mt. Juliet at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Beech. "We wanted to go inside. Our guards did a god job of getting the ball inside.
"We didn't have many turnovers, under 10."
Abby Wright led Lebanon with 18 points while fellow post Kelsey Yarbrough joined Sloan with 14 points apiece. Guard Julia Fox finished with 10 while Faith Rushing threw in three.
McFarlin also focused the Devilettes' defense to the inside as Kenwood connected on just 43 three-pointers this season. The Lady Knights took what Lebanon was giving them and sank seven triples. Jasmine Johnson threw in three as she and Alonja Thomas each tossed in 13 points. Samone James hit a pair of treys on her way to 12.
"Their game is getting it inside," McFarlin said of the Lady Knights.
Lady Bears roll in region opener
MT. JULIET — Mt. Juliet's players may be young, but the Lady Bear program expects to win at this time of year and did so easily Friday night against a young West Creek program 58-21 in the Region 5-AAA opener.
The Lady Bears, with no seniors, led 16-6 following the first quarter and 34-12 at halftime as they advanced with a 23-8 mark to Monday's 7:30 p.m. semifinal against Lebanon at Beech. Monday's winner will advance to Wednesday's region final and next Saturday's sectional.
Junior center Sally McCabe led the Lady Bears with 24 points while sophomore forward Ronjanae DeGray finished with 14. Savannah Sanders sank a pair of three-pointers as she and Raeyana DeGray each scored six. Taylor Bounds and Karly Dyer dropped in a three apiece and Tyia Waller two.
No one scored in double figures for West Creek.
Jackson County ousts Watertown in 4-A first round
GAINESBORO — A young Watertown team fought gamely for a half Friday night. But Jackson County dominated in the third quarter to keep the Tigerettes from returning to their home floor in the Region 4-A tournament with a 72-43 victory.
Jackson County led 16-13 following the first quarter and 34-22 at halftime before a 26-5 third period opened a 60-27 Lady Devil lead as the home team improved to 27-3.
Watertown's season ended at 14-18.
Brooklyn Apple sank six of Jackson County's eight three-pointers in leading the Lady Devils with 22 points while Kassidy Alen finished with 14 and Jaycee Coe 10.
Katie Dalton dropped in 11 points to lead Watertown while Shelby Mofield tossed in two of the Tigerettes' six triples on her way to nine. Alicia Jennings, WHS' lone junior, scored seven while lone senior Kirstin Vantrease finished her career with a six-point night [two threes]. Jenna Haun and Hannah Zachary each threw in a three and Shelby Hamlet and Jasmine High two apiece.
Jackson County will face Friendship Christian in Monday's semifinal at Watertown.