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Blue Devil rally falls short

Jan. 13—Since becoming Friendship Christian's boys coach in 2003, Matt Bradshaw had coached more than 600 games in a career which took him to Watertown and, for the past two seasons, Stewarts Creek.

But until Tuesday night, the 1994 Lebanon graduate had never coached against his alma mater in a game which counted (summer and preseason scrimmages don't count). That's changed as he's moved from small schools to the larger Stewarts Creek, which was placed in the new District 7-4A with the Blue Devils beginning this season.

Bradshaw's return to the school where he began his career as an assistant under Randall Hutto saw him coincidentally pick up his 400th career victory, 69-66, at Campbell Brandon Gym/Hester Gibbs Court.

"It was somewhere in that stretch where it was going to happen at Watertown (during last month's Watertown Christmas Classic); we had a chance the other night at Hendersonville and didn't play very well," said Bradshaw, who makes the daily commute from his Wilson County home to the Smyrna school. "Coming here, it was special because of the time I spent here not only as a student but as an assistant with Coach Hutto. For me, 400, I just think about the good kids that I've had, not only here but at Friendship and at Watertown. You don't do this by yourself. It's quality kids with quality assistant coaches. I was glad to see Coach (Adam) Tomlinson (his longtime Watertown assistant) here tonight and a couple of other guys. A lot of the credit goes to them. It's something I've been blessed with. The Lord's blessed me at every spot I've been at. It's something I appreciate. The longer you've been in this business, and I hate to admit it, I'm getting older, you appreciate it a little more."

His milestone win came against one of his former Lebanon players, Jim McDowell, who saw his Blue Devils battle from a 15-point third-quarter deficit to a fourth-quarter tie before falling short. Stewarts Creek jumped to a 26-16 first-quarter lead and went up 50-35 in the third before the home team caught the Red Hawks at 57-57 in the first minute of the fourth quarter on a short jumper by Avery Harris.

But after Lebanon's Marques Anglin fouled out with 7:07 to play, Stewarts Creek went back in front on a baseline drive by J.T. Taylor. The Blue Devils got back to within one on three occasions down the stretch. But the Red Hawks hit 8 of 11 free throws in the fourth to improve to 9-9 for the season in the district opener.

"Those guys are really athletic," McDowell said of the Red Hawks. "We can't simulate their length and athleticism...and also their speed... They just blew past us to start the game. I got to do a better job of getting our guys ready to play. They force you to make plays, make decisions.

"I was proud of kids for when we did get down, I don't think they ever panicked. They didn't lay down or anything. They came back... It seemed like every time we would get right there over the hump it would seem we would turn the ball over or miss a blockout."

McDowell said one of his assistants charted 25 turnovers.

"Not just those missed possessions, but they scored off a lot of those turnovers," said McDowell, whose Blue Devils dropped to 7-12.

Sean Goggins scored nine first-period points on his way to 20 to lead Stewarts Creek. J.J. Odum sank all seven of his free throws and dropped in a pair of 3-pointers on his way to 15.

T.J. Searcy led all scorers with 27 for Lebanon, including a pair of 3s and 5-of-7 from the line. Harris had three straight baskets to begin the fourth quarter to bring his total to 14, including a pair of first-half triples. Anglin added 10 before exiting. Brody Reasonover racked up two 3s on his way to seven. Amaure' Manier finished with four, Brize Njezie a 3 and Dekevion Bass a free throw.

The Blue Devils, who traveled to LaVergne last night, will host York Institute at 1 p.m. today to begin the Kay Maynard State Farm Showcase at Brandon Gym/Gibbs Court. They will next host Smyrna on Tuesday.

Stewarts Creek will be back in Wilson County on Tuesday when the Red Hawks venture to Wilson Central, where Bradshaw will reunite with his former Friendship star, Wildcats coach Michael Teeter. Two other of his Watertown assistants, Jason Knowles and Brian Gaines, coach the Lady Wildcats. One of Teeter's assistants, Mark Sandoval, also played for Bradshaw at FCS.

Jones ties FCS record with 8 3s in Commanders win over DavidsonColby Jones tied a school record with eight 3-pointers Tuesday night as host Friendship Christian outscored Davidson Academy 69-55 at the Bay Family Sportsplex.

Jones totaled 27 points as his triples matched the mark first set by Jake Blair against Bell Buckle Webb in 2018.

Friendship held a 19-17 first-quarter edge before a Jones drained three triples in a 23-13 second as the Commanders opened a 42-30 halftime margin. It was 48-41 going into the fourth as FCS improved to 10-5 for the season, 4-2 in District 4-IIA play.

Noah Major scored 16 points for Friendship while Xavier Humphrey added eight, Miles Fitzpatrick seven, Cayden Law six on two triples and Sam Duckwiler five in the first half.

James Avery fired in 15 points to lead Davidson. Ethan Sons sank three triples on his way to 13 while Jude Browning added 11 and Tajh Cooks 10, including a pair of 3s.

Friendship hosted Goodpasture for homecoming last night and will travel to Nashville Christian on Tuesday.

Welch ignites Hawks to early lead in 12-A opening winMT. JULIET — Green Hill's boys played its first District 12-4A game Tuesday night and made it a winner with a 48-38 thumping of visiting Hendersonville.

Antjuan Welch sank three 3-pointers and all 10 of his points in the first quarter as the Hawks built a 17-3 lead. It was 22-13 at halftime and 37-24 going into the fourth.

Tanner Bolton led Green Hill with 11 points. Rex Harmon had seven of his nine in the second half while Kenny Ellis finished with five in the second half, Jalen Mitchell four, Nik Ware a 3 and Jack McChurch, Christian Bright and Ayden Sadler two each.

No one scored in double figures for Hendersonville.

Green Hill traveled to Mt. Juliet last night and will go to Beech on Tuesday.