Lady 'Cats title hopes dashed


LaVERGNE UPSETS WILSON CENTRAL

HENDERSONVILLE -- Numbers don’t lie and LaVergne’s Lady Wolverines used some simple math to upset Wilson Central 51-49 Monday in the semifinals of the Region 5AAA tournament at Hendersonville High.

The loss ended Wilson Central’s season at 26-6 overall and dashed any hopes of a return to the TSSAA Class AAA tournament to defend the title they won in 2008.

Back to the math lesson, Wilson Central had defeated LaVergne three previous times this season and anyone who’s ever worn a whistle knows just how tough it can be to sweep a team four times in a single season.

Secondly, Wilson Central going just 8-of-18 at the free throw line (44 percent) helped spell doom for the Lady Wildcats. Free throw shooting had been a point of emphasis in practice prior to Monday night’s loss.

Jasmine Dale’s only bucket, a layup with 14 seconds remaining, was the difference. With the win, LaVergne (22-7) advances to Wednesday’s region championship game against rival Smyrna at 7 p.m.

Coach Keith Dean’s team will also participate in the school’s first sectional on Saturday. Dean, who played basketball at Cumberland Junior College in the mid-1970s, called the game the biggest win in the history of the Lady Wolverine program.

Wilson Central threatened to run away with the game after intermission, using a 10-3 run to take a 40-32 lead with just under four minutes left in the third quarter.

However, LaQuinta Jefferson jump-started the 13-0 run -- featuring a 3-pointer from freshman Missy Brimm and a driving layup from junior Jasmine Brimm -- to lead 45-40 entering the fourth quarter.

Wilson Central twice tied the game in the final period -- once on a 3-pointer from senior Lauren Wasson and again on a basket by Jasmine Hassell -- but the Lady Wildcats had no answer once Jasmine Brimm found Dale wide open cutting to the basket.

The teams had traded leads throughout the first half, with the Lady ‘Rines holding a 10-8 advantage at the end of the first quarter and Wilson Central -- behind a pair of Taylor Peterson 3-pointers -- led 30-29 advantage at the half.

The loss ended the prep careers of Wilson Central seniors Hassell, Wasson, Jessyca Christopher and Kelsey McGee. The four helped lead the program to state championships in 2008 and 2006.