Gallatin 61, Lebanon 53

GLADEVILLE -- Down 17 in the late stages of the first quarter, Lebanon mounted a furious comeback only to fall short in a 61-53 loss to Gallatin in Friday's District 9AAA quarterfinal game at Wilson Central's Wildcat Arena.

Gallatin opened the game red-hot from beyond the arc against and LHS zone as freshman AJ Davis connected on a pair from downtown and Beljowj Andaing added another.

By the time the smoke had settled, the Green Wave had opened a 20-3 lead. Thanks to Lebanon senior Gaven Reasonover, who had a 3-ball and a pair of free throws in the last 49 seconds of the period, Gallatin's lead was cut to "just" 20-8 going into the second quarter.

Coach Jim McDowell's squad clawed back into contention with a 17-8 second quarter run and trailed just 28-25 at intermission.

"I told our guys that we needed to wake up and play, or we were going to get run out of the gym," McDowell said.

He deployed the Blue Devils in a 1-2-2 trap that created opportunites for quick baskets and slowed the Gallatin momentum.

"That's the way our games with them have been this season. An early lead really isn't safe. Our kids never give up, they continue to battle and fight no matter the situation."

LHS caught Gallatin at 31-31 with 6:24 left in the third on a bucket by post man David Greene, then took a 36-35 lead at the 4:59 mark on a deep 3-ball from Reasonover.

The score was tied at 40-40 headed into the final eight minutes of regulation, but GHS closed out the game with a 17-of-20 performance from the free throw line.

Kobe Tibbs slashed to the basket for a bucket with 1:16 remaining to trim Gallatin's lead to 54-53, but Lebanon couldn't muster a score the rest of the way.

"Give Gallatin credit," McDowell said. "They weathered the storm after we had tied it up going into the fourth quarter. We struggled to put the ball in the basket late -- they did a good job defensively."

Green led Lebanon with a game-high 18 points while Tibbs finished with 14 and Reasonover had 10.

Adaing led Gallatin with 17 points while Davis buried four 3-points, finishing with 14. Noah Ring added 11.

"I hate this for our seniors (Reasonover and Greene)," McDowell said. "They left it all out there. You're not going to find two better young men -- on and off the court." 

The No. 5 seeded Green Wave (17-11) advanced to Saturday's 8:30 p.m. semifinal round against No. 1 Mt. Juliet -- a 72-30 winner over Hendersonville earlier Friday.

No. 4-seed Lebanon (19-10) closed the season having lost four of the last six games.

Gallatin (61): Jaden Williams 4, Ethan Rogers 4, Cade Martin 9, Noah Ring 11, AJ Davis 14, Beljowk Adaing 17.

Lebanon (53): Alex Fite 2, Gaven Reasonover 10, Kobe Tibbs 14, Jamar Jynard 4, DeQuantay Shannon 5, David Green 18.

Mt. Juliet 72, Hendersonville 30

GLADEVILLE -- Top-seeded Mt. Juliet cruised into Saturday's District 9AAA semifinals with a 72-30 victory over No. 8 Hendersonville Friday at Wilson Central's Wildcat Arena.

The 23-3 Golden Bears take on No. 5-seed Gallatin tonight at 8:30 p.m. with both teams guaranteed a berth in next week's Region 5AAA tournament.

Coach Troy Allen's squad opened the game on a 9-0 run and never looked back, pushing the lead to 19-4 after one quarter and 34-11 at intermission.

Junior Riggs Abner led Mt. Juliet with 15 points while Gage Wells had 14 and Will Pruitt chipped in with 12.

Hendersonville (30): Jacob Newton 2, Owen Lampton 2, Andruw Stratton 5, Jackson Alford 5, Jordan Zuger 6, Ellis Ellis 2, Drew Hohenbrink 4, Justin Biggs 2, Carson Cook 2.

Mt. Juliet (72): Will Pruitt 12, Riggs Abner 15, Charles Clark 9, Isaac Thompson 2, Gage Wells 14, Josh Keck 3, Griffin Throneberry 1, Jacob Burge 4, Paxton Davidson 6, Blake Stacey 2, Osize Haniyan 4.

Beech 59, Wilson Central 56

GLADEVILLE -- Tournament host and No. 7-seed Wilson Central nearly pulled off a stunning quarterfinal upset in Friday's heart-breaking 59-56 loss to No. 2 seeded Beech at Wildcat Arena.

Down 13-7 after one quarter and 38-29 at halftime, the Wildcats attacked the basket with a vengeance in the third quarter, earning 12 trips to the charity stripe and connecting on nine.

Jordan Beard, Caleb Lawrence and Daniel Beard all hit 3-pointers in the third as WCHS out-scored Beech 18-7 and took a 48-45 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Bucs turned the tables over the final eight minutes, attempting eight free throws and cashing in on six and closed the game on a 14-7 run.

Kaleb Powell led Beech with 19 points, including an 8-of-9 effort at the line. Drew Page added 15 and Jyquale Matthews had 12.

Lawrence paced the Wildcats with 15 points while Jordan Beard had 11 and Daniel Beard finished with nine.

Beech (20-10) moves on to play Station Camp in Saturday's 5:30 p.m. semifinal game while Wilson Central ends the season 11-16 overall.

Wilson Central (56): Connor Miller 5, Jordan Beard 11, Caleb Lawrence 15, Daniel Beard 9, ZackMarkus-Kellerman 7, Adler Kerr 7, Jared Lawrence 2.

Beech (59): Jyquale Matthews 12, Bradley Wheeler 1, Luke Fleming 4, Kristian Shaw 6, Kaleb Powell 19, Drew Page 15, Jackson Long 2.

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