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Stewart, Woodard lead Central to 4th-quarter win over Bears
Jan 17, 2007 12:00 am
MT. JULIET — Wilson Central led most of the first half but trailed at halftime.
Mt. Juliet was ahead most of the second half before falling behind in the fourth quarter, including 52-51 at the final buzzer Friday before a near capacity crowd at Tommy Martin Gym.
Central guards Kelten Stewart and Kody Woodard each scored seven fourth-period points as the Wildcats climbed from a 40-33 deficit to claim their 12th triumph against six setbacks. Woodard tossed in two three-pointers on his way to 19 points while Stewart stroked 8 of 10 free throws en route to 15 as the visitors moved to 2-3 in District 9-AAA.
"My hat's off to both teams," Wildcat coach Troy Bond said. "It was an extremely hard-played game. We just happened to come out at the end and made some plays to win it.
"(Stewart and Woodard) both had a big game for us, particularly late. We had some guys come off the bench and play really well – Arcavius McMurray, Teraes Clemmons, Preston Jenkins, Jarvis Jenkins – they all came in and gave us big minutes. I thought Daniel Palmer had a solid game for us and Travis Adkins in the post. And JaJuan Brooks was an unsung guy, he made some really nice assists and found some people and defensed their best player in the zone."
The Wildcats caught and passed the Bears 42-41 on a jumper from the elbow by McMurray. The teams traded the lead until McMurray put Central ahead to stay 44-43 with 5:08 to play. A baseline drive layup and three-pointer from the wing by Woodard put the visitors up by six and the Bears into catch-up mode.
Stewart sank a pair of free throws for a four-point lead before Jonta Bowman's three-pointer with a couple of seconds left accounted for the final score.
"We mixed a lot of (defenses)," Bond said. "We changed a lot of things. There at the end we rolled the dice and changed defenses three straight times and it seemed to work at that particular time. Some nights you do that and it falls apart on you. But our guys executed and Troy's (Mt. Juliet coach Allen) guys played great. You hate for somebody to lose that type of game."
"(Stewart and Woodard) were able to get some drives on us with some penetration and they hit some big threes and then a bunch of free throws," Allen said after his Bears fell to 10-7, 2-3.
Point guard Demond Craig threw in three 3-pointers and led Mt. Juliet with 16 points.
"Demond's Demond. He's one of the best guards around," Allen said. "We were just in serious foul trouble in the first half and had shooters sitting on the bench so Demond was having to take the load shooting the basketball."
Woodard scored six straight first-period points as Central opened a 12-5 lead. But the Bears reeled off eight in a row to close the quarter as Berek Lunn tossed in his second three-pointer of the period to put Mt. Juliet in front 13-12.
With Mt. Juliet accumulating fouls, Central scored one field goal and knocked down 9 of 15 free throws in the second quarter as the Wildcats led 20-14 and 21-15.
But the Bears battled back before the break as Craig converted a driving layup into a three-point play in the final minute to break a tie and send Mt. Juliet into the dressing room ahead 26-23.
Ryan Overstreet capped a six-point third period with an 18-foot baseline jumper to put Mt. Juliet ahead by seven going into the fourth.
Adkins added eight points for Central while McMurray scored six, Brooks two and Palmer and Clemmons a free throw apiece.
Overstreet knocked down all nine of his points in the first half while Bowman scored seven for Mt. Juliet. Odom and Cory Payne each threw in three while Ethan Gross, Antwuan Majors and Robert Hill tossed in two apiece and Logan Gray a free throw as the Bears hit just 7 of 15 free throws and 19 of 44 from the floor.
Both teams return to district play Tuesday. Central will host LaVergne while Mt. Juliet welcomes Gallatin to The Cave.
Sports Editor Andy Reed can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 17 or by e-mail at email@example.com.