Since the end of the Shelbyville girls' basketball dynasty, Riverdale has picked up the mantle with seven state championships in 13 seasons since 2007.
That made Lebanon's 45-39 win over the Lady Warriors on Tuesday night a signature victory at Campbell Brandon Gym/Hester Gibbs Court.
"It's the next step for us," said Lebanon coach Cory Barrett, who coached the Lady Warriors to one of those gold balls in 2013. "We schedule tough. We take pride in scheduling the best teams across the state and in the country."
Riverdale jumped to the first lead on a three-pointer. The game was tied on a couple of occasions until Anne Marie Heidebreicht got hot with three straight triples to turn a 10-10 deadlock into a 19-12 Lebanon lead going into the second quarter.
Big girl Katelyn Worley got Riverdale closer in the second quarter with a pair of baskets, but Lebanon still led 24-21 at halftime.
But the Lady Warriors were on a 12-0 run which saw the Murfreesboro visitors go up 28-24. Lebanon point guard Addie Porter answered with a personal 8-0 run, including back-to-back three-point plays, as the Devilettes went back in front 32-28 going into the fourth.
"We went through a stretch we couldn't score and then, finally, we broke the ice and then we figured out 'this is ours to take'," Barrett said. "I challenged our team at halftime. I challenged Addie Porter at halftime because I knew she was better than what she was playing. She came out and kind of took over the game when we got going and started playing the way I know Addie Porter can play as a point guard for us and led our team.
"We made tons of mistakes tonight, but that doesn't take away from our heart and our effort, and we were able to stick our free throws down the stretch."
Lebanon never trailed again as the Devilettes dropped in 9 of 13 free throws over the final eight minutes to improve to 3-0.
Porter sank 7 of 11 from the line to lead Lebanon with 17 points while Allissa Mulaski drilled a pair of early threes on her way to 11. Heidebreicht's run gave her nine while Rebecca Brown finished with four and Avery Harris and Meioshe Mason two each. Though they didn't score much, Brown, Harris and Mason were active inside and on the glass.
"(Harris) has been our leading rebounder the first two games," Barrett said. "Not only did I challenge all of them at halftime, I challenged her, too, and asked her where the rebounder was we had the first two games. She really went and got it in the second half for us.
"I can't say enough about Rebecca Brown. She doesn't get a lot of the headlines and things like that. But I know she took at least two charges tonight, well actually, she took three. And we felt she might get could get one on the big kid (Worley) in there. It bloodied her nose pretty good. But that's what she does for our team. Our kids will sacrifice their bodies and that's one of the things that makes this group special."
Notre Dame-signee Alasia Hayes, who Barrett coached in travel ball, hit three triples to lead the Lady Warriors with 17 as Riverdale slipped to 1-2.
"Those kids have won tons and tons of games," Barrett said of the Lady Warriors. "I'd say they've probably won 70-80 games in their two or three years.
"I'm just really proud of our team and I'm proud to be a Blue Devil."
Lebanon played host to Blackman last night in the John Greer State Farm Thanksgiving Classic and will face Oakland at 5:30 p.m. today at Brandon Gym.
Other girls' games on tap today at LHS are Page vs. Rockvale at 1 p.m. and Beech vs. Blackman at 7.
Watertown routs Jackson Countyin home opener
WATERTOWN -- Watertown's girls opened their home schedule Tuesday night with a 59-30 thumping of former state power Jackson County.
See Win/Page B7
Emma Christensen led three Lady Purple Tigers in double figures with 18 points while Delanney Hight had 15 and Brittni Allison 12. Alie Tunks scored six, Madi Reeder five and Daejah Maklary three.
Watertown traveled to Gordonsville last night and will make a quick return trip to Jackson County at 6 p.m. Monday.
Lady Saints suffer first loss
MT. JULIET -- Mt. Juliet Christian's girls suffered their first loss of the season Tuesday night when Clarksville Christian defeated the Lady Saints 62-45.
The Lady Centurions led 17-12 following the first quarter and 28-25 at halftime before a 19-6 third sent them up 47-31 going into the fourth as the Lady Saints slipped to 2-1.
Sydney-James Desraches dropped in 20 points for Clarksville Christian while Maddie Byrd dropped in 17.
Eighth-grader Shinae Johnson scored 18 points and Felicity Keen 12 for the Lady Saints while Megan Blackwell supplied seven, Amelia Lyons five and sister Bethany Lyons three.
Mt. Juliet Christian will open Division II District 4-A action next Tuesday when Nashville Christian comes in for a 6 p.m. tipoff.