Trousdale County’s Lady Jackets scored the biggest upset of the first week of the District 6-A Tournament when they took down the Clay County Lady Bulldogs 66-58 in the quarterfinals on Feb. 19 at Livingston Academy.
The Lady Jackets trailed by six at halftime but scored 39 points in the second half to break an eight-game losing streak against the Lady Bulldogs.
Kailen Donoho helped keep the game close early, scoring 11 of her 15 points in the first half. Claire Belcher added 13 points, nine of which came at the free-throw line, and Josie Garrett had a career-best 10, including three 3-pointers. Chloe Donoho, Tori Simmons and Kirsten Eversole each scored seven points, Morgan White had four and Kinley Brown three.
The Lady Jackets faced No. 2-ranked Pickett County in the semifinals and kept the game close until the final minutes, falling 65-57 to the Lady Bobcats (26-2).
Trousdale led 42-30 at halftime, but Pickett turned up the defensive intensity in the second half and forced the Lady Jackets into numerous turnovers.
Simmons finished with 18 points and Chloe Donoho had 14. Belcher and Garrett each had seven points, while Kailen Donoho had five before fouling out with 4:45 to play. Eversole and Brown rounded out the scoring with three points each.
The Lady Jackets started their tournament run on Feb. 17 against Jackson County and scored a 56-40 victory over the Lady Blue Devils (4-21) after the two teams split their regular-season games.
Simmons led the way with 13 points and Chloe Donoho had 11. Kailen Donoho added nine, Belcher, Garrett and White each had six, Karissa Goss three and Eversole two.
The Lady Jackets lost to Red Boiling Springs 60-41 in Monday’s consolation game and placed fourth, meaning they will travel to District 5 champion Whitwell for Friday’s region quarterfinal.
Belcher and Simmons led Trousdale County (9-22) offensively with 14 and nine points, respectively. RBS was led by Kennedy Fleming, who scored 22 of her 29 points in the first half.
On the boys’ side, the Yellow Jackets also faced Jackson County in a 6 seed vs. 7 seed game on Feb. 18 and came from behind in the fourth quarter to down the Blue Devils (10-16) 48-47.
Jackson County saw a last-second 3-poin attempt bounce off the rim.
“This was a great win in a tough environment,” said TCHS coach Ryan Sleeper. “I believe this was Tarvaris’ (Claiborne) best game of the year. He really willed us to the win.
“I was proud of the effort from the whole team.”
Claiborne led all scorers with 16 points while Alex Ford and Cameron Rankins each had 10. Kane Burnley and Trent Pharris had four each, Keenan Burnley three and Brandon Ramsey two.
In their quarterfinal game against Gordonsville on Feb. 20, the Jackets were outscored 12-7 in the fourth quarter and fell 48-44 to the Tigers (17-11). Gordonsville won the game at the free-throw line, hitting nine of 14 attempts while Trousdale made just two of seven.
“Tough way for the season to end, but credit to Gordonsville,” Sleeper said. “They have a really good squad. We didn’t play our smartest quarter in the fourth and it came back to bite us.
“Basketball IQ is the biggest thing still missing to compete for championships in this very tough district and something we will try to remedy in the offseason.”
Ford scored a game-high 16 points and Rankins had 13. Claiborne had eight points, Keenan Burnley three, Kane Burnley two and Pharris two.
The Jackets finished with an 11-18 record and their 11th consecutive losing season.
Claiborne, Jay’dynn Hayward, Aaron Pickett and Ramsey were the four seniors on the squad.
“Thanks to everyone for their support during this season,” Sleeper said. “The future is bright.”
Contributing: Craig Harris, Macon County Times