Father Ryan rallies late past 'Cats

Andy Reed • The Lebanon Democrat

Wilson Central's Connor Miller (right) grabs Father Ryan's Matthew Zito after Zito rebounded a Wildcat miss in the final moments of Tuesday's game. Jordan Beard (left) moves in for a double team.

NASHVILLE -- Wilson Central's boys led host Father Ryan for much of Tuesday's game. But the second of the Irish's two 10-0 runs overtook the Wildcats in the fourth quarter as the home team escaped with a 50-47 victory.

Caleb Lawrence's fifth three-pointer of the night sent Central to a 39-31 lead before the Irish, who sank 10 triples as a team, rallied with their second 10-0 spurt, taking a 41-39 lead on a triple by Luke Gdowski just past the midway mark of the fourth quarter.

The teams swapped leads over the next 21/2 minutes until Gdowski drove the baseline for a basket to send Ryan in front 48-46 with 1:22 to play. Central sank a free throw, but Gdowski dropped in two to send the Irish to victory.

"We had a good night starting out," Central coach Michael Teeter said after his Wildcats fell to 3-3. "We did the things we were supposed to do. They're a good shooting team and in the third and fourth quarter they got on a little bit of a hot streak. Some of the ones that weren't going in in the first half were going in in the second, and some of that was on us. We weren't rotating the right way. You got to be able to execute down the stretch. That's a big key for this team.

"We preach it everyday, basketball is a game of runs. They're going to go on one. We're going to go on one. Key to it is we just got to be able to mitigate theirs when they get hot and put the ball in the hole. We got to get it in the hole on our end as well, and manufacture a little bit of stops."

Wilson Central never trailed in the first quarter, though Ryan tied the score three times before the Wildcats emerged with a 12-10 edge. The Irish's first 10-0 run cut a 21-10 deficit to 21-20 before Branden Staten stopped the bleeding with a backdoor layup and Lawrence sank a three from the corner to send the visitors into halftime ahead 26-20.

Isaac Vanderbergh knocked down six threes on his way to 19 points for Ryan while Gdowski scored 11 of his 13 in the fourth quarter.

Lawrence scored 16 points and Jordan Beard 14 for Central while Staten and Zack Markus each managed four, Adler Kerr a three-point play in the fourth quarter which stopped Ryan's second run and put the Wildcats back in front 42-41. Connor Miller, Maravich Bond and Daniel Beard each tossed in two.

Wilson Central will return to District 9-AAA action Friday night at home against Beech.

Purple Tigers pull away from Macon behind Verge's 24

LAFAYETTE -- Watertown's boys wore out host Macon County 62-35 Tuesday night.

The Purple Tigers trailed 15-13 following the first quarter before moving in front 29-25 by halftime. A 17-8 third quarter blew the lead out to 46-33 before Macon County went dry in the fourth as Watertown closed the contest with a 16-2 spurt.

Rayquan Verge racked up 17 of his 24 points in the second half for the Purple Tigers while Quanterrius Hughes-Malone scored half of his 16 points in the first quarter and Elijah Williams threw in 13. Brayden Cousino collected four second-period points while Drew Creswell and Jackson Thomas each tossed in two and Gavin Clayborne a free throw.

Brayden Books tossed in 12 of his 17 points in the first half for Macon County.

Watertown will play host to District 8-AA rival DeKalb County on Friday night.

Friendship falls behind in third quarter of road loss

ANTIOCH -- Ezell-Harding's boys broke open a close game in the third quarter and withstood Friendship Christian's comeback in the fourth for a 74-66 win Tuesday night.

Friendship led 15-13 following the first quarter before Ezell-Harding inched in front 33-32 at halftime. But the Eagles opened the second half with a 17-2 run to go up 50-34. The Commanders cut the difference to 54-44 on a 10-4 run to close the third period.

The Commanders closed the gap to four in the final minute before Ezell-Harding hit a free throw and a last-second layup to send the home fans home happy.

Cameron Hunt hit three 3-pointers to lead Ezell-Harding with 18 points while Braxton Coleman collected 14. Kian Sepehr's 12 points included a pair of triples while Kadarius Price put in 12.

Freshman point guard Dillon Turner turned in nine of his 19 points in the fourth quarter while senior forward Andrew Mathis scored 17. Bryce Miller threw in three first-quarter three-pointers for his nine points while Max Duckwiler added eight. Kaelin Horton hit two triples for his six while Mitch

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Pelham and Casey Jones each finished with four as Friendship fell to 3-5.

Friendship will play host to Goodpasture on Thursday night at the Bay Family Sportsplex.

Bears keep ahead of Centennial to move to 7-0

FRANKLIN -- Three Golden Bears scored in double figures Tuesday night as Mt. Juliet remained perfect for the young season via a 63-51 win at Centennial.

Will Pruitt scored 16 of his 18 points in the second and fourth quarters while Gage Wells threw in three second-quarter three-pointers to ignite his 15-point night. Charles Clark was hot in the first with nine of his 11 points. Mo Ruttlen notched nine points, Isaac Thompson six and Zach Blair and Jacob Blair two apiece as Mt. Juliet moved to 7-0.

Mt. Juliet led 11-9 following the first quarter, 35-22 at halftime and 45-33 through three.

Dusty Williams dropped in three 3-pointers to lead Centenial with 20 points while Isaiah Poore put in 11.

The Golden Bears, who haven't played at home since Nov. 25 and have just one contest at the Cave this month, will return to the District 9-AAA road Friday with a trip to Gallatin following the girls' 6:30 p.m. contest.

Clarksville Academy pull away from MJCA in third quarter

CLARKSVILLE -- Mt. Juliet Christian's boys couldn't find the basket all night in a 50-16 loss at Clarksville Academy.

It could have been worse early as Clarksville Academy wasn't much better, leading just 7-2 at the first-quarter break and 17-6 at halftime. But the Cougars found their range in the third period with a 26-4 eight minutes for a 43-10 lead as the Saints fell to 3-4.

Daniel Loos scored 16 points to lead Clarksville Academy.

Jordan Wills sank two triples as he and Shawn Link split the Saints' scoring evenly with eight points apiece.

Mt. Juliet Christian will play host to Donelson Christian on Friday night.

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