But it was the Golden Bears smiling by the end of the night as they overtook the Wildcats 52-45 in overtime to clinch the top seed in District 9-AAA.
Mt. Juliet concluded a 21-6 regular season and 11-3 in the district. Even if Gallatin maintained pace, the Golden Bears own the tiebreaker based on a season sweep of No. 3 Lebanon, which split with the Green Wave. MJ will take on No. 8 Portland next Friday in the district tournament at Hendersonville.
Wilson Central slipped to a final 11-15, 6-8 mark. The Wildcats were No. 5 going into the night, but other games could have muddied the 5-7 portion of the standings. Central’s loss did clinch No. 4 for Hendersonville.
The Wildcats led 14-9 following the first quarter and 21-19 at halftime before Mt. Juliet moved in front 35-32 going into the fourth. Regulation ended at 44-44.
Gavin Wilson sank three 3-pointers as he and big man Isaac Stephens each led Mt. Juliet with 15 points while senior Jordan Lockridge, a four-year varsity player, threw in 13. Will Pruitt put in five in the fourth quarter and overtime while Bryan Aiken finished with four.
Gavin Johnson’s 14 led Central while Kyzick Schweppe got the Wildcats going with half of his four three-pointers in the first quarter, finishing with 12 points. Kito Aruh tossed in 10 while Naz Czeskleba finished with five and Kene Aruh four.
Friendship falls into district consolations
MADISON — Friendship Christian fell to top-seed host Goodpasture 66-49 in the East-Region District 2-A semifinals Friday night.
The Cougars led 13-12 following the first quarter, 32-26 at halftime and 47-33 through three periods as they moved into Saturday night’s championship game with a 27-1 record. Friendship fell to 19-11 going into Saturday’s 5 p.m. third-place game with Donelson Christian. Win or lose Saturday, FCS will play on the road Wednesday in the opening round of the Middle Region tournament with the winners advancing to the semifinals at Bell Buckle Webb.
Tripp McEacherin threw in three 3-pointers to pace Goodpasture with 20 points.
Ashton Young fired in all 15 of his points in the first half to lead Friendship while Joe Greenwood tossed in two triples on his way to 13. Jake Blair knocked down nine points while Joseph Meadows scored six on two treys. Dorian Champion chipped in a triple as he and Seth Filson each finished with three.
Lebanon gets 20th win for fourth straight season
PORTLAND — Lebanon clinched a 20-win season for the fourth straight year Friday night as the Blue Devils dropped in 12 three-pointers in a 73-53 win over Portland.
Senior Noah Mulaski sank six triples on his way to 20 points while Jeremiah Hastings had 12, half of which came on two bombs. Eddie Jackson added 11 from inside while Gaven Reasonover racked up eight, including two treys. Malcolm Logue scored seven points, Evan Britt six, David Greene and Zion Logue four each and Ethan Njezic a free throw as Lebanon finished a 20-7 regular season and 10-4 in District 9-AAA.
“To win 20 is one our goals every year,” Lebanon coach Jim McDowell said. “To be able to do it four straight years is really big.
“None of that matters now. We’re going back to 0-0 and trying to win next Friday.”
Next Friday is the opening round of the district tournament. Lebanon is the No. 3 seed, but it was unclear late Friday night who the Blue Devils would play first. The district meeting will be held Monday.
Peyton Martin’s 17 points paced the Panthers, who went winless in the district and will face top-seed Mt. Juliet next Friday.