Devilettes go on roll to rout Central

Feb. 14—Wilson Central's girls got in the first blow, but Lebanon got in repeated shots afterward as the Devilettes downed the visiting Lady Wildcats 81-52 last Friday night to win the regular-season finale during LHS' homecoming at Campbell Brandon Gym/Hester Gibbs Court.

The Lady Wildcats led 17-9 during the first quarter before Lebanon went on an 18-1 spurt to go up 27-18 early in the second quarter. That started a 38-8 run to close the first half with the Devilettes ahead and in control 47-24.

"That's a pretty good run," Lebanon coach Cory Barrett said after his Devilettes concluded a 21-7 regular season, 8-2 in District 7-4A. "Our girls didn't panic. We just had to get them settled down a little bit. We had to get disciplined. We were using our hands too much early on. Referees were calling us on it and we didn't adjust quick enough. Once we started doing that, we made it a little tougher. We did force some turnovers (Central committed 24). We got out in transition. On offense we got to sharing the ball, set some good screens and going to rebound as well. We got us some extra possessions off offensive rebounds which got us some putbacks."

"That freshman inexperience came in and we kind of panicked," Lady Wildcats coach Jason Knowles said after Central slipped to 17-11, 4-6. "You look across and you have one of the best coaches in the state coaching against you and you got such a deep basketball team and a little bit of fear sets in. We kind of lost belief mid-first quarter after that run. We came back there in the third and won the third (16-14) and started playing well. But that run just doomed us early."

T.K. Hastings led five Devilettes in double figures with 18 points, including three 3-pointers, while Naleiya Withrow-Walker finished with 14, Shaunna Rowe 11 and freshmen E.B. McDonald and Maggie Kelley 10 apiece. Tiara Spencer and Tramaria Neal each finished with four, Samia Payne and Macey Baker three apiece and Sani Scott and Rolandria Dowell two each.

Jadyn Cooper and Kylie Moss led the Lady Wildcats with 11 points apiece while Eliana Ramsey tossed in 10. Alli McCullough connected on a pair of 3-pointers and a free throw for her seven while Brylee Fly finished with six, Ava Richardson and Brooklyn Evert a 3 each and Annie Wilson a foul shot.

Lebanon finished the season as the No. 2 seed in the district and earned a bye into the tournament semifinals and the Region 4-4A tournament late next week. Meantime, the Devilettes will await the winner of tonight's LaVergne-Stewarts Creek winner at 7:30 p.m. Friday at LaVergne. Wilson Central is seeded fourth and will take on No. 5 Smyrna at 6 p.m. today in a first-round elimination game with the winner advancing to face top-seed Cookeville at 6 p.m. Friday. Friday's losers will play for third place at 6 p.m. Monday and the winners for the championship at 7:30. All four semifinalists will advance to the regional.

Barrett was honored at the start of the second half for his 200th win at Lebanon which the Devilettes picked up the previous Tuesday at Stewarts Creek. In his ninth season at LHS, Barrett has 373 wins (including last Friday over Central) in 17 seasons, including his earlier stops at Hickman County and Riverdale.

Lady Bears play for season in 12-4A; Green Hill, Watertown already in semifinals, regionals

While Lebanon and Wilson Central make every-other-day trips to LaVergne for the District 7-4A tournament, Watertown's girls will do likewise to Jackson County in 5-2A and Mt. Juliet and Green Hill will go to Gallatin in 12-4A.

Watertown is seeded third after going 3-5 and winning a tiebreaker over Jackson County. The Lady Purple Tigers will take on No. 2 Smith County, which went 6-2 with both losses coming to top-seed York Institute, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Consolation and championship games will be held Monday. WHS already has a spot waiting in the Region 3-2A tournament which will begin later next week.

In 12-4A, Mt. Juliet is the No. 5 seed and will take on No. 4, and host, Gallatin in a 6 p.m. elimination game Thursday at Jerry Vradenburg Gym/Bobby Luna Court. The winner will battle top-seeded Beech at 3 p.m. Saturday in the semifinals.

In the other semi, No. 2 Green Hill will take on No. 3 Hendersonville at 6 p.m. Saturday. Championship and consolation contests will be held Monday. The Mt. Juliet/Gallatin winner will join the other three in the Region 6-4A tournament later next week.