Devilettes dominate Green Hill

Jan. 10—Less than a month after pulling out a nine-point win at Green Hill, Lebanon's girls dominated the visiting Lady Hawks practically from the opening tip in a 68-31 thumping last Friday in the final tuneup before district play for both teams at Campbell Brandon Gym/Hester Gibbs Court.

The Devilettes opened an 18-9 lead at the first-quarter break. It was 36-17 at halftime before Green Hill used a zone in an attempt to stall Lebanon to begin the second half. The Lady Hawks trimmed the margin to 36-21 and 38-23 before Lebanon re-asserted itself to go up 47-27 with eight minutes to play.

"It didn't feel like defensively over Christmas break we played up to our capabilities, so that's been a real focus for us in practice — along with shooting," Lebanon coach Cory Barrett said. "We understand with this team our defense needs to dictate our offense, not the other way around. We hope that at some point we can play both and not worry about what happened on one end affect the other."

"Their defense was pretty good," Green Hill coach Joseph Simmons said. "We told our team before the game the two things we needed to focus on was taking care of the ball and rebounding, don't let them get on the offensive glass because that's one of their strengths. Turnovers just kind of snowballed there in the first half and they took advantage of it.

"Give credit to Lebanon. They were the better team tonight."

Tramaria Neal led Lebanon with 14 points while Tiara Spencer scored 11. Maggie Kelley notched nine points, E.B. McDonald eight, Naleiya Withrow-Walker and Rolandria Dowell six each, Kiah Seay four, Keeli Davis and Sani Scott a 3-pointer apiece and T.K. Hastings and Shaunna Rowe two each as the Devilettes improved to 12-5.

"We got a lot of kids who can play who would get tons and tons of minutes on other teams," said Barrett, whose team has been without starting center Macey Baker, who's being evaluated for a concussion sustained during a holiday tournament in Gatlinburg two weeks ago. "But they work their tails off. When they go in, we expect them to go in and play hard and defend and rebound and know what's going on. Tonight, I thought we got great effort off the bench."

Sullie Gerik, Alyssa Potier and Julia Varpness each scored six points for Green Hill while Chezney Whipker finished with five, Willa Heilman four, Teja Hardison a 3 and Marlee Frazier a free throw as the Lady Hawks fell to 8-10.

Lebanon opened District 7-4A play last night at home against Stewarts Creek and will go to LaVergne at 6 p.m. Friday. Green Hill hosted Hendersonville in the District 12-4A opener and will go to Mt. Juliet on Friday.

"I think we're battle tested," Barrett said. "We've done what we needed to do as far as scheduling goes. We haven't scheduled any cupcakes. We've had county rivals and are teams that are poised to make a deep run. Clarksville and Bradley Central are both still undefeated. If we keep working, we hope to get another crack at them, and that would be in Murphy Center (for the state tournament).

Simmons said his Lady Hawks are also ready for district play.

"That's what the whole November-December calendar schedule of games are for," Simmons said. "It's why you go play in Christmas tournaments and things like that to put you in positions to try to win something. I think our schedule's been tough. We've dealt with some adversity, some injuries and things like that. But I think our girls have overcome that and they're learning and growing. We're not a finished product. This game tonight doesn't define our season. It helps prepare us for what we're going to see in the future.

"We're going to flush and take the positives out of it and learn from our mistakes. As coaches, I've got to do a better job of making sure we put our girls in better position to be successful. But we're going to learn and grow from our opportunity tonight."

LHS will host the annual Kay Maynard State Farm Showcase on Saturday. The Devilettes will face Webb at 5:30 p.m. In other girls' action, York Institute will take on Bearden at 2:30 p.m., Knoxville Catholic will battle Bartlett at 4 and Rockvale will meet Westmoreland at 7.

The day will begin with a boys' contest at 1 p.m. between Lebanon and York.

Big second quarter lift Lady Wildcats past Mt. JulietMT. JULIET — Wilson Central's girls put the game out of reach in the second quarter last Friday night as the Lady Wildcats wore out host Mt. Juliet 64-42.

The Lady Wildcats won every quarter. But three of those were close while a 16-3 second period opened a 34-18 halftime lead.

Jadyn Cooper led the Lady Wildcats with 16 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Ellie Ramsey fired in 14 points and Brooklyn Evert 10 as each hit two of Central's 10 3-pointers. Kylee Moss drained two triples and Alli McCullough three as each notched nine points. Jaiden White had a 3, Rita Planella two and Brylee Fly a free throw.

The Lady Wildcats also controlled the glass 28-14.

Jai'Niyah Pillows led the Lady Bears with 13 points while McKayla Hopson had half of her 12 in the fourth quarter. Avery Haymans, Claire Emery and McClaine Ringenberry each finished with five points and Taylor Haymans two.

Wilson Central opened play in the new District 7-4A last night at LaVergne and will host Cookeville at 6 p.m. Friday. Mt. Juliet drew the opening bye in the new District 12-4A (five teams) schedule and will host Green Hill on Friday.

Ezell-Harding outlasts FriendshipANTIOCH — Ezell-Harding overcame an early Friendship Christian lead last Saturday nighty and outlasted the Lady Commanders 52-39

A pair of Lily Maggart 3-pointers lifted the Lady Commanders to a 6-2 lead. But the Lady Eagles rallied to go up 13-10 at the first-quarter break. It was 23-20 at halftime and 39-24 going into the fourth as the home team won for the 10th time and Friendship fell to 2-10 for the season.

Reghan Williams hit two 3-pointers and scored 17 of her 20 points after the first quarter for the Lady Eagles. Serenity Barksdale also drained a pair of triples on her way to 18.

Maggart swished three triples and scored all 11 of her points before halftime. Freshman Khloe Smith and eighth-grader Annika Langford each added eight points. Maggie Reed overcame a first-half ankle injury to score all six of her tallies in the fourth. Bella Ellis and Anna Kate Reed each threw in three.

Friendship hosted Davidson Academy last night at the Bay Family Sportsplex and will tip off the second half of the District 4-IIA schedule at 6 p.m. Friday when Goodpasture comes in for homecoming.