MT. JULIET — When Lebanon’s starters were having trouble scoring, the young backups came in and helped break open a close game in the second half as the Devilettes blew out Mt. Juliet 48-26.
Lebanon led most of the way, but only 8-7 at first-quarter’s end as the Devilettes missed shots they normally hit. It was 16-15 late in the first half before LHS scored seven straight to open a 23-15 margin early in the second half while keeping the clamps tight on Mt. Juliet’s offense.
Backup center Meioshe Mason scored six straight points to start the fourth quarter as the Devilettes built a 39-22 lead. The 6-foot-3 sophomore led Lebanon with 14 points while Addie Porter was finally able to attack the basket for six of her 10 tallies in the second half. Sophomore Terri Reynolds added eight off the bench while Rebecca Brown scored six, Asia Barr and Allissa Mulaski four each and Avery Harris two free throws as LHS improved to 17-5 for the season and 7-1 as the District 9-AAA schedule tipped off its second half.
“We’ve struggled to shoot the ball a little bit, but we’ve got all the confidence in the world in our kids,” said Lebanon coach Cory Barrett, who took the Devilettes to Louisville, Ky., Saturday to take on Butler. “They’ve been through every war we could possibly put them through in high school basketball. But our young kids have been coming on… We’ve dangled the fruit out there a little bit more and more and tonight — and I told them and I told the coaches — we’ve got to get in a situation where we trust y’all to be in there … Those three sophomores (Mason, Reynolds and Barr) came in tonight and played lights out.
“Mason’s flipped the switch for us the last couple of weeks … She’s a big teddy bear, but she’s starting to get it. I was so excited for her. We’ve seen a lot in her that she hasn’t seen in herself. Now, she’s starting to realize what she’s got inside her and the type of player that she can become … Not to put any pressure on anybody else, but she determines how high the ceiling is for our team.”
Among the veterans, Porter’s aggressive defense helped fuel the offense. She once stripped the ball from a Lady Bear ball-handler running full speed. Another time, she ripped the ball from an opponent on the floor and got it off for a basket on the other end.
“Addie Porter’s had a little bit of struggle the last couple of weeks,” Barrett said. “Tonight, I told her, ‘You played lights out.’ That’s the Addie Porter that I know and the one who’s led our team for almost three years. I’m happy for her and I’m happy for all our kids.
“Aaryn Grace (Lester) and Allissa didn’t make shots for us tonight. They were the first ones to be celebrating the other kids’ success. And when you do that, you got something special. That’s something about our team you can hang your hat on. We’re team-first and I think that’s going to go a long way.”
Point guard Nevaeh Majors led the Lady Bears with 12 points while Taylor Pruitt popped in three 3-pointers for her nine and Adelyn Kyndall five as Mt. Juliet sank to 6-11, 2-6.
“Second half, they locked down and played defense and we couldn’t score,” Mt. Juliet coach Chris Fryer said. “When the game was in a manageable position, we didn’t put the ball in the bucket. We didn’t screen very good … Plus, we got our post girl (Halle Jones) in a little bit of foul trouble so we had to start subbing her out, and that really hurts our team when, with our depth right now, when we have to take her off the floor. It cuts down a lot of our options.”
Fryer said Lebanon’s bench caused issues as well.
“We couldn’t get matched up with their subs,” Fryer said. “When they came on the floor, they were unguarded.
“We gave up too many buckets to people who were unguarded because we had a lack of communication.”
Both teams will be back in action at 6:30 p.m. today — Lebanon at Hendersonville and Mt. Juliet at home against Gallatin.
LHS girls lose 37-34 in LouisvilleLOUISVILLE, Ky. — Local favorite Butler edged Lebanon 37-34 Saturday in the Raatz Fence/O’Shea’s Basketball Classic at Mercy Academy.
The Bearettes led 5-4 following the first quarter before Lebanon edged in front 28-18 by halftime. Butler was back in front 32-31 going into the fourth as the teams swapped leads seven times and were tied six. The Devilettes’ longest run of the game was 9-2 while the Bearettes went on a 9-2 tear.
Tiarra East scored 17 points and pulled down five rebounds for Butler while Dyanstee White added 11 points and seven caroms as the Bearettes shot just over 36%.
Allissa Mulaski led Lebanon with14 points, including a pair of three-pointers. Addie Porter pulled down seven rebounds as she and Meioshe Mason each scored six points while Terri Reynolds finished with four points. Rebeca Brown brought down seven rebounds as she and Aaryn Grace Lester each tossed in two points as the Devilettes shot less than 30 % from the floor in falling to 17-6.
Lebanon will return to the District 9-AAA grind at 6:30 p.m. tonight at Hendersonville.
Lady Tigers lose to CannonWATERTOWN — Watertown’s girls dropped a 57-37 decision to Cannon County in District 8-AA action last Friday night.
Brittni Allison scored 13 points to lead the Lady Purple Tigers while Emma Christensen collected nine, Delanney Hight five, Alie Tunks and Daejah Maklary four each and Gwen Franklin two.
Watertown will remain at home tonight when Macon County comes calling at 6 p.m.
Lady Saints drop five-point decision at DCADONELSON — Mt. Juliet Christian’s girls dropped a 39-34 decision at Donelson Christian last Friday night.
Ameila Lyons and Abigail Eastin each notched nine points for the Lady Saints while Shinae Howard-Johnson added eight, Bethany Lyons and Felicity Keen three apiece and Megan Blackwell two.
MJCA will play host to University School of Nashville at 6 p.m. today.