MJ dominates Gallatin 60-31 in semis --
GLADEVILLE -- No. 1-seeded Mt. Juliet reached Tuesday's District 9AAA championship game by doing what they do best -- playing sticky man-to-man defense.
The Golden Bears improved to 23-3 following a dominating 60-31 win over Gallatin in Saturday's semifinal contest and will take on No. 3-seed Station Camp (20-9) Tuesday evening -- a 69-63 winner over Beech in the other semifinal game.
"The kids are special," said Mt. Juliet coach Troy Allen. "We spend so much practice time on defense, they really have to buy-in. They take pride in the way they defend."
The attention to defensive detail was never more evident than Saturday when the Bears limited Gallatin (17-12) to single digits (6, 7 and 2 points) in each of the first three periods.
Mt. Juliet led 11-6 after one quarter, 28-13 at intermission and 37-15 headed into the final eight minutes.
Seniors Gage Wells and Will Pruitt did most of the offense damage for the Bears with 16 points apiece.
Pruitt, a Class 3A Mr. Basketball finalist, was 7-of-10 from the field while Wells found the range three times from beyond the arc.
For the game, Mt. Juliet finished 18-of-30 from the field (60 percent) and 9-of-12 at the line (75 percent).
The Green Wave shot an impressive 57 percent from the field -- but put up only 21 attempts -- connecting on 12.
After having riddled Lebanon on Friday for eight 3-pointers, Gallatin managed to get off only four attempts -- hitting two.
The Green Wave went to the free throw line twice, hitting one.
Gallatin will play Beech in Tuesday's 6:30 p.m. consolation contest.
Gallatin (30): Jaden Williams 8, Charlie Hale 7, Noah Ring 6, Jack Richardson 2, Beljowk Adaing 8.
Mt. Juliet (60): Will Pruitt 16, Riggs Abner 7, Charles Clark 6, Isaac Thompson 4, gage Wells 16, Josh Keck 2, Griffin Throneberry 2, Jacob Burge 2, Paxton Davidson 3, Osize Daniyan 2.