Devilettes rally into tie for 9-AAA lead

Asia Barr, center, and the Lebanon Devilettes celebrate their come-from-behind win at Beech which pulled them into a share of the District 9-AAA lead with one game to play.

HENDERSONVILLE — After riddling Gallatin with a three-point barrage last Friday, Lebanon’s girls needed a different way to beat District 9-AAA-leading Beech on Tuesday night.

Addie Porter led that way, driving to the basket for 19 points, including eight in the fourth quarter as Lebanon rallied from what had been an 11-point deficit to pull into a tie with the Lady Buccaneers for the lead with a game to go via a 47-40 victory on Boots Scott Court Tuesday night.

The Lady Buccaneers led by as much as 12-12 in the second quarter after JC Swafford sank a pair of first-quarter three-pointers from the corner and had nine of her 11 during the opening stanza.

But Porter had seven in he second quarter to keep Lebanon within striking distance. She finally caught the Lady Bucs with a runner off the glass with a minute to play in the first quarter put the Devilettes ahead for the first time 32-31.

A three-from the wing by Deshiya Hoosier put Beech back in front going into the fourth and the Lady Bucs led 38-33 at the end of a 7-1 spurt.

But the rest of the night belonged to Lebanon as Porter drove for three straight baskets to put the Devilettes in front 39-38. Meioshe Mason, who had a couple of big baskets in the post during the third quarter, got another for a three-point lead. A basket by Hoosier brought the Lady Bucs to within one before Allissa Mulaski sank four free throws and Porter one to seal Cory Barrett’s 100th LHS coaching victory in his fifth season.

“We missed a few shots in the first half, but we just stuck to the game plan,” Barrett said. “When us and Beech play, it’s going to be a war. That’s the way it’s going to be. They got a great basketball team. They’re 22-1 coming in. They got some big wins themselves. An electric crowd tonight on both sides.

“I was proud of our team. When we had to stick it we stuck it late. We kept believing. I told them at halftime we had to do what we’re supposed to do versus what we think we’re supposed to do… Addie’s got the heart of a champion and she’s an engine for us. She doesn’t get a whole lot of rest for us. She scores if she needs to. She delivers the ball to who needs to get it. And she guards one of the best two players on the other team, always. We put a lot of responsibility on her and she handles it. I’m very proud she’s my point guard.”

More importantly, it brought Lebanon to 22-6 for this season and set up a likely coin flip to decide the top two seeds for next week’s district tournament as both teams will go into Friday’s regular-season finales — Lebanon at Portland and Beech at Hendersonville — with 12-1 league marks.

Mason managed eight points off the Lebanon bench while Mulaski sank 7 of 8 free throws for her scoring and Rebecca Brown and Avery Harris four each. Aaryn Grace Lester dropped in the Devilettes’ only three while Asia Barr drove for two.

Hoosier matched Swafford’s total of 11 points for Beech.

“They’re really tough to guard because they got so many kids who can put the ball in the hole,” Barrett said of the Lady Bucs. “You got to make sure to limit some of their actions, some of the things they like to do and try to make them one-dimensional. And you got to rebound the basketball and take care of the basketball. Ball security is a big thing.”

Lebanon will begin to work on Barrett’s second hundred victories at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Portland before the tournament at Wilson Central next week.

“We hope we win a few more this year,” he said. “Anytime you win (100), that’s a nice thing. But I’ve never been a big proponent of how many you win, Iyou just want to win the right ones and be playing our best basketball come tournament time. And right now, we’re playing pretty good.”

Lady Saints stun Friendship with 43-36 tournament triumphNeither Mt. Juliet Christian or Friendship Christian could score consistently in the Division II District 4-A tournament play-in game Monday night at FCS’ Bay Family Sportsplex.

Then, the Lady Saints stuck a three-pointer to take the lead with 2:32 to play and hit enough free throws to finish the Lady Commanders’ season with a 43-36 victory.

Felicity Keen’s only points of the night, a three from the wing, put MJCA ahead 33-31. That was the Lady Saints’ final field goal. But they stuck 10 of 14 free throws the rest of the way, offsetting a three by Friendship eighth-grader Lilly Maggart which brought the Lady Commanders within 35-34.

Rachel Pippin’s two free throws drew Friendship into a 36-36 tie with 1:46 to play.

But Amelia Lyons hit two from the opposite foul line five seconds later. Shinae Johnson stripped the ball away from Friendship and hit a free throw. Abigail Eastin and Johnson each sank two from the line as Mt. Juliet Christian climbed to 7-19 before losing 54-37 at top-seeded Clarksville Academy on Tuesday to end its season.

“We knew it was going to be a dog fight from the get-go,” Mt. Juliet Christian interim coach Jon Willis said. “It was tied up with two minutes to go and I told the girls the next two minutes will dictate what’s going to happen tonight. We hit our free throws. We boxed them out on the other end and didn’t make silly fouls and did what we needed to do.

“Fortunately, their shots weren’t falling toward the end and we hit our free throws. That’s the big difference.”

“We couldn’t buy a bucket tonight. It was brutal,” Lady Commander coach Jeremy Hawks said after Friendship finished a 6-21 season. “They hit some big free throws. We had to start fouling at the end and they hit their free throws.

“Big ups to them, they played a heck of a game.”

Johnson led the Lady Saints with 12 points. Bethany Lyons sank two three-pointers as she and twin sister Amelia each added 11. Eastin, Keen and Megan Blackwell each threw in three.

Pippin powered in 14 for Friendship, including 6-of-8 from the free-throw line. Brooke Jones buried three triples on her way to 11. Savannah Craighead scored six, Maggart three and Hannah Alexander two.

“I was so proud of the way they played defensively on (Pippin) because she’s hard to guard underneath, and we did a fairly good job all night,” Willis said. “(Craighead) is a whale of a player, too. That guard is hard to keep out of the key.”

“We held their two best players to 12 and 11 points, but we just couldn’t score the basketball,” Hawks said. “We didn’t shoot well from outside. We missed a bunch of key free throws in the fourth quarter which could have put it away for us.

“It was one of those nights were the ball wasn’t falling.”

Pippin scored in the post late in a back-and-forth first quarter to put Friendship up 8-6. Jones buried her first three to open a 12-6 lead early in the second. Her next triple widened the margin to 17-10.

Johnson’s baseline jumper brought MJCA within 17-16 before Pippin’s layup re-extended Friendship’s lead to three by halftime.

The teams traded scores throughout the third quarter which ended with the Lady Commanders leading 26-23.

Amelia Lyons’ three in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter brought MJCA into a 26-26 tie and the teams slugged it out, trading the lead, the rest of the way.

Five Friendship seniors will graduate, leaving Hawks virtually starting over with an eighth-grade class led by Maggart.

“Next year will be a rebuild, but I’ve got a really good group coming up,” Hawks said. “There’s talk about some coming back that have played in years past. I’m excited. We’ll see. We’ll go into summer and get a better idea of what we’ve got. I like the challenge.”

Allison, Christensen lead Watertown winCARTHAGE — Brittni Allison’s 25 points were the main fuel behind Watertown’s 63-40 win at Smith County on Tuesday night.

Emma Christensen provided strong support with 18 points while Alie Tunks turned in seven, Delanney Hight six, Morgan Bain four and Daejah Maklary three.

Watertown will close the regular season at 6 p.m. today in Jamestown against York Institute.

Christensen’s 21 leads Lady Purple Tigers past GordonsvilleWATERTOWN — Led by Emma Christensen’s 21 points, Watertown’s girls wrapped up their home schedule Monday night with a 63-34 thumping of rival Gordonsville.

Alie Tunks finished with 14 points while Brittni Allison and Delanney Hight each had 10. Morgan Bain scored six and Daejah Maklary two.

Watertown is finishing the season with a pair of District 8-AA road games this week. The Lady Purple Tigers were at Smith County on Tuesday night and will close out the campaign at 6 p.m. Thursday in Jamestown against York Institute.

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