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Devilettes win debut game in new gym
Nov 22, 2012 12:00 am
Fox gets hot late to shoot down Smyrna
By Andy Reed
Lebanon's girls have grown up together and won along the way. But when the Devilettes needed someone to step up on their new floor, senior Julia Fox stepped up.
A day after signing to play for Murray State, Fox scored seven fourth-period points Tuesday night to lift Lebanon past Smyrna 64-58 in the Devilettes' debut game in their new Campbell Brandon Gym/Hester Gibbs Court.
Fox's first triple of the period pulled Lebanon into a 54-54 tie midway through the quarter. Her second, just over a minute later, put the Devilettes ahead to stay 58-56 as LHS went on to its second win in as many starts under first-year coach Courtney McFarlin.
"We pulled it out by pure guts and being relentless," McFarlin said. "That's what we talked about in our pregame. We wanted to be relentless. We were going to give it everything we had and that's how we found a way to win."
Four Devilettes scored in double figures and two others almost did. Fox and Madison Sloan each finished with 14 points while Kelsey Yarbrough added 11 and Sydney Floyd 10. Abby Wright added eight and Jameka Dowell seven off the bench.
"Very pleased with the scoring," McFarlin said. "That's huge. We can't have somebody come in and say 'I'm just going to key on this one player', and that's what we've been working on. We've been working on playing as a team. Everybody comes in, everybody contributes. It's not just a 'me' game anymore. It's not just a one-on-one game. It's a team game and everybody is there and they treat each other like a family."
Sloan scored nine in the second quarter, including the final four of the first half to break a 29-29 tie. She also started the second half with a putback, followed by Fox's first three of the night to cap a 9-0 run.
A putback by Yarbrough opened a 41-31 lead before baskets by Brooklyn Blanchard and a pair of three-pointers by Kayla Hunt, who hit three triples in the third period on her way to 13 points, brought the Lady Bulldogs right back. Blanchard, who led the Lady Bulldogs with 14 points, closed the quarter with a beautiful running one-hander at the buzzer for a 50-46 Smyrna lead.
"Basketball is a game of runs," McFarlin said. "Those things happen. We had to make adjustments and find a way to get them stopped. Smyrna is a good team, very athletic and they shot the ball lights out tonight."
Lebanon led most of the first quarter which ended 17-13 despite a pair of threes by Savannah McIntyre. But baskets by Treasure Hunt brought the Lady Bulldogs into a 17-17 tie and a 23-22 lead. Brianne Alexander scored underneath to bring the visitors into the 29-29 deadlock.
Smyrna was coming off a TSSAA Hall of Champions loss to Columbia. The Lady Bulldogs play in a loaded District 7-AAA, meaning Lebanon's win might prove to be very big as the season moves on.
"They're probably going to be top two, top three in that district, in a district that this year might be the top in the state," McFarlin said.
A big crowd turned out on opening night. Among the amenities in the gym is a video board, not unlike the one in the football stadium.
"We had a great atmosphere," McFarlin said. "We had a lot of people here. It's just great to have the fan support, to see the people supporting us and to see this awesome new building and enjoying the atmosphere.
"It really pumped the girls up and helped us to a win."
Fans can get another look at the new gym this weekend for the Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial Thanksgiving Classic. Lebanon will face Antioch at 5:30 p.m. Friday and Macon County at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Other girls' games on tap include Macon County against Page at 10 a.m. Friday and Smith County against Grace Christian at 1 p.m. Antioch will take on Smith County at 10 a.m. Saturday, Grace Christian will face Loretto at 1 p.m. and Page will play Moore County at 4.
Devils drop opener after bad fourth quarter
Lebanon's boys dropped their debut game in the new Campbell Brandon Gym/Hester Gibbs Court 44-40 to Smyrna on Tuesday night.
The Blue Devils battled back from an early deficit to grab a 33-30 lead going into the fourth quarter before Smyrna outscored Lebanon 14-7 over the final eight minutes to drop the hosts to 0-2 while improving to 2-0.
"They got to the free-throw line 21 times and we only got there seven," Lebanon coach Jim McDowell said. "They were very physical and did a good job of attacking us.
"Down the stretch, we got to do a better job of executing, and that comes down to me."
Smyrna's 6-foot-6 big man, Ganda Ameri, dropped in 16 points.
Lebanon countered with Zimmer Hunn from outside, who hit four three-pointers on his way to 18. Eddie McDaniels scored seven, freshman Yalen Reed six in his high school debut, DaShawn McMurry five and J'Quan Jackson and Jemel Officer two each.
Smyrna led 8-3 early before the Blue Devils battled back to within 11-9 at the first-quarter break. It was 23-21Bulldogs at halftime.
"In the first half, they got some easy baskets in transition," McDowell said. "We cut down on that in the second half."
A big crowd turned out to see the new facility and team. They were greeted by a new video board similar to the one in the football stadium.
"It was a really good atmosphere," McDowell said. "We got a good turnout from our students and fans. I just wish we could have gotten a win for them."
Lebanon will have a couple of more chances to win for the home folks this weekend in the Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial Thanksgiving Classic. The Blue Devils will face Oakland at 7 p.m. Friday and Macon County [coached by former LHS assistant Jason Welch] at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
Other boys' games Friday include Macon County against Page at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Smith County against Watertown at 2:30 p.m. and Antioch vs. Riverdale at 4.
On Saturday, Oakland and Antioch will tip off at 8:30 a.m., followed by Riverdale against Smith County at 11:30, Page vs. Loretto at 2:30 p.m. and Watertown and Moore County at 5:30.
Sports Editor Andy Reed can be reached at 444-3952, ext. 17; or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org