Devilettes down Cane Ridge -
Old rivals Lebanon and Bradley Central square off Thursday afternoon to open play in the Class AAA girls' state basketball tournament.
Tip-off is set for 2:30 p.m. at MTSU's Murphy Center.
Thursday's contest marks the third consecutive year the two programs have met in the quarterfinals and will serve as the “rubber game”.
“That's who we've got to play,” said LHS coach Cory Barrett. “We're going to lock horns Thursday and I'm sure it's going to be a defensive battle like it has been the last two years. I think the most fundamental, most disciplined team will win the game.”
The Devilettes knocked off Bradley Central 51-42 in the 2020 quarterfinals, then sat idle when the rest of the tournament was canceled due to COVID-19.
Back in 2019, the Bearettes defeated Lebanon 34-26 on the way to a state championship.
LHS enters Thursday's contest 28-4, winners of nine in a row.
Bradley Central is riding a 25-game win streak and sports a record of 27-1 after having defeated Oakland 36-31 Saturday in a sectional game.
Lebanon 68, Cane Ridge 50
LEBANON – A 14-0 run to start the game and a flurry of 3-pointers to open the fourth quarter helped fuel Lebanon to 68-50 win over Cane Ridge Saturday in a Class AAA state girls' sectional game at a raucous Campbell Brandon Gymnasium.
With the victory the Devilettes improved to 28-4 and earned a third straight trip to the TSSAA BlueCross Championships while Cane Ridge closed the books on a COVID-19-shortened season at 8-3.
Down 21-9 at the end of the first quarter and 38-24 at intermission, the Lady Ravens closed the third quarter on a 6-0 run – outscoring LHS 19-13 and trimming the lead to just 51-43.
Lebanon responded with a barrage of 3-pointers in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter as Addie Porter (one) and Terri Reynolds (two) buried long range jumpers to push the margin back out to 60-43 with 5:44 left in regulation.
Even in defeat, Cane Ridge coach Joanne Tribue was proud of her squad.
“The kids have done this all year long, they've fought back,” Tribue said. “All the adversity they've faced with the COVID restrictions and not being able to participate. They couldn't even go to the gym when they shut us down. So I applaud them. Those girls gave us everything they had. They left it all on the floor.”
Sophomore guard Zoe Kerr drained three 3-pointers and led Cane Ridge with 13 points while Jada Anthony splashed four 3-balls on the way to 12.
Sophomore Jeremanisha McGaughy paced the Lady Ravens with seven rebounds.
Lebanon placed four players in double figures including Porter with 18 (three 3's), Reynolds with 17 (three 3's), Avery Harris with 12 and Meioshe Mason with 11.
A junior post, Mason pulled 11 rebounds for a double-double while Harris claimed seven caroms.
Porter finished with five steals and four assists.
“I'm proud of our team,” said LHS coach Cory Barrett. “It wasn't pretty at times, but at this time of year you're trying to get the job done and that's what we did.
“We've got to hang our hat on rebounding. We're going to make some plays that don't look just right and make some turnovers, but if we continue to defend and rebound, then we feel like we've got a chance.”
LEBANON (68): Terri Reynolds 17, Asia Barr 3, Addie Porter 18, Avery Harris 12, Meioshe Mason 10, Finley Tomlin 3, Madison Jennings 4.
CANE RIDGE (50): Zoe Kerr 13, Jada Anthony 12, A'Niya Young 5, Jasmine Greer 5, Jeremanisha McGaughy 6, Charlee Floyd 9.