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Tigers take Round 1 at Friendship
Jan 06, 2013 12:00 am
By Andy Reed
Watertown's boys delivered the first blow, and the Purple Tigers withstood repeated rallies by defending state champion Friendship Christian to knock off the Commanders 55-45 inside a packed Bay Family Sportsplex on Friday night.
After spotting Friendship a 2-0 lead, Watertown reeled off the next 11 points as Josiah Smith sank back-to-back three-pointers following a pair of tying free throws.
"They left him open a couple of times off of some matchups that left him open," Watertown coach Matt Bradshaw said. "We got off to a god start."
But Friendship point guard Zac Anderson answered with some free throws and a three as the Commanders, with Colton Gaines connecting on a pair from the line with time expired, climbed to within 18-16 at the first-quarter break.
"They did a good job making free throws, but if we don't put them on the free-throw line, we're probably in a little better situation coming into halftime," Bradshaw said.
Baskets by Andrew Wood, Anthony Williams and Gaines tied the score early in the second period. But Friendship never regained the lead as Smith sank three free throws and point guard Macieo Gaines drove baseline to open a 27-23 Purple Tiger lead.
Mackey Bentley's 10-footer brought Friendship within 27-25 by halftime.
"We've done that all year, falling down early and fighting our way back," Friendship assistant coach Jason Miller said.
But Gaines drove for a pair of layups and Ty Jobe scored underneath as Watertown opened the second half with a 6-0 spurt. Jobe's putback opened a 41-31 lead before a steal and layup by Williams, who scored seven during the third quarter, drew Friendship within 41-33 going into the fourth.
"We gave them too many easy baseline drives, especially early in the third quarter," Miller said.
A steal and layup by Smith, who paced the Purple Tigers with 15 points, opened a 50-37 lead midway through the fourth. But four points from Allen Heaston and a foul-line jumper by Williams, who matched Smith's 15 for Friendship, brought the Commanders within 50-43. A couple of free throws by Bentley made it a five-point margin.
"They're tough to put away," Bradshaw said of the Commanders. "We did some things to help them stay in the ballgame. We definitely didn't make the necessary free throws down the stretch that would have stretched the lead to 15-16... We kept going 50 percent on some free throws and giving them some buckets on the other end. They made some big shots to cut the lead."
But Gaines, who notched nine of his 13 points in the second half and sank 6 of 8 free throws, got a steal and a layup to seal the Tigers' 14th win in 15 outings as Watertown moved to 2-0 in District 8-A.
"[Gaines] is huge for us on defense," Bradshaw said. "He made a couple of nice tips, steals, finishing for layups. Got some quick offense for us."
Bradshaw credited the Watertown fans who traveled from southeast Wilson to Possum Town. He said it was the largest Purple Tiger contingent he had ever seen at the Sportsplex, where he coached for seven seasons before going to WHS in 2010.
"Our fans really turned out well tonight," Bradshaw said. "We've done a good job of having some good home crowds and we've traveled pretty decently on the road. I was impressed with how the people in the community came out tonight and supported us. It was a big help. I thought they helped turn it into a home game for us. It wasn't on our home floor, but from a crowd perspective, it was a home game for us."
Jobe added 11 points while George Theragood supplied six off the bench before fouling out, Dylan Speck five and Jake Belcher three as the Tigers hit 20 of 56 shots from the floor and 12 of 26 free throws.
Heaston had eight points for Friendship while Anderson finished with seven, Gaines six, Bentley four, Wood and A.J. Long two each and Marshall Taylor a free throw as the Commanders, playing their district opener, fell to 3-6 after connecting on 14 of 45 from the floor and 15 of 22 from the line.
Watertown getting 11 more shots from the floor was directly attributable to Friendship's 20 turnovers, Miller said.
"We just had too many turnovers," he said. "We had a goal of 12 and, by our count, we had 20. That's 20 trips down the court we didn't get a shot."
Watertown will travel to Pickett County on Tuesday night while Friendship remains in district and at home against Red Boiling Springs. The Commanders will close their district schedule [their last in 8-A before going to Division II next year] Feb. 1 at Watertown. Last year's state champs could well meet the Tigers again in the district tournament, where WHS is the defending champion.
"It may be three times, it may be four times," Miller said. "We're going to know them well before the end of the year."
Late three drops Blue Devils
Trae Hatcher hit a three-pointer to put Station Camp ahead with 20 seconds left and the Bison made a couple of stops on the other end of Hester Gibbs Court to survive with a 55-53 win over Lebanon at Campbell Brandon Gym on Friday night.
Lebanon spent a couple of timeouts before missing a 15-footer with about four seconds left. Station Camp missed the front end of a one-and-one, but the Blue Devils had a pass deflected out of bounds and couldn't get another shot off as they dropped to 5-11 for the season, 1-3 in District 9-AAA.
Station Camp led 18-14 following the first quarter before Lebanon trimmed the margin to 32-30 going into halftime. The Blue Devils opened the second half with a run to go up by seven or eight before the Bison battled to within 43-39 to start the fourth.
"Our guys played hard," Lebanon coach Jim McDowell said. "We did a better job, for the most part, of executing offensively.
"We definitely had problems down the stretch. I've got to do a better job of putting our guys in better positions to close out games down the stretch."
Hatcher hit three triples in leading Station Camp with 15 points while Kyle Anderton finished with 14 and Ryan Hardin 12.
Zimmer Hunn zipped in four treys to lead Lebanon with 15 points while freshman center Yalen Reed racked up 12. DaShawn McMurry scored seven points, KeShawn Abston six, Julian Crutchfield five, Zach Santana four and Eddie McDaniels and Jemel Officer two each.
Lebanon will play host to Gallatin on Tuesday while Station Camp returns home to entertain Wilson Central.
Wildcats beat Gallatin's slow-down style 44-20
GLADEVILLE — Visiting Gallatin controlled the pace Friday night, but Wilson Central controlled the scoreboard in a 44-20 triumph.
The Wildcats led 12-5 following the first quarter, 18-9 at halftime and 33-16 going into the fourth as they climbed to 13-4 for the season and 3-1 in District 9-AAA.
"Gallatin controlled the tempo," Wildcats coach Troy Bond said. "We had a good third quarter. We did a good job of getting some turnovers and turning them into points."
Jacob Williams hit a couple of three-pointers in leading Central with 19 points while fellow guard Blake Huffman had 11. Ben Palmer overcame early foul trouble to score all five of his points in the fourth quarter, and "got a couple of big charges for us," Bond said.
Matthew Hall had four points, Fred Alpert and A.J. Franklin two each and Casey Brandon a free throw for the Wildcats, who held Gallatin without a double-digit scorer.
Central will travel to Station Camp on Tuesday night while Gallatin returns to Wilson County for the Green Wave's first visit to the new Lebanon.
Chowbay, Gilbert lead Bears to road win
HENDERSONVILLE — Mt. Juliet guards Nolan Chowbay and Hunter Gilbert combined for 33 points Friday night to lead the Golden Bears to a 50-35 District 9-AAA road win at Beech.
Chowbay led with 18 points while Gilbert tossed in a pair of three-pointers on his way to 15.
Mt. Juliet led 10-8 following the first quarter, 20-15 at halftime and 31-23 through three as the Bears moved to 8-7 for the season, 3-1 in the district.
Reagan Johnson and Daniel Schroder each scored six for Mt. Juliet while Thomas Sharpe sank a three and Christian Bell two.
Sam Landrith led Beech with 11 points while Philip Bates buried three triples on his way to 10.
Mt. Juliet will return home to entertain Hendersonville on Tuesday night.
Ezell-Harding soars past MJCA
ANTIOCH — Ezell-Harding led from the first quarter on in an 86-62 win over visiting Mt. Juliet Christian on Friday night.
The Eagles soared to a 20-6 first-quarter lead and widened the margin to 45-23 by halftime.
Austin Gee totaled 21 points for Ezell-Harding while Will Smith added 18 and T.J. Smith 14 as the Eagles dropped in nine three-pointers.
The Saints sank 13 triples, including six by Trevor West, who led Mt. Juliet Christian with 18 points. Brandon Wall fired in four threes on his way to 16 while Wyatt Oberg added three for his nine. Zack Jones also notched nine points while Alex Graves added three and Gilbert Russ two.
Mt. Juliet Christian will travel to Davidson Academy on Tuesday night.
Big third quarter lifts McClain to eighth straight win
FRANKLIN — McClain Christian dominated the third quarter Friday night in defeating host Franklin Classical 47-36, extending the Bulldogs' winning streak to eight.
Franklin Classical led by a point at halftime before McClain controlled the third quarter 16-5.
"Eli Shouse was outstanding tonight on the defensive end of the court and that was really the spark," McClain coach Tony McLeod said.
Brandon Fox finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for McClain while Charlie Booher and Evan Tubb each supplied six points off the bench.