MCKENZIE -- Cumberland's Courtney Atkinsons layup with 45.4 seconds remaining put her team ahead and Atkinson and Tamara Gonzalez added free throws in the final 18 seconds, sealing a 62-58 victory for the Lady Bulldogs over Bethel in womens basketball action Monday night at Dishman Gymnasium.
CU (5-10, 2-3 TranSouth) were finally able to close out a close game, this time knocking down foul shots in the final minute after missing those chances at the charity stripe on Saturday at Trevecca Nazarene.
Atkinsons driving layup on an assist from Casie Cowan with 45.4 seconds left put the Bulldogs ahead 58-56. Kelsey Hamilton missed a 3-pointer from the wing for the Wildcats (9-9, 1-3) and Gonzalez grabbed the rebound. After a pair of fouls by BU, Atkinson calmly knocked down one plus the bonus with 18.4 seconds remaining for a 60-56 advantage.
Gonzalez missed the front end of the bonus after another miss by the Wildcats before Jana Roney, who led Bethel with 22 points, scored with 3.7 seconds left. Gonzalez was fouled again and this time made both shots for the final margin.
Simone Ryan paced the Bulldogs with 14 points and six rebounds, while Gonzalez added 12 points and eight boards and Atkinson also had a dozen points along with five caroms.
The Wildcats started the game on fire, hitting 65 percent (11-for-17) at the second media timeout, with BU leading 33-24. Roney netted 15 points in the half, making 5-of-7 from the field and 3-of-4 at the foul line. But Bethel made just eight of its final 35 shots from the field, as Cumberland played a 2-3 zone the entire second half, neutralizing Roney and forcing jump-shooters into scoring roles.
Gonzalez kept the Bulldogs in the game early, scoring eight points with a pair of 3-pointers in the first seven minutes and finishing the half with 10 points. Ryan netted five of her eight points in the period in the final six minutes and the junior missed another jumper in traffic just before the half, as Cumberland trailed 37-29 at the break.
The Bulldogs take on third-ranked Union University at home on Thursday at 6 p.m. and hosts Martin Methodist at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
In District 8A action Friday, Jan. 13:
Watertown's girls dropped a 44-38 decision at Gordonsville; Watertown's boys won the nightcap 62-60.
Friendship Christian's girls lost 53-27 at Trousdale County High; The Commanders defeated the Yellow Jackets 67-53.
LEBANON -- Mt. Juliet picked up two District 9AAA wins at Lebanon High's historic Campbell Brandon Gym Friday night.
The girls game was over early as the Lady Bears (18-2) opened up a 10-0 lead and never looked back en route to a 70-32 victory -- snapping a seven game LHS winning steak.
Mt. Juliet senior post Caya Williams was unstoppable, rattling the nets for 30 points. Sally McCabe chipped in with 10.
No Lebanon player reached double figures. Kelsey Yarbrough had 8, while Kristen Dedman and Abby Wright had six each for LHS -- now 11-8 on the season.
The nightcap was a nip and tuck affair from the jump as Mt. Juliet (16-3) held off a stubborn Blue Devil club for a 63-59 victory. LHS slid to 6-12 with the loss.
Mt. Juliet guard Caleb Chowbay (pictured, right) led all scorers with 29 -- including four 3-pointers while teammate C.J. McEwen added 10.
Lebanon post man Cameron High had 25 points and Case Sloan had 10.
The Blue Devils and Devilettes will host Portland Tuesday, Jan. 17 for a "Pink Out" with a collection being taken for Gilda's Club Nashville.
CENTRAL SWEEPS PORTLAND
Wilson Central had little trouble stopping Portland for a District 9AAA doubleheader sweep at home Friday.
Coach Bud Brandon's Lady Wildcats (12-4) jumped out to a 22-9 first quarter lead en route to a 71-45 win.
Taylor Peterson connected on five 3-pointers and finished with 24 points for the winners. Sydney Vanlandingham added 21.
The boys game featured Wilson Central (14-2) pulling away for a 63-47 victory behind 19 points from Dee Oldham and 18 from Malcolm St. Louis.
Central will take on Mt. Juliet High Tuesday, Jan. 17.