TUESDAY'S WILSON CO. PREP BASKETBALL
Region 5AAA boys at Northeast:
Mt. Juliet vs. Clarksville at 6 p.m.; Wilson Central vs. Beech at 7:30 p.m.
Region 4A boys at Livingston Academy:
Clarkrange vs. Watertown at 6 p.m.; Friendship Christian vs. Jackson County at 7:30 p.m.
Tonight's winners qualify for the Sweet 16; losers go home.
FROM SATURDAY -- It was a great night for the locals as all four Wilson County boys basketball teams advanced to their respective regional semifinals with quarterfinal wins Saturday.
IN REGION 4A AT WATERTOWN-- Watertown High coach Matt Bradshaw opted to dwell on the positives, instead of an 18-of-39 night at the free throw line as the Purple Tigers held on for a 54-45 victory over Pickett County Saturday at home.
Watertown went into the lockerroom at halftime up 24-17 on the strength of a dazzling 21-0 run.
"Do you realize how many demons we excorcised tonight?" Bradshaw said after the game, "I don't know if this program has ever played in regional tournament game -- much less won one.
"We did a great job on defense, especially early and I thought we played pretty good defense throughout -- we just quit scoring."
Pickett County cut Watertown's lead down to 43-41 with 2:16 to play, but back to back buckets by post man Ben Bain off the fast break stopped the bleeding.
"Ben is awfully steady," Bradshaw said, "he gives us everything he's got night after night. Those were a couple of big buckets right there."
Soph forward Ty Jobe led the Tigers (25-5) with 14 points while Maceio Gaines and KeAnDre Bates each had eight. Bain and Josiah Smith each had six points while Nick Sackman and Aaron Morgan finished with four points apiece.
IN REGION 5AAA AT DICKSON-- Mt. Juliet rode the hot hand of senior guard Caleb Chowbay and easily defeated District 10AAA champ Northeast 68-51. Down 26-23 at intermission, the Golden Bears put the game on ice with a 25-10 fourth quarter burst. Leading 51-47 with 4:51 left, the Bears closed out the game with a 17-4 run.
The Belmont-bound Chowbay scored 23 points and had four 3-point goals as the Bears improved to 25-7 with the win. C.J. McEwen finished with 14 and Brandon Shepard had 13. Mt. Juliet finished with eight 3-pointers.
When were playing good, we make 3s, said Mt. Juliet coach Troy Allen. When we havent been good, we miss them.
Northeast ended the season 28-3, despite 18 points from Kentucky-signee Alex Poythress. No other Northeast player could crack double figures against Mt. Juliet's sticky defense.
IN REGION 5AAAAT NORTHEAST-- Wilson Central built an early lead and then withstood a late second half rally by host Dickson County to win 63-57 and advance in the quarterfinal round of the Region 5AAA Tournament Saturday night.
The Wildcats scored the final eight points of a low-scoring first period to lead 8-3 and built the margin to 25-13 at intermission. The Wildcats were able to keep the distance until down the stretch of the fourth quarter thanks to 56 percent (10-18) field goal shooting in the second half. The Wildcats also held a big advantage at the free throw line, converting 19-of-28 attempts for the game as compared to DCHSs 4-of-5.
Central held its biggest lead in the second half at 13 points (54-41) with 3:07 remaining after Blake Huffmans layup on a fast break. The Cougars would then go on a run and were able to pull to 59-54with 1:19 left. However, the Wildcats sealed the game at the free throw line as DCHS was able to manage a lone field goal and one free throw the rest of the way.
Wilson Central featured a balanced scoring attack with Jacob Williams leading the way with 18. Dee Oldham tallied 16, powered by 10-of-15 free throwing shooting and had a game-high 11 rebounds. Conner Brandon scored 12 and Huffman finished with 10. Central finished the game shooting 51 percent from the floor (20-39).
Dickson County (21-8) was led by Tyler Spicers 19 points and nine rebounds. JeQuan Lewis added 16 and had a game-high five steals and Dante Daniel had 10 points off the bench.
IN REGION 4A IN LEBANON-- Friendship Christian rolled out to a 34-16 first half lead and coasted in for a 59-44 victory over Clay County at the Bay Family Sportsplex.
Mark Sandoval had 18 for the Commanders who improved to 22-3 with the win. Allen Heaston added 14 and Dalton Patterson added eight.
Jordan Strong had 22 points, including six 3-pointers, for Clay County (19-9). All four of Friday night's local winners will take part in loser-out games Tuesday night in their respective regional tournaments.
By TOMMY BRYAN, firstname.lastname@example.org