Hawks turn back Blue Devil runs on Lebanon’s first trip to the Hill

Green Hill’s Riggs Abner (3) battles Lebanon’s Jarred Hall (5) and Will Seats for a rebound during the final minutes of the game.

MT. JULIET — In a game of runs by both sides, Green Hill’s boys let Lebanon get even a few times, but never trailing in spoiling the Blue Devils’ first visit to the Hill 62-55 last Friday night.

The Hawks jumped out to an 8-1 lead and were up 16-6 before the Blue Devils scored the last eight points of the first quarter to draw to within 16-14.

A 7-0 spurt by Green Hill opened a 30-19 lead before the Blue Devils matched it with a touchdown of their own to draw within 30-26.

Lebanon answered with a 13-2 run which covered halftime and brought the Blue Devils even at 32-32 on a Yarin Alexander one-handed slam 89 seconds into the second half.

But Green Hill never allowed Lebanon to get the lead even though the Blue Devils tied the score at 40-40 and 42-42 before the third quarter expired.

A 10-2 run put Green Hill in some control at 52-44. Lebanon’s worst moment may have come with 48 seconds left when senior guard Kobe Tibbs, on a baseline drive to the basket, injured his right knee and had to leave the contest.

“There’s no blowing them out of the gym,” Green Hill coach Troy Allen said of the Blue Devils, whom he and many of his players faced when they were with Mt. Juliet. “They’re really talented. Our games are like that seems like every time we play. They’re long and quick and sometimes we struggle handling the ball. But for the most part, we played pretty good.”

Only four Hawks scored, but all were in double figures. Paxton Davidson dropped in a pair of three-pointers as he and sophomore big man Jason Burch each had 18 points while Riggs Abner sank 7 of 9 free throws on his way to 16. Mo Ruttlen racked up the other 10 as Green Hill improved to 6-4 for the season and 5-1 in District 9-AAA.

“The key is we were able to get some easy buckets versus their pressure,” Allen said. “We were able to slow it down a little bit, get the shots we wanted. They sped us up some. We had a big, big stretch there where Jason had three in a row inside. It was a huge deal in the late third.”

“I was proud of our guys to keep battling back,” Lebanon coach Jim McDowell said after his Blue Devils dropped to 6-6, 3-4. “Green Hill’s a tough team. Even though they’re a first-year school, they have a lot of guys who have played in some big-time games and some experience.

“At times when we were having success offensively, we were moving the ball, making the extra pass, making the attack. We got a little stagnant offensively and we had some guys who had some opportunities tonight who hadn’t been in those situations as much. Those are things they will learn from and we can improve on.”

Jarred Hall led Lebanon with 20 points while Alexander added nine, Tibbs eight, Will Seats six (with three charges taken), Jackson Painter four, Wyatt Bowling and Casey Jones three each and Jaylin Abston two.

“I’m encouraged by our effort, by the way we played,” McDowell said after Lebanon’s first game in over two weeks. “Coach Allen does a great job and those guys are going to be well prepared. We just got to build on the positives from tonight and learn from the mistakes that we made in those key times where we didn’t get over the hump.”

Green Hill is scheduled to host Beech tonight before going to Nashville on Friday to take on Father Ryan in a game scheduled last week which will have no fans present.

Lebanon will travel to Station Camp tonight with the status of Tibbs, whose knee was wrapped in ice after the game, in doubt.

“He’s a pretty tough guy,” McDowell said. “He’s played in a lot of games. He’s played through a lot of stuff.

“He’ll be in our prayers. We’re optimistic on that that it’s not anything serious. Our trainer, Jacob (Woodard) does a great job. We’ll get him to wherever he needs to go and find that out as soon as we can.”

Lebanon’s freshmen defeated Station Camp 65-49 last Thursday.

Kerr’s 21 leads Wildcats past Portland

PORTLAND — Four Wildcats scored in double figures last Friday night as Wilson Central wore out Portland 69-35.

Adler Kerr returned from an ankle injury to lead Wilson Central with 21 points while Zack Markus finished with 15 and Ethan Thomas and Damion Fayne 10 apiece. Sam Elrod sank two three-pointers for his six while Hunter Scurlock finished with four and Evan Riggan three as the Wildcats climbed to 5-6 for the season and 3-2 in District 9-AAA.

Wilson Central led 14-9 following the first quarter, 31-14 at halftime and 46-24 through three periods.

Dawson Kennedy dropped in 11 points to pace the Panthers, who fell to 4-9, 0-6.

Wilson Central was scheduled to host Hendersonville tonight. But the Commandos are sidelined in COVID protocol. Wildcats coach Michael Teeter said Sunday night he was seeking a replacement opponent. Otherwise, Central will return to action Friday night at home against Mt. Juliet.

Friendship loses fourth-quarter lead

Nashville Christian came from behind in the fourth quarter last Friday night to knock off host Friendship Christian 54-49 at the Bay Family Sportsplex.

Friendship led 42-33 going into the fourth before Nashville Christian won the final eight minutes 21-7 to improve to 6-6 for the season and 4-4 in District 4-IIA.

Matt McClary connected on three 3-pointers and Cannon Anderson two deuces in the fourth to fuel the Eagles’ rally. McClary canned five triples as he and Donovan Smith each scored 15 points while Anderson finished with 14.

Max Duckwiler’s three 3-pointers and 11 first-period points ignited the Commanders to a 17-11 lead. He finished with five triples and 17 points while Cole Kring threw in 13 points, Dillon Turner seven, Colby Jones five, Casey Jones four and Dan Burruss three as Friendship fell to 5-5, 3-2.

Friendship led 27-19 at halftime.

The Commanders are scheduled to travel to Clarksville Academy tonight.

Davidson defeats MJCA

NASHVILLE — Davidson Academy breezed to a 70-34 thumping of Mt. Juliet Christian last Friday.

The Bears led 16-2 following the first quarter. The Saints scored 22 in the second but trailed 42-22 at halftime before a 16-5 third send Davidson to a 58-27 cushion as MJCA fell to 1-9.

Robert Breeze buried a pair of three-pointers to lead Davidson with 12 points while Gerald Davis dropped in 11.

Luke Nave nailed a couple of triples as he and Jordan Willis each scored 10 for the Saints while Justin Matthews finished with four, Max Beaty and Caleb Smith a three apiece and Derrick Crouch and Jayson Linville two each.

Mt. Juliet Christian is scheduled to travel to Ezell-Harding tonight.

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