The Macon County Jr. High girls and boys basketball teams both won in the semi-final round of the James C. Haile State Invitational Tournament held at Middle Tennessee Christian School in Murfreesboro on Monday night January 28th. The girls will play White County at 12:30 pm Saturday afternoon and the boys will play Grassland Middle at 6:30 pm for the tournament championship.
In a low scoring game, the Macon County Tigerettes beat the West Wilson Wildcats 27 to 23. The game started out slow with both teams struggling to score and rebound for second shot opportunities. With 1:39 left in the second period the score was 8 to 9 with the Wildcats in the lead. Before the half Paige Clark was fouled and hit both free throws. The Wildcats couldn’t covert on the other end, a steal by the Tigerettes led to a fast break pass from Clark to Jenna Russell for 2 pts. The Tigerettes went into halftime with a 12 to 9 lead.
Clark opened the 3rd quarter with a 3 pt. bomber from the corner. After a series of missed shots on both ends of the court, Kendall Bullington scored 2 pts. from the rebound on a missed layup. Number 14 for the Wildcats scored 2 pts, then the Tigerettes missed a 2-pointer on their end. Luci Allen rebounded and was fouled. Allen sunk both of her free throws. The next score for the Tigerettes came from a pass by Keeley Clariday to Kinsli Green for 2 pts. At the end of the third quarter the Tigerettes led 23 to 17.
At the beginning of the 4th quarter, the Wildcats went on a 4 and 0 run. Pressure defense by Clariday created a 10 second call against West Wilson. Macon County’s lead dwindled to 2 pts. with 2:56 left in the game. The Tigerettes went on to score 4 more points, and no more was needed. Macon County hung on to claim the victory.
Scoring for the Tigerettes were Paige Clark 7 pts., Kendall Bullington 6 pts., Luci Allen 4 pts., Kinsli Green 4 pts., Jenna Russell 4 pts., and Keeley Clariday 2 pts.
Seth Carlisle won the opening tip to start the boy’s game against the Cascade Champions. The first points of the game came from Michael Ashburn on his score from deep in 3-point land. After Ashburn scored his next 3-point basket a time out was called. When play resumed, Ashburn stole the ball sending a pass to Dawson Brawner who scored for two. It was evident that the Champions relied heavily on the 3-point shot, which started falling for the team. In the next few minutes the Champions scored 9 pts. to the Tigers 2 pts. Macon was revived when Kendrick Carter stole the ball and took it to the basket for 2 pts. and was fouled. After Carter hit the free throw, play resumed at the Champions basket. Carter went on to score 3 more points from a shot and a free throw to end the first quarter, Tigers lead 16 to 9.
The Tigers continued making passes that led to baskets due to their signature teamwork effort. Cayden Shrum scored 2 pts. on an inbound pass. Cascade couldn’t make a shot on their end; Carlisle rebounded, sped down the floor and passed the ball to Carter for 2 pts. The last points of the 2nd quarter came from a pass by Ashburn to Brawner for 2 pts. At the end of the half, the Tigers led the Champions 32 to 22.
The third quarter saw the biggest lead for the Tigers. Going into the final quarter, Macon County led 46 to 28. Carlisle and Brawner continued to score, as well as Carter, Ashburn, and Chance Presley. Cascade hit some three pointers towards the end but eventually ran out of time. Tyler Gann ended the game with two completed free throws and the Tigers sealed the victory, beating the Champions 63 to 51.
Scoring for the Tigers were Dawson Brawner 18 pts., Seth Carlisle 18 pts., Kendrick Carter 12 pts., Michael Ashburn 8 pts., Tyler Gann 4 pts., Cayden Shrum 2 pts., and Chance Presley 1 pt.