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MJ plays Riverdale in state

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MURFREESBORO -- Mt. Juliet's Lady Bears will play Riverdale Thursday at 2:30 p.m. in the opening round of the Farm Bureau Insurance of Tennessee Basketball Championships at MTSU's Murphy Center.

Coach Chris Fryer's team will teake a record of 32-1 into Thursday's AAA opening round match-up. Ironically, Riverdale (27-2) was the last team to defeat Mt. Juliet some 25 games ago.

The MJ - Riverdale winner will take on the winner of the Memphis Overton (29-3) and Oak Ridge (28-5) game on Friday. The lower bracket finds Morristown West (32-1) playing Walker Valley (32-2) in one quartefinal game while Clarksville (30-4) plays Memphis Central (26-3) in the other quartefinal game.

MJ WINS SECTIONAL  -- No. 2-ranked Mt. Juliet defeated Glencliff 58-38 Saturday at "The Cave" to earn a berth in next week's Farm Bureau Insurance of Tennessee Basketball Championships next week at MTSU’s Murphy Center.

The Lady Bears of Coach Chris Fryer bolted to a 10-1 lead early and took a 29-20 advantage to the lockerroom at intermission. Glencliff employed a "box and one" defense designed to slow soph post Caya Williams -- but senior forward Britt Bell took over.

Bell exploded for 26 points as Mt. Juliet improved to 32-1 on the season. All told, Mt. Juliet drilled seven 3-pointers against the Lady Colts.

REGION 5AAA finals -- Mt. Juliet held off a talented Clarksville High team Wednesday night by a 44-38 score to claim the Region 5AAA championship at William Workman Gym on the CHS campus.

Sophomore post player Caya Williams, who was named MVP of the regional tournament, led the way for Mt. Juliet with 20 points. She had nine points during a 12-0 second quarter run that blew open a 10-all contest. Senior Britt Bell added 13.

The Lady Bears overcame a poor night at the free throw line, connecting on just 12-of-28, including a run of 7-of-18 in the final 2:30 of the contest.

“We just could not get those foul shots to fall, but our girls hung in there and really played stiff defense down the stretch,” Mt. Juliet coach Chris Fryer said. “It was tough watching those misses but we hit enough to win and that’s what’s important.”

Wednesday’s victory was the 24th in a row for the Lady Bears. Clarksville (29-4) had its 18-game win streak halted with the loss. The Lady Wildcats will visit Region 6AAA champ Hillsboro Saturday with a berth to the state on the line.

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