Devilettes take over in 4th quarter -
LEBANON – Relying on a dominating rebounding effort and deadly aim from the line in the fourth quarter, Lebanon broke open a nip-and-tuck struggle on the way to a 58-45 win over Northwest Wednesday in the Region 5-AAA championship game at Campbell Brandon Gymnasium.
With the victory, Lebanon improved to 27-4 on the season and will entertain Cane Ridge Saturday at 7 p.m. in a Class 3A Sectional game. Northwest, 25-3, travels to Page High with Saturday's winners earning a spot in the TSSAA BlueCross Championships March 10-13 at MTSU's Murphy Center.
The Lady Vikings broke out of the gate with a 15-7 first quarter, then watched Lebanon tie the score at 21-all with 2:42 remaining in the half on a deep 3-pointer by Devilette guard Addie Porter.
The teams swapped scores for the rest of the half and went into the locker room tied at 26-26.
Lebanon went up by as many as six points in the third period (38-32) on a 3-ball from sophomore Finley Tomlin, but the Lady Vikings responded with a quick 6-0 run to knot the score at 38-all headed into the final eight minutes.
“Right after the third quarter, I told our girls we had eight minutes left to earn another home game. Eight minutes to be region champions,” said LHS coach Cory Barrett. “Our kids showed a lot of grit and guts down the stretch.”
Lebanon opened the fourth quarter on a 10-0 run and never looked back as post player Meioshe Mason scored six points on two inside power moves and a pair of free throws.
Kayla Howell ended the run with a bucket that trimmed the margin to 48-40, but the Lady Vikings never got closer.
“We had confidence tonight,” said Northwest coach Ben Wallace. “We had played Lebanon here back in January and got beat, but coming out of that game we felt like if we did some things just a little bit better we could play with them.”
Since that Jan. 28 loss, The Lady Vikings reeled off 10 consecutive wins, a streak that was snapped Wednesday by the Devilettes.
“Lebanon is legitimately a top 10 team in the state and this was a mighty task to come in here tonight. We did kind of what we intended to do through three quarters.
“We've basically been playing in empty gyms and haven't faced a crowd like this all year and I thought we started pressing a little bit there in the fourth. I think we tried to force some things and just didn't respond very well when it was all on the line.”
Lebanon out-rebounded Northwest 19-9 over the final eight minutes and connected on 14-of-16 at the free throw line as the Lady Vikings were forced to foul.
Porter led Lebanon with 20 points while Mason had 15 and led both teams with nine rebounds.
Ta'Mia Scott finished with 16 to lead Northwest and Kayla Howell chipped in with 13.
All-tournament: Porter was named MVP of the region tournament. She was joined on the all-tournament team by teammates Terri Reynolds and Mason. Scott and Howell took home all-tournament honors for Northwest along with Laci Walmer of Beech and Aubrey Padgett from Rossview.
LEBANON (58): Terry Reynolds 8, Asia Barr 2, Addie Porter 20, Avery Harris 6, Meioshe Mason 15, Ny'Lia Rankins 2, Finley Tomlin 3, Madison Jennings 2.
NORTHWEST (45): Kayla Howell 13, Aneiya Briscoe 4, Ta'Mia Scott 16, Nia Bagerty 6, Emiyah Cobb 6.