Longtime rivals Lebanon and Mt. Juliet will square off Saturday at 7 p.m. in the semifinals of the District 9-AAA basketball tournament at Beech High School.
Taking different paths to their meeting, No. 5 Lebanon eliminated an injury-plagued and No. 4-seeded Wilson Central squad 43-39 Thursday night at Mt. Juliet while the Lady Bears hammered No. 8-seeded Portland 62-25.
The Devilettes (13-13 overall) got 20 points from senior Madison Sloan and are assured at least three more games. Kelsey Yarbrough added 12 points and Morgan Bruce chipped in with seven.
LHS took a 10-1 early lead and held on for the win. Wilson Central ended the season 16-11 overall and was led by ninth grader Addison Byrd with 15 points and Kayla Jackson converted three 3-pointers and finished with nine points.
Mt. Juliet High got 20 points from senior center Sally McCabe and 18 from Raeyana DeGray as the Lady Bears improved to 23-1 overall.
9-AAA boys tournament opens Friday
Here's the quarterfinal schedule at Beech for Friday night:
No. 2 Station Camp will play No. 7 Hendersonville at 4 p.m., followed by No. 3 Gallatin vs. No. 6 Lebanon at 5:30 p.m.
The 7 p.m. game will feature No. 1 Wilson Central vs. No. 8 Portland at 7 p.m. followed by the 8:30 p.m. game between No. 4 Mt. Juliet taking on No. 5 Beech.
Saturday's semifinal round shows the winner of the Station Camp - Hendersonville game playing the winner of the Gallatin - Lebanon game at 5:30 p.m.
The other semifinal will be held at 8:30 p.m. between the winner of Wilson Central - Portland and the winner of Mt. Juliet - Beech.
The tournament champion will be crowned Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 8 p.m.
The third place game will be played Monday, Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. The top four teams from the district advance to the Region 5-AAA tournament to be held at Rossview High.