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9-AAA -- Lady Bears top LHS 29-23

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Coach Chris Fryer

Fryer nets 500th career win
PORTLAND -- Mt. Juliet's girls bounced back from Saturday's upset loss to Beech with an ugly 29-23 win over Lebanon in Monday's District 9-AAA consolation game at Portland High.

Ugly or not -- the game marked the 500th career victory for Mt. Juliet head coach Chris Fryer. A MJHS graduate, Fryer has an overall record of 500-95 (an .840 winning percentage).

With the win, the Lady Bears improved to 17-9 and will travel to District 10-AAA runner-up Henry County in Friday's 7 p.m. Region 5-AAA opener.

Neither team had much success hitting the basket as Lebanon slogged to a 5-2 lead after one quarter of play. The poor shooting continued as the teams went into intermission deadlocked at 7-7.

Senior Karly Dyer led the Lady Bears with 12 points while Tavie Bell and Cassidy Harris scored eight points each.

Kendra Brown paced the Devilettes with nine points, Ireland Elie had eight and Bailey Sells three. With the loss, LHS slipped to 14-18 overall headed into Friday's region opener at 28-1 Rossview High.

(boys) Lebanon 53, Beech 52
PORTLAND -- Lebanon's boys improved to 23-7 on the season following a wild 53-52 win over Beech (16-15) Monday in the consolation game of the District 9-AAA tournament at Portland High.

With the victory, the Blue Devils earned third place in the tournament and will travel to either Springfield or Kenwood Saturday, Feb. 27 in the opening round of the Region 5-AAA tournament.

Leading for most of the way, Coach Jim McDowell's club held off a late Beech rally to secure the win.

Lebanon led 15-4 early and pushed the lead to as many as a dozen points midway through the second quarter.

Junior Cameron Oliver knocked down two free throws with 30.8 seconds remaining to give LHS a three-point lead at 53-50.

Passing up a 3-pointer that might tie the game Beech guard A.J. Robertson attacked the basket and scored with around six seconds to play, cutting hte margin to one. Rather than inbounding the ball, LHS allowed the clock to run out.

Three Lebanon players scored in double figures - Kobe Neuble with 17 points, Eddie Jackson 14 and Oliver 10. Tay Jackson had seven points, Noah Mulaski three and David Cavile two

Bears throttle LHS boys in semis
PORTLAND -- Playing what head coach Troy Allen called, "our best game of the year," Mt. Juliet clamped down on the defensive end to score a 49-36 win over Lebanon Saturday night in the District 9-AAA semifinals at Portland High School.

With the victory, the Golden Bears improved to 22-7 and advanced to Tuesday's 8 p.m. tournament finals against Station Camp. The Bison (30-1) knocked off Beech 47-30 in the other semifinal game Saturday.

"I just though we guarded great the whole game -- especially the second half," Allen said. "I though we had a period early in the third where we rushed a few shots, but after that I though we really controlled the tempo."

Leading 23-18 at intermission, Mt. Juliet outscored LHS 13-7 in the third quarter.

Tyler Faulkenberry and Christian Bell led Mt. Juliet with 12 points apiece. Austin Brown finished with eight and Trey Pruitt had seven in the low scoring contest.

Lebanon point guard Tay Jackson paced all scorers with 19, but no other Blue Devil managed to crack double figures. Kobe Neuble and Eddie Jackson managed five points apiece.

With the loss, Lebanon dropped to 22-6 heading into Monday's 8 p.m. consolation game vs. Beech (16-14).

(girls) Beech 47, Mt. Juliet 34
PORTLAND -- No. 6-seeded Beech outrebounded Mt. Juliet 11-2 down the stretch and came away with a 47-34 win over the Lady Bears in Saturday's District 9-AAA semifinal at Portland High.

With the win, the surprising Lady Bucs improved to 11-19 on the season and will take on 28-0 Wilson Central in the championship game Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Beech guard Deja Smith was unstoppable, pouring in 27 -- including nine key points in the closing minutes of the contest.

Karly Dyer led Mt. Juliet with 16 points and Tavie Bell finished with eight. Cassidy Harris finished with six, Julia Maki three and freshman Payton Brumbach one.

(girls) Wilson Central 55, Lebanon 31
PORTLAND -- Known as a high-scoring outfit, Wilson Central turned up the defensive pressure and forced 23 turnovers in Saturday's 55-31 victory over Lebanon in the semifinals of the District 9-AAA basketball tournament at Portland High.

Now 28-0, the Lady Wildcats converted those turnovers into 17 points and earned a berth in Tuesday's 8 p.m. tournament against Beech.

WCHS led 11-6 after one quarter and 26-14 at intermission.

As usual, senior guard Kendall Spray led all scorers with 26 points. The UT-Martin signee connected on 4-of-12 of her 3-point attempts, pulled down seven rebounds and passed out three assists.

Addison Byrd, who left the game for a few minutes with an ankle injury, carded 15 points on a 7-of-9 shooting effort. Taylor Tucker finished with five and Kaythryn Bean had four.

Kendra Brown muscled in 12 points for Lebanon, Ireland Elie had seven, Zyrina Neuble five, Bailey Sells four and Maleigha Oldham three.

The Devilettes, now 14-16 overall, will play Mt. Juliet in Tuesday's 6:30 p.m. consolation contest.

Devilettes oust host Portland
PORTLAND -- The third time proved to be a charm as No. 5 seeded Lebanon upset and eliminated tournament host Portland 58-54 Thursday in the opening round of the District 9-AAA basketball tournament.

Coach Cory Barrett's Devilettes were clutch at the line, knocking down 20-of-25 from the charity stripe, including 10-of-11 in the fourth quarter.

Thanks in part to 17 points apiece from Kendra Brown and Maleigha Oldham, LHS improved to 13-14 on the season and defeated Portland for the first time this season after suffering two regular season losses to the Lady Panthers.

Win or lose on Saturday, both teams will advance to the Region 5-AAA tournament next week.

(girls) Wilson Central 79, Gallatin 17
ORTLAND -- No. 1-seeded Wilson Central moved to 27-0 on the season following Wednesday night's 79-17 win over No. 8 Gallatin in the opening round of the District 9-AAA girls basketball tournament.

With the victory, Coach John Wild's squad earned a berth in Saturday's 7 p.m. semifinal game opposite No. 5 Lebanon.

Leading 19-5 after one quarter, the Lady Wildcats kicked into gear and outscored Gallatin 30-5 in the second period -- taking a 49-10 lead into intermission.

Class AAA Miss Basketball finalist Kendall Spray led Central with 18 points. Bailey Kaposy had 17 off the bench while Addison Byrd and Anna Altman each had 11.

(girls) Mt. Juliet 57, Station Camp 34
PORTLAND -- Tavie Bell scored 26 points Wednesday night to lead No. 2-seeded Mt. Juliet to a 57-34 victory over No. 7 Station Camp in the opening round of the District 9-AAA tournament at Portland High School.

The Lady Bears went on a 20-1 second half run to put the game away, improving to 16-8. Karly Dyer added 18 points while Julia Maki chipped in with five.

With the win, Mt. Juliet earned a spot in next week's regional tournament and will play either Hendersonville or Beech in Saturday's 4 p.m. semifinal contest.

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Chris Fryer, Christian Bell, Devilettes, District 9-AAA, Kendall Spray, Lady Bears, Lady Wildcats, Lebanon High basketball, Mt. Juliet basketball, Portland High School, Tyler Faulkenberry, Wilson Central basketball
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