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Blue Devils conquer Siegel Nation
Feb 13, 2007 12:00 am
MURFREESBORO — After waiting out a lengthy homecoming ceremony, Lebanon's boys entered the Siegel Nation and conquered its inhabitants 62-57 Friday night.
The athletic Stars didn't surrender their home court easily as they led most of the way until Lebanon point guard O'Keefe McCarver overcame a slow start to settle the Blue Devils down in the fourth quarter with 11 of his 17 points.
Siegel led 40-35 late in the third quarter before McCarver's coast-to-coast layup ignited a 9-0 run capped by Xavier Smith's pullup jumper from the key for a 44-40 Lebanon lead early in the fourth.
Tye Elder's one-hander in the post briefly put Siegel back in front 45-44 midway through the fourth before McCarver drove to the hoop for a three-point play. His two free throws at the 3:36 mark broke a 47-47 tie to put Lebanon in front for good.
McCarver connected on all seven of his fourth-period free throws and 8 of 9 for the night as the Blue Devils ended their District 7-AAA schedule 8-6 and moved to 16-12 for the season with Wilson Central visiting Campbell Brandon Gym/Hester Gibbs Court on Monday night for the regular-season finale.
Smith supplied 16 points, including four first-half three-pointers, to keep Lebanon in the game as the Blue Devils trailed 31-25 at halftime.
His triple opened the game for a 3-0 Lebanon lead before the Stars – using their size, athleticism and shot-blocking to snuff the Blue Devils' inside game and Marc Gooch's six first-period points – rose to a 17-11 lead late in the quarter. Smith came full circle, closing the quarter the way he began it, with a three to bring the visitors within three going into the second.
Smith's next triple brought the Blue Devils into a 17-17 tie and his last put Lebanon in front 20-17 less than two minutes into the second quarter.
But a pair of Elder baskets got Siegel back in the game and free throws from Gooch, Chris Morant and Joseph Ward put the Stars in front 27-25 1:40 before halftime. The Stars closed the half with six straight points to go up 31-25.
McCarver got warmed up with a three-pointer from the wing to begin the second half and the Blue Devils used the third quarter to whittle the Stars' lead down to 40-38 with eight minutes left.
Ken Walton came off the Blue Devil bench to toss in 12, including 7-of-8 from the line. His fastbreak dunk following a blocked shot by Michael Edwards on the other end lifted Lebanon into a 40-40 tie 20 seconds into the fourth quarter. Big man Connor Burger followed with two of his seven from underneath to boost the visitors in front 42-40.
Herschal McCathern scored six and Edwards four for Lebanon.
Veteran point guard Tyler Cutter tossed in two three-pointers on his way to 15 points for Siegel while forward Dominick Nicholas threw in 13 and Elder 10 off the bench as the Stars dimmed to 12-18 for the season and 4-8 in the district.
Following the Wilson Central finale, the Blue Devils will take their No. 5 seeding to No. 4 White County next Friday for the district tournament's elimination round. The winner will advance to the semifinals against top-seed Oakland at Riverdale the following day.
Commanders race past Merrol Hyde in finale
HENDERSONVILLE — Friendship Christian's 10th-ranked Commanders ran roughshod over host Merrol Hyde 72-40 Friday in their regular-season finale.
The Commanders marched to a 23-7 first-quarter lead and a 47-17 halftime bulge as they concluded a 20-5 regular season and 11-1 District 8-A mark.
Guard Garrett McKnight and center Michael Teeter each threw in 13 points for Friendship while Parker Teeter and Adam Stephens scored seven apiece, Parker Freels and Matt Goodner six each, John Doak five, Jonathan Dunn four; John Hatcher, Hardie Sorrels, Eddie Doss Eatherly and Sam Wilkinson two apiece and Lee Maasen a free throw.
Rob Kolp, Merrol Hyde's 6-9 post, flipped in 15 for the Hawks.
As the top seed, Friendship will receive a first-round bye in next week's district tournament. The Commanders will play at 6:30 p.m. next Saturday at Gordonsville against the winner of No. 5-seed Mt. Juliet Christian's game at No. 4 Trousdale County at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
In the other bracket, No. 7 Watertown will travel to No. 2 Gordonsville with the survivor to meet the No. 6 Merrol Hyde-No. 3 Westmoreland winner at 8 p.m. Saturday. Both first-round games will also be played at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
Sports Editor Andy Reed can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 17 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.