Hot start sends Bees buzzing past Purple Tigers

Andy Reed • The Lebanon Democrat

Upperman's Donoven McCallister (5) uses his hand in an attempt to stop a drive to the basket by Watertown guard Rayquan Verge late in the first quarter. Despite the contact, no foul was called.

WATERTOWN -- On paper, this looked like a good matchup of District 8-AA teams with a combined record of 26-5 coming in.

But Upperman's boys blitzed Watertown from the start in a 60-42 victory.

The Bees opened a 25-12 first-quarter lead and were up 39-23 at halftime. Watertown was able to slow the onslaught somewhat in the third quarter, but still trailed 48-27 as the Purple Tigers slipped to 12-4 for the season and 2-2 in the district.

"They shot the ball well, especially in the first quarter, first half," Watertown coach Matt Bradshaw. "They made some shots, with their size -- they got a big 6-8 kid (Alex Rush) inside. We were really focused on limiting his touches. We did do a good job of that. They just had some kids come off the bench and a couple of starters get rolling on us in the first half and made some shots. Sometimes you got to live with what you're trying to take away.

"We did a much better job in the second half rotating in our spots, being where we were supposed to be, especially knowing who was where. Did a much better job controlling those situations. But give them credit, they shot the ball well in the first half, kind of dug us in a hole. We had some opportunities to try to dig out of it second half. We went eight straight possessions in the third quarter where we didn't score. Give our defense credit for doing a good job of holding back the flood waters as long as we could."

Collin Gore got on a roll in the second quarter with 11 of his team-high 18 points for Upperman. He finished with two 3-pointers. Isaiah Allen sank 6-of-8 free throws on his way to 13 while Rush added 11 as the Bees moved to 15-2, 4-0.

Rayquan Verge swished 6-of-8 free throws and two 3s to lead Watertown with 18 points while Elijah Williams added 11, Quanterrius Hughes-Malone seven, Brayden Cousino fou and Gavin Clayborne two.

Watertown will travel to Livingston Academy on Tuesday night.

Blue Devils hold off Bison

GALLATIN -- Lebanon's boys held off a Station Camp rally in the fourth quarter Friday night to hold off thehost Bison, 52-48.

The Blue Devils rallied from down 11-6 in the first quarter to lead 20-17 at halftime and opened a 35-23 margin going into the fourth as Jamar Kynard connected on a corner 3 to end the third after Lebanon held the ball for 40 seconds.

But Station Camp connected on 15 of 17 free throws for the night, with Eli Thurston swishing 7-of-9 in the fourth for the Bison. Lebanon didn't get to the line until the fourth, and then sank just 6-of-16. But after the Bison cut the margin to two, Kobe Tibbs did toss in two foul shots to help send the Blue Devils to 14-3 for the season and 3-1 in the district.

Center David Greene led Lebanon with 18 points while Kynard, his three aside, got most of his 13 from inside. Tibbs tossed in 10. Gaven Reasonover racked up half of the Blue Devils' four 3-pointers on his way to eight while Jackson Painter pitched in with three.

"We (took) it inside a lot with David and Jamar," Lebanon coach Jim McDowell said of the Blue Devils' offensive strategy. "Defensively, we played, for the first three quarters, as well as we've played all year."

Thurston and Cameron Gerlach threw in 13 points apiece for the Bison, who will travel to Wilson Central on Tuesday while Lebanon returns to Sumner County for a stop at Gallatin.

Wilson Centra succumbs at Gallatin

GALLATIN -- Gallatin held control over Wilson Central throughout a 51-37 win Friday night.

The Green Wave led 19-3 following the first quarter, 30-10 at halftime and 41-22 through three as Central slipped to 8-8 for the season and 0-4 in District 9-AAA.

Jordan Beard buried a pair of 3-pointers to lead Central with 11 points while Adler Kerr added 10. Daniel Beard, Jordan's younger brother, bagged three triples for his nine while Caleb Lawrence finished with four and Connor Miller a three.

Wilson Central will play host to Station Camp on Tuesday while Gallatin remains at home to take on Lebanon.

Bad third quartercostly to Commanders

NASHVILLE -- Friendship Christian's

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offense went stagnant in the third quarter Friday night as Nashville Christian rallied and tok a 63-56 win.

The Commanders led 14-11 following the first quarter and 28-25 at halftime. But Nashville Christian controlled the third 16-8 to grab a 41-36 advantage as Friendship fell to 8-12 for the season and 1-6 in Division II District 4-A.

"This was likely our best road game against a team this good all season," Friendship assistant coach Jason Miller wrote in an email. "Only problem was that's true for only about 28 of the 32 minutes.

"Played well, but not well enough."

Morgan Anderson was on fire for Nashville Christian with 20 points, including four 3-pointers. Luke Catalogne collected 14 while Donovan Smith added 11 and Caleb Tyson 10 as the Eagles improved to 11-5, 6-2.

Andrew Mathis tried to get Friendship back in the game with 16 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter, finishing with a pair of threes. Casey Jones notched nine points while Dillon Turner added eight, Bryce Miller six on two threes and Mitch Pelham's two.

Friendship will play host to Clarksville Academy on Tuesday night at the Bay Family Sportsplex.

Bears finish strong to beat Beech

MT. JULIET -- Mt. Juliet's boys closed Friday night strong in a 44-36 win over Beech.

The Golden Bears led 12-9 following the first quarter and 19-17 at halftime before slipping behind 32-31 going into the fourth. But Mt. Juliet held Beech to just four fourth-period points while getting 13 to rally to victory.

Gage Wells fired in four 3-pointers as he and Will Pruitt poured in 14 points apiece for Mt. Juliet. Riggs Abner scored all seven of his tallies in the fourth while Charles Clark finished with five and Isaac Thompson and Mo Ruttlen two each.

Kaleb Powell put in 12 points for Beech.

Mt. Juliet will travel to Hendersonville on Tuesday night.

Brothers Shaw accountfor 30 in DA's win over MJCA

MT. JULIET -- A strong start by Davidson Academy and a big night from the Shaw brothers accounted for a 69-44 Bear win over Mt. Juliet Christian on Friday night.

The Bears led 20-7 following the first quarter, 34-17 at halftime and 49-27 through three periods as the Saints fell to 5-9.

Caleb Shaw connected on three 3-pointers to lead Davidson with 16 points while brother Isaiah finished with 14, including a pair of triples. Kendyle Ball added 11 points.

Carter Branim bagged five threes to lead Mt. Juliet Christian with 19 points while Shawn Link's 11 included two triples. Montrell Walker tossed in 10 points and Justin Matthews and Jordan Willis two each.

Mt. Juliet Christian will play host to Ezell-Harding on Tuesday night.

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