Blue Devils battle back to beat Wildcats

Wilson Central guard Jordan Beard (3) tries to make a dribble move on Lebanon guard Kobe Tibbs during the first quarter.

Wilson Central’s boys play hard enough and shoot three-pointers well enough a team could be sorry for drawing the Wildcats come tournament time.

But Lebanon was able to overcome the visiting ‘Cats last Friday night, rallying in the third quarter to take a 61-59 win at Campbell Brandon Gym/Hester Gibbs Court.

A 12-2 Lebanon run catapulted the Blue Devils from down 36-31 to up 43-38. A three-pointer by Gaven Reasonover put LHS in front to stay at 40-38 midway through the third.

But Central had enough fourth-quarter firepower from downtown to cut a seven-point deficit to 6-59 on a triple from the corner by Caleb Lawrence with 22.5 seconds left.

A David Greene free throw gave Lebanon a two-point lead with 11.7 seconds left. With fouls to give before putting Central into the bonus, the Blue Devils did just that to disrupt the Wildcats’ offense, leaving the visitors with only a 40-foot airball at the buzzer.

Lebanon led most of the fist quarter before back-to-back threes by Lawrence launched Central in front 15-10 going into the second. The Wildcats maintained their lead throughout the period, capped by the third of Jordan Beard’s five threes for a 32-26 halftime advantage.

Blue Devil balance was a key as four scored in double figures, led by Kobe Tibbs’ 17 points. Reasonover sank two third-quarter threes as he and Greene each added 11 while Jamar Kynard collected 10. DeQuantay Shannon scored six points while Alex Fite and Jared Hall each had three in the second quarter as Lebanon improved to 18-6 for the season and 7-3 in District 9-AAA.

Beard buried 21 points for the Wildcats, who connected on 11 triples. Lawrence threw in three treys on his way to 17 points while Adler Kerr collected 12 from inside. Zack Viarkus-Kellerman’s nine came on three treys as Wilson Central slipped to 11-11, 2-8.

Both teams will be at home tonight for district rivals from Sumner County — Lebanon against Station Camp and Wilson Central vs. Gallatin.

Golden Bears improve to 10-0 in district with 20-point win at PortlandPORTLAND — The Portland boys fell to visiting Mt. Juliet last Friday night by a 66-45 margin in district action. The Bears, ranked in the top three in Class AAA, flexed their muscle in building a double-digit lead in staying on top of the district standings.

“We shot the basketball well we just didn’t get enough shots to compete with them,” Panthers coach Darryl Travis said. “Mt. Juliet got a lot of shots and that’s the ballgame.”

The Panthers made 15 field goals including four, 3-pointers while the Bears connected on 23 that included five shots from the 3-point arc.

Mt. Juliet led by nine after eight minutes of play and increased that to 15, 30-15 at intermission as the Golden Bears improved to 19-2 for the season and 10-0 in District 9-AAA.

“Mt. Juliet runs their system well, know their plays, are experienced and are physically and mentally tough,” explained Travis. “If you don’t meet that, you are in trouble. We have to play clean and tonight we didn’t. We made way too many turnovers.”

The contest was briefly tied at 2-2 before the Bears scored ten straight points to go up 12-2. Mitchell Eagle and Caeson Utley each scored a basket in the final minute while Gage Wells connected for the Bears as the visitors led 15-6.

Mt. Juliet increased their advantage in the second period as Riggs Abner netted seven, Mo Ruttlen tallied four, and Will Pruitt, Charles Clark, each had two. Eagle netted five including a 3-pointer for the Panthers while Utley swished two free throws and Dawson Kennedy put back an offensive rebound. The Bears scored the final six points of the half and led 30-15 at intermission.

The Bears outscored the Panthers 21-11 in the third quarter to lead 51-26 as six different players scored for the Bears including six from Ruttlen and four each from Pruitt and Clark.

Portland would not get any closer than 23 over the final eight minutes of play and that came on an Eagle basket to open the fourth. Both teams made plenty of trips to the foul line in the final eight minutes of the physically fought contest with Portland sinking seven of 16 and the Bears cashing in on five of 13 opportunities.

Eagled led all scorers in the game with 23 points with Utley finishing with seven and Dairius Bell and Dequan Bradley each contributing four. Tez Bradley had three, Kennedy netted two and Vhan McGuire and Kadyn Redfern rounded out the offense with one apiece.

Wells paced the Bears with 14 while Ruttlen added 12, Abner 11 and Pruitt 10.

Mt. Juliet visited Beech on Tuesday and will play host to Hendersonville on Friday.

Bears go to Wells for 33 in 73-41 whipping of Gallatin

MT. JULIET — Gage Wells riddled Gallatin with 33 points, knocking down 9 of 14 three-pointers, to power Mt. Juliet to a 73-41 victory Tuesday night.

Wells sank two triples and nine points as the Golden Bears built a 22-6 first-quarter lead. That was just a warmup to the second as he bombed in two more threes and 10 tallies for a 38-20 halftime margin as Mt. Juliet improved to 18-2 for the season and 9-0 in District 9-AAA.

Will Pruitt and Charles Clark each collected 10 points for Mt. Juliet while Jacob Burge scored six, Isaac Thompson and Zach Blair three apiece and Riggs Abner, Josh Keck, Bodie Wells and Paxton Davidson two each.

Mt. Juliet will travel to Portland on Friday night.

USN pulls away from MJCA in fourthMT. JULIET — University School of Nashville finally shook off Mt. Juliet Christian in the fourth quarter of a 62-53 win Tuesday night.

The Tigers outscored the Saints 14-6 in the final eight minutes as MJCA fell to 6-15. USN led 15-11 following the first quarter before Mt. Juliet Christian climbed into a 35-35 halftime tie. The Tigers took a 48-47 edge into the fourth.

Josh Scretchen sank three 3-pointers to lead USN with 18 points while Adam Miller finished with 14 and Adrian Samuels 10, including a pair of threes.

Montrell Walker led MJCA with 18 inside points. Shawn Link sank a pair of threes on his way to 15 while Carter Branim’s included four treys. Luke Nave finished with four points and Jordan Willis two.

Mt. Juliet Christian will travel to Goodpasture on Friday.

Saints defeated at DavidsonNASHVILLE — Mt. Juliet Christian’s boys couldn’t rally from a first-quarter shutout in a 58-27 setback at Davidson Academy on Monday night.

Davidson led 11-0 following the first quarter, 25-8 at halftime and 50-15 going into the fourth as the Saints slipped to 6-14.

Isaiah Shaw sank three 3-pointers to lead Davidson with 25 points while brother Caleb Shaw added 11.

Shawn Link led the Saints with 10 points while Derrick Crouch scored six, Carter Branim and Brittain Gore three each, Jordan Willis and Montrell Walker two apiece and Isaiah Smith a free throw.

Portland Leader sports writer Curtis Martin contributed to this report.

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