MT. JULIET — What turned into a sluggish offensive start for both teams turned into a three-point contest and ended in a 64-39 Lebanon runaway over host Green Hill in District 9-AAA girls’ action Friday night.
It took over two minutes before the Devilettes, in their first trip to the new West Wilson school, scored the first of 10 straight points. Green Hill rallied with Sydnee Richetto’s driving layup bringing the Lady Hawks to within 17-16 at the first-quarter break.
But Lebanon outscored Green Hill 17-6 in the second quarter to take a 36-22 lead into halftime and reeled off 21 straight points during the second half to get the running clock rolling.
Terri Reynolds missed her second straight game of the week. But Lebanon coach Cory Barrett gave key first-half minutes to more girls to help the Devilettes improve to 12-2 for the season and 7-0 in the district.
“You can’t replace Terri. Terri’s a big holdout for us,” Lebanon coach Cory Barrett said. “She’ll be back next week ready to go. It’s a challenge to our kids and it shows our kids they can do more than they’ve been asked to do. We’ve expanded some roles and this team’s growing as we move along in the season and I’m pleased with our progress.
“I tell our kids all the time you have to be ready when your number’s called. It doesn’t matter if you play 30 seconds or 30 minutes. There are no tiers in our program. When you become a part of this program, you’re a part of it. We always expect high standards and have high expectations for everybody in our program.”
It was old-reliable Addie Grace Porter who helped key the win with 22 points, including four three-pointers. The senior point guard had 12 during the second quarter. Green Hill, with senior forward Taylor Pruitt’s high school career over following an ACL tear last Tuesday at Mt. Juliet, had no one to challenge 6-foot-3 junior Meioshe Mason, who managed 21.
For Green Hill, Aubrey Blankenship buried three first-quarter three-pointers and a fourth in the second to lead the Lady Hawks with 16 points while Richetto fired in three triples on her way to 15 as the home team fell to 7-4, 4-2.
“Richetto and Blankenship are two of the better players in our league and they’re hard to contain,” Barrett said. “Three or four of those shots we were right there and they just made them. You tip your hat to them and congratulate them on that. But we have to stick with our system and what we believe in and if we do that to the best of our ability, it gives us a great chance to be successful.”
“The first couple of minutes we definitely let it get away from us,” Green Hill coach Cherie Abner said of Lebanon’s 10-0 start. “We made a good push to get back in it, made a couple of shots. When you only have two players scoring the majority of the time, our offense is going to struggle. They left a couple of people open and they slowly wore us down. It’s hard to play four quarters against a team like that.”
Asia Barr notched nine points for Lebanon while Finley Tomlin tossed in two first-quarter threes for her six and Avery Harris, Ny’lyia Rankins and Madison Jennings each tossed in two.
“They shot it well tonight,” Abner said of the Devilettes. “That was definitely something we were prepared for them to shoot it at the other spots. The Porter girl is tough to handle. She can shoot it, she can make plays and when you have a big girl (Mason) down low like they have, those two things really hurt us. And then you have people coming off the bench and add on. We just lost our senior post with an ACL and had to play two freshmen who definitely were not ready, but we’re going to get them ready.”
Kensley Carter and Ashlyn Riggs each hit a three and Skylar Brumbach two to round out Green Hill’s scoring.
“We’re now reshuffling,” Abner said. “We’re not going to hit the panic button. We’re going to keep working and it’s going to be the next ballgame and we’re going to see them down the road.”
The immediate road has Green Hill hosting Beech at 6 p.m. today before a Friday-night trip to Father Ryan in a game scheduled last week with no fans permitted. Lebanon will wrap up the first half of the district schedule tonight at Station Camp before going to Gallatin on Friday.
Wilson Central gets healthier, but falls at Portland
PORTLAND — With head coach Erica Wilson back on the bench and senior forwards Campbell Strange and Sydney Dalton in the lineup, Wilson Central was as whole as the Lady Wildcats have been all season.
But it wasn’t enough for the Lady Wildcats, in their first game since Dec. 11 at Green Hill, dropped a 57-50 decision to Portland last Friday night.
The Lady Panthers led 9-6 following the first quarter, 24-15 art halftime and 44-28 through three periods as they improved to 3-9 for the season and 2-6 in District 9-AAA. Wilson Central slipped to 1-7, 1-4.
Lillie Whithead hit 8 of 10 free throws and scored 14 of her 19 points in the first half for Portland while Lexie Williams sank three 3-pointers and all six of her free throws for the bulk of her 17.
Dalton dropped in a pair of threes and Strange sank 7 of 9 free throws as each finished with 15 points for Wilson Central while Kristin Smith swished a pair of fourth-quarter threes on her way to 10. Cloe Smith scored six points, Jada Taylor four and Kendyle Pickett and Jamey Ricketts two apiece.
Wilson Central, which canceled both its post-holiday non-district games — last Monday against White County and next month against Father Ryan, is scheduled to host Hendersonville at 6 p.m. today.
Lady Tigers trounce Springfield
WATERTOWN — Watertown rebounded from a blowout loss at Upperman the night before with a 62-21 trouncing of Springfield on Saturday.
Emma Christensen scored 16 points, Brittni Allison 14 and Gwen Franklin 12 for the Lady Tigers, who improved to 14-2. Daejah Maklary finished with five points, Morgan Bain and Madi Reeder four each, Kierah Maklary three, Madison King and Miranda Nix two apiece and Harmoni Wright a free throw.
Watertown is scheduled to host District 8-AA rival Livingston Academy at 6 p.m. today.
Watertown falls at unbeaten Upperman
BAXTER — Watertown fell hard to District 8-AA leader Upperman 75-30 Friday night.
Emma Christensen led the Lady Tigers with 11 points while Daejah Maklary finished with five, Madison King four, Kierah Maklary and Alie Tunks three each and Brittni Allison and Madi Reeder two apiece as Watertown fell to 13-2 for the season and 2-2 in the district.
Upperman moved to 17-0.
Friendship knocked off by Nashville Christian
Nashville Christian had no difficulty in defeating host Friendship Christian 56-14 last Friday night at the Bay Family Sportsplex.
The Lady Eagles led 22-3 following the first quarter and 32-10 at halftime as they improved to 9-2 for the season and 5-1 in District 4-IIA.
Charley Harper hit four three-pointers in leading the Lady Eagles with 17 points.
Lilly Maggart tossed in two triples in leading the Lady Commanders with eight points while Allie Gibson finished with four and Anna Taylor two as Friendship fell to 1-9, 1-4.
Friendship is scheduled to travel to Clarksville Academy today for a 6 p.m. tipoff.