Advertisement

Blue Devils hold off Wildcats behind Harris' fourth qtr.

Feb. 14—Lebanon point guard Avery Harris went wild in the fourth quarter last Friday night and visiting Wilson Central had no answer as the Blue Devils wrapped up the regular season with a 48-43 homecoming win at Campbell Brandon Gym/Hester Gibbs Court.

The junior had 13 of his 21 points during the final eight minutes.

The Wildcats kept pace most of the way. But the key moment came when JaMichael Mitchell's short fadeaway brought Central into a 41-41 tie with 1:42 to play. But Mitchell was hit with a technical foul for taunting and Harris hit both free throws to put Lebanon ahead. Marques Anglin scored from the elbow for a four-point lead and the Blue Devils held on to finish as the No. 3 seed for this week's District 7-4A tournament with a 5-5 record, 13-16 overall. Central slipped to No. 5 at 3-7, 12-16.

"That's a really tough call in a super high energy, high emotional game," Wildcat coach Michael Teeter said of the T. "Kind of like to see the kids get to play a little bit. I talked to J-Mike and told him we can't be doing that. We had a great conversation. He apologized. He felt bad there at the end. That's a tough spot."

The game was tight throughout — tied 6-6 after one quarter and 18-18 at halftime (on a buzzer-beating 3 by Harris) before Lebanon went into the fourth in front 30-27 after having led by six.

"A lot of personal with this game just across the board," Teeter said. "Super high energy. We've got to be able to handle our emotions inside of that kind of moment. That's something we preach and we talk about being able to handle bad better. That was kind of the opposite. We had to handle good better."

Harris sank 6 of 7 free throws, including 5-for-5 in the fourth.

"The shot he hit at the end of the first half was big," Lebanon coach Jim McDowell said of Harris. "All of those games are grind-it-out, especially right now when you play each other twice in two weeks... We didn't shoot the ball well early. But we defended well. They came out in a triangle-and-two to start the second half and we did a good job of moving the ball and getting some open looks."

"We couldn't stay in front of him," Teeter said. "Avery's a special player. Does a really good job of handling everything for that group, putting them in the right spots, scores when he's called on. But does a good job of getting everybody involved. Everybody loves playing with Avery. That makes a huge difference for Lebanon's team."

But talent and ability is only part of the ingredients when it comes to Lebanon-Wilson Central.

"This group's figuring out what it takes to win some of these gut-check games," Teeter said. "We've been on some crazy sides of this Lebanon-Wilson Central rivalry. And we tell everybody every year this is not a game that talent wins. This is a gut-check, just a battle. How hard are you willing to play. That's been the team that's won it the last handful of years. It's been the team that's wanted it the most."

Brice Njezic knocked down three 3-pointers on his way to 10 points for Lebanon while T.J. Searcy added eight, Anglin five in the second half and Dekevion Bass four.

Towan Siler scored 12 points for Central while Jordan Lawson added11 and Ike Boone 10. Mitchell managed eight before fouling out on his technical. Brody Fly flicked in a pair of free throws.

Lebanon will take on Smyrna at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the first-round elimination game at LaVergne. Wilson Central will precede the Blue Devils at 6 vs. Stewarts Creek. The winners will advance to Saturday's semifinal round — the Wildcats at 6 p.m. against top-seed Cookeville and the Blue Devils at 7:30 against No. 2 and host Wolverines. Consolation and championship games will be played next Tuesday with all four advancing to the Region 4-4A tournament.

Friendship falls to Goodpasture in 4-IIA final, hosts Webb tonight in Middle Region first roundCLARKSVILLE — After knocking off host Clarksville Academy 72-57 last Friday in the District 4-IIA semifinals, Friendship Christian's boys were beaten by top-seed Goodpasture 64-46 in last Saturday's championship game.

But the semifinal win put the Commanders into a Middle Regionfirst-round home game at 6 p.m. today against Bell Buckle Webb at the Bay Family Sportsplex. It's the third straight year Friendship has faced Webb in this round but the first time in Possumtown.

It also put Friendship into its first district final since 2017. But Goodpasture kept the Commanders from their first championship since 2011, using a 14-0 run to open the second quarter to turn a 13-11 FCS edge into a 25-15 Cougar advantage.

Mr. Basketball finalist Jayden Jones scored 10 of his 23 points in the second quarter and nine more in the third to earn tournament most valuable player honors. Josh Huggins had 18 points and Rhett Broussard 14, including a pair of 3-pointers in the second quarter as Goodpasture improved to 24-4.

Colby Jones hit two first-quarter 3s for the Commanders, who never trailed though were tied several times, during the opening period. FCS' only senior also finished strong with eight in the fourth as he totaled 20 points while Noah Major fired in 15. Xavier Humphrey had four points, D. Boone three and Cayden Law and Miles Fitzpatrick two apiece as Friendship fell to 18-8.

"It just wasn't our night tonight," Commander coach Jeff Long said. "I thought we could have been a little more aggressive going towards the rim in the second quarter. Defensively, our intensity wasn't quite where we wanted it to be. I think we'll get back to it and get ready for the region tournament."

The night before, Friendship fired out to an 18-8 first-quarter lead. The Commanders were up 35-35-25 at halftime and 53-46 going into the fourth as they beat the Cougars (Clarksville Academy and Goodpasture share the mascot) on their home floor for the second time this season.

Major threw in three triples to lead Friendship with 25 points while Jones sank 3 of his 4 treys during the second quarter, finishing with 20 tallies. Fitzpatrick flipped in two 3s in the fourth to cap his 10-point night. Humphrey added eight points, Law five and Boone and Sam Duckwiler two each.

Cam Phillips fired in five 3s in leading Clarksville Academy with 25 points while Trae Rideau racked up 12 and Tahj Davie 10 as the Cougars were sent on the road for the regional.

"It's tough to do to win here," Long said. "We played well. We rebounded. We were intense. We want to get back to doing that going forward in the region tournament. That's who we are."

Major and Jones were both named all-district and all-tournament. Mt. Juliet Christian's Christian Frewin was chosen for the all-district team.

Tonight's winners will congregate at Middle Tennessee Christian in Murfreesboro on Friday for the semifinals. If the Commanders advance for their first time in their 11-year tenure in Division II, they would face either Clarksville Academy again or District 3 champion Columbia Academy at 5:30 p.m. Friday in the semifinals. Goodpasture will host Battle Ground Academy while Ezell-Harding visits Providence Christian in tonight's other first-round games in the quarterfinals. Friday's losers will play for third place at 4:30 p.m. Saturday while the winners vie for the championship at 7:30. All four will advance to the state XII tournament, the round of 12 which serves as DII's sectional.

Green Hill beats Oakland in finale, faces Mt. Juliet in 12-4A elimination game ThursdayMT. JULIET — Green Hill had a successful final tuneup before District 12-4A tournament play tips off, beating visiting Oakland 66-55 last Friday night on the Hill.

The Hawks led 17-15 at the first-quarter break, 37-24 at halftime and 52-43 going into the fourth.

Aaron Mattingly was a force in the post with 25 points for Green Hill while Kenny Ellis sank two second-quarter 3-pointers and all four free throws in the fourth on his way to 17. Rex Harmon had all eight of his tallies in the second half while Antjuan Welch sank all four foul shots on his way to six. Nick Owens added five points, Jalen Mitchell a 3 and Jack McChurch two.

Bronson Crisp sank 7 of 9 free throws to pace the Patriots with 12 points while Avery Carter added 11.

The Hawks will turn their attention to the district tournament where they are the No. 4 seed and will face local rival Mt. Juliet at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in an elimination first-round game at Gallatin's Jerry Vradenburg Gym/Bobby Luna Court. The winner will battle top-seed Beech at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Championship and consolation contests will be Tuesday night with the four remaining teams advancing to the Region 6-4A tournament.

Purple Tigers faced Monterey in 5-2A elimination gameGAINESBORO — Watertown played for its season last night in the District 5-2A elimination game against Monterey at Jackson County.

The Purple Tigers went 2-6 in district play to earn the No. 4 seed ahead of the 0-8 Wildcats.

The winner will face top-seeded York Institute, which went undefeated in district play, at 6 p.m. Friday in the semifinals. Consolation and championship games will be played next Tuesday with all four remaining teams advancing to the Region 3-AA tournament later next week.