GALLATIN - The Mt. Juliet Bears used a stifling defense to remain undefeated on the season with a 49-26 road victory over the Gallatin Green Wave on Friday in District 9-AAA action.
“We didn’t shoot it great but it didn’t affect how we played defensively,” Mt. Juliet head coach Troy Allen said.
“Gage Wells didn’t shoot well but he had a great game defensively,” Allen said. “He didn’t let not making shots bother him.”
The Green Wave didn’t score in double figures in any of the four quarters of the game.
“I don’t think on the offensive end we met the challenge at all,” Gallatin head coach Bobby Luna said. “Too many turnovers, too many empty trips.”
The Mt. Juliet defense forced Gallatin to commit turnovers throughout the game, whether they were trapping or defending one on one. “It was their pressure on the ball,” Luna said. “We don’t handle pressure very well.”
Offensively, the Green Wave “didn’t put any pressure on their defense,” Luna said.
It was a physical game with both sides having trouble getting off shots inside. “They let us both play,” Allen said. “You had to be a man out there tonight.”
But that fits Mt. Juliet’s style, Allen said. “I’m sure if you ask Coach Luna we would both say that’s the way we like it,” he said. “That’s the way he coaches and that’s the way I coach.”
After Mt. Juliet took a 6-0 lead to start the game on a pair of three-pointers by Riggs Abner, Gallatin fought it’s way back into the game, and the first quarter ended with the score tied at 8-8.
In the second quarter, Mt. Juliet got off 16 shots to five for Gallatin, as the Bears built a 20-14 lead at halftime.
Three-pointers from Isaac Thompson, Abner, and Will Pruitt sparked Mt. Juliet to a 33-19 lead after three quarters. Mt. Juliet built on the lead in the fourth to finish the 49-26 victory.
Pruitt, who has signed to play collegiately at Lipscomb University, led Mt. Juliet with 15 points, followed by Abner with 12, all on 3-pointers.
“Will Pruitt sort of controls the game for us,” Allen said. Issac Thompson, who scored five points, put in another good defensive effort, Allen said. “He’s a really good defender. He probably doesn’t get enough credit for everything he does for us.”
Mt. Juliet is now 8-0 on the season and 2-0 in district play. The Bears will play at Siegel on Tuesday. They defeated Siegel 80-61 earlier in the season. Next Friday they will host Hillsboro. “So we have two tough games before Christmas,” Allen said.
Gallatin had no players score in double figures for the game. Noah Ring and Jack Richardson led the Green Wave with six points each.
“We’ve got a lot of skill work to improve on,” Luna said. “There is no part of the offense we’re doing well.”
Gallatin will host Siegel on Monday, “And they’re just as good” as Mt. Juliet, Luna said. Next weekend, Gallatin will host Tullahoma and Rockvale in the Green Wave Christmas Classic.
Boys Box Score:
Mt. Juliet (49): Will Pruitt 15, Riggs Abner 12, Charles Clark 9, Isaac Thompson 5, Gage Wells 2, Jacob Burge 2, Josh Keck 2, Mo Ruttlen 2.
Gallatin (26): Noah Ring 6, Jack Richardson 6, Cade Martin 5, Charlie Hale 3, Ty Martin 2, Ethan Rogers 2, A.J. Davis 2.