HENDERSONVILLE — Green Hill’s boys had two chances to get the one more win needed for the first-year Hawks to finish first in the final District 9-AAA standings.
But following a blowout loss at Lebanon on Tuesday, Green Hill squandered an early lead Thursday and host Beech locked the Hawks out of the No. 1 seed with a 62-49 win.
“We’re playing two really good teams, I think two of the better teams around, for sure,” Green Hill coach Troy Allen said. “We had a bad quarter both games.”
Green Hill jumped to a 17-9 lead late in the first quarter. The Hawks were up 23-11 early in the second before Beech’s press produced several straight turnovers in an 8-0 run in which the visitors didn’t even get a shot off.
Beech went into halftime on a 23-5 run for a 34-28 lead.
Matters went little better for Green Hill in the second half. The Hawks sliced the margin to four at 42-38 before Beech took a 48-36 lead into the fourth quarter.
“We didn’t really answer their run and couldn’t get back over the hump,” Allen said. “Credit to them. They had a rough start. We were playing pretty good. They started pressing us and they played really well the rest of the game.
“That’s the book on us. You press us and we struggle with it a little bit.”
Kaleb Powell connected on a pair of 3-pointers as he and Luke Fleming each scored 16 points while Bradley Wheeler bagged three triples on his way to 11 as the Bucs finished a 20-7 regular season, 12-4 in the district and waiting on Station Camp’s game at Lebanon last night to learn where they would fall in the tournament seedings.
Riggs Abner fired in 15 points to lead Green Hill while center Jason Burch tossed in all 10 of his tallies in the first half. Paxton Davidson dropped in a pair of 3-pointers as he and Mo Ruttlen each added eight, Kaleb Carver and Garrett Brown a 3 apiece and Blake Stacey two.
The Hawks finished their inaugural regular season 13-7, 12-4 and also awaiting the Bison-Blue Devil battle to see where they would fall in the tournament pecking order, which will be either second or third.
Regardless, Green Hill will play at home next Friday in the district quarterfinals against either Gallatin or Mt. Juliet. If the Hawks get the No. 2 seed, they would also host the semifinal next Saturday. Lebanon is locked into fourth and a Blue Devil-Hawk matchup couldn’t happen until the final or consolation game.
“Like I told them, we got time to do something about it,” Allen said. “If we’re going to commit to what this program’s about and pull for each other and pull together we’ll be fine.
“We got pretty good character in that locker room, great kids. I feel like we’ll be all right and be ready to go that first round.”
Markus’ fast start, Kerr’s 23 in second half spark Central to regular season-ending win
HENDERSONVILLE — Wilson Central closed its regular season last Friday with a 58-51 win over Hendersonville.
Adler Kerr scored all 23 of his points in the second half, connecting on 10 of 11 free throws, to help the Wildcats climb to a final 9-7 in District 9-AAA and 11-11 for the season.
Zack Markus scored 13 of his 17 points, including all three of his 3-pointers, in the first quarter to ignite Central to a 17-5 lead. Hendersonville trimmed the margin to 23-15 by halftime before Kerr came alive for 15 third-period points as the Wildcats climbed to a 45-34 lead.
Hunter Scurlock scored eight points for Central while Ethan Thomas tossed in six, Austin Alexander a 3 and Damian Fayne a free throw.
Dace Shuck scored 15 points off the bench as Hendersonville fell to 4-15, 2-14.
Wilson Central finished the season as the No. 5 seed in the district tournament, which will send the Wildcats to Lebanon for a quarterfinal/elimination game at 7 p.m. Friday.
Bears pull away in fourth quarter to put away Gallatin
MT. JULIET — Mt. Juliet dominated the fourth quarter last Friday night to close the regular season with a 57-42 win over Gallatin.
The Golden Bears controlled the Green Wave 20-7 in the fourth to widen a 37-35 edge to their 10th triumph of the season against 17 setbacks, a final 6-10 in District 9-AAA.
The teams were tied 12-12 following the first quarter before Mt. Juliet edged in front 25-22 by halftime.
Osize Daniyan sank 6 of 8 free throws to lead Mt. Juliet with 15 points while Jacob Burge buriedall five of his foul shots in finishing with 11. Daniel Beard’s 10 included a pair of 3-pointers. Kyle Taylor tossed in nine points, Josh Keck five, Bodie Wells a 3, Zach Freeman two and Carson Coleman and Brandon Brown a free throw apiece.
Cade Martin threw in 13 points to lead the Green Wave, who finished 13-9, 7-9.
Mt. Juliet is the No. 7 seed in the district tournament and will travel 10 minutes down Lebanon Pike to take on No. 2 Green Hill this coming Friday while the No. 6 Green Wave travel to their crosstown rival Station Camp.
Kerr, Markus key ‘Cats going-away win in home finale
GLADEVILLE — Wilson Central stormed past visiting Portland 62-39 Tuesday night in the Wildcats’ home finale.
The Wildcats blew the game open with a 20-9 third quarter, turning a 33-27 halftime lead into a 53-36 cushion going into the fourth. Wilson Central held a 14-13 edge eight minutes in.
Adler Kerr bounced back from a scoreless first quarter to pour in 24 points, including three 3-pointers, for Wilson Central. Zack Markus was also on the mark for three triples as he finished with 18. Ethan Thomas and Damian Fayne each scored six points, Hunter Scurlock four and Evan Riggan and Dakota Boudoucies two each as the Wildcats climbed to 10-11 for the season and 8-7 in District 9-AAA.
Duncan Smallwood scored 14 points for the Panthers, who fell to 8-20, 1-15. Portland has completed its district schedule.
Blue Devils rout district-leading Green Hill for eighth straight win
Lebanon’s boys won’t be the top seed in the District 9-AAA tournament, but the Blue Devils might be the best team heading into next week’s event.
The Blue Devils rolled to their eighth straight win in dominating fashion Tuesday night by pulling away from league-leading Green Hill 69-50 at Campbell Brandon Gym/Hester Gibbs Court.
Lebanon, whose last loss was one month ago at Station Camp, led 13-6 at the first-quarter break and widened the margin to 28-14 by halftime. Green Hill has often been a second-half team and the Blue Devils suffered some come-from-ahead losses after halftime.
But not this time as Lebanon opened a 52-30 margin late in the third quarter and led by as much as 66-40 late in the game as the Blue Devils improved to 14-7 for the season and 10-5 in the district.
“Now is when you want to be playing your best basketball,” Lebanon coach Jim McDowell said. “Our guys are really coming together, playing well. First time through the league, trying to figure out some things. Our guys really stepped up and have been playing well together and have fallen into their roles. We’ve really bought in to what we’re doing on both ends, offensively and defensively.
“It’s been a real fun last few weeks and we’re definitely going to try to continue it as long as we can.”
“They’re one of the better teams in the state, I think,” Green Hill coach Troy Allen said of the Blue Devils. “They came out and did what they’ve been doing. We didn’t handle their press very well… We didn’t handle the glass very well… I thought they had a better attitude.
Green Hill, which saw a four-game win streak snapped, has still won 13 of 15 even after falling to 13-5, 12-3. The Hawks can still clinch the top seed in the tournament by winning tonight at Beech, coach Troy Allen said.
“Every once in a while you get your (tail) kicked, and it’s how you handle it,” Allen said. “That’s what we’re teaching as coaches. We’re trying to raise men and how do you handle something like this going forward and we’re going to handle it the right way.
“We got to move on from this. It’s not about right now. It’s about how we handle tomorrow and how we handle Thursday.”
Yarin Alexander led Lebanon with 20 points from the post while Jarred Hall had 12 and guard Corey Jones 11. Wyatt Bowling added eight points, Jackson Painter and Jaylen Abston six each, Rolando Dowell four in the fourth and Austen Gore two.
Riggs Abner led Green Hill with 17 points while center Jason Burch, having to battle Alexander and Hall down low, scored 16. Mo Ruttlen scored six of his 10 points in the third quarter while Garrett Brown bagged a fourth-quarter 3-pointer and Paxton Davidson and Blake Stacey scored two apiece.
“Coach Allen’s teams are never going to go away,” McDowell said. “They’re relentless. They’re not every going to quit. They came out and scored four straight to start the second half. Our guys were able to settle down and get back into our pressure which was good for us tonight.”
Station Camp’s Rice drops 31 on Mt. Juliet
MT. JULIET — Eli Rice racked up 31 points Tuesday night to power Station Camp past Mt. Juliet 52-44.
Rice’s total included five 3-pointers as the Bison improved to 12-3 in District 9-AAA, good for a first-place tie with Green Hill, though the Hawks hold the tiebreaker and would take the top seed with a win over Beech tonight. The Bison, the last team to beat Lebanon a month ago, will travel to LHS on Friday to close the regular season.
Station Camp led 12-10 following the first quarter, 25-19 at halftime and 38-28 going into the fourth.
Jacob Burge scored 16 points for Mt. Juliet. Daniel Beard buried a pair of 3s as he and Osize Daniyan each dropped in eight points while Josh Keck added five, Kyle Taylor four and Bodie Wells a 3 as the Golden Bears slipped to 9-17, 5-10.
MJCA ousted by USJ
NASHVILLE — Mt. Juliet Christian lost to host University School of Nashville 69-46 Monday night in the opening round of the District 4-IIA tournament.
The Tigers led 18-8 eight minutes in, 32-18 at halftime and 42-31 through three as the Saints ended a 3-20 season.
Adam Miller swished three 3-pointers to lead USN with 18 points while Adrian Samuels’ 17 included two triples. Josh Scretchen supplied 16.
Luke Nave led MJCA with 13 points while Caleb Smith scored nine on three triples. Max Beaty bagged a pair of 3s on his way to eight while Montrell Walker supplied seven, Jordan Willis five and Derick Crouch four.