Womens basketball scores

George Page • Mt. Juliet News
Mt. Juliet coaches Chris Fryer (standing) and John Simms watch sophomore guard Ryleigh Osborne look inside for an open post player to pass to during overtime at Station Camp.

Station Camp edges Lady Bears in overtime

GALLATIN — Station Camp’s Faith Eubank bagged three free throws with no time left in regulation to pull the Lady Bison into a tie and scored overtime’s only field goal, which was enough to deal Mt. Juliet a 56-54 loss Thursday night.

The Lady Bison led 12-11 following the first quarter before Mt. Juliet moved in front 27-25 by halftime. Station Camp was back in the lead 42-39 going into the fourth before the end-of-game foul on a three-point attempt gave the home team new life.

Eubank sank 7 of 8 free throws and 6 of 8 field goals to lead the Lady Bison with 19 points while Olivia Delk dropped in 6 of 8 from the line on her way to 14. Bre Burns added 11.

Emma Palmer overcame a slow start to pour in 26 points to lead the Lady Bears while Shelby Petty and Tondrianna Davis each dropped in nine, Nevaeh Majors seven and Ryleigh Osborne a first-quarter three-pointer as Mt. Juliet fell to 11-6 for the season and 3-3 in District 9-AAA, tied for fourth place with Wilson Central and Station Camp.

Mt. Juliet’s Tuesday game at Wilson Central was snowed out. The Lady Bears will play host to Lebanon at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Lady Wildcats roll past Portland

GLADEVILLE — Sydnee Richetto and Nicole Brill combined for 27 points in Wilson Central’s 45-20 triumph over visiting Portland on Thursday night.

Richetto racked up 17 points, hitting all three of her 3-point attempts. Brill tossed in 10 points and bagged eight rebounds. Taylor Tucker turned in six points and nine rebounds while Martoia Buchanan and Bailey Kaposy each threw in three points. Julia Maki had six assists and five steals as she, Teoria Woods and Aubree Starnes each scored two points.

The Lady Wildcats led 14-8 following the first quarter, 21-8 at halftime and 34-16 through three periods as Central improved to 12-7 for the season and 3-3 in District 9-AAA.

MJCA falls at Nashville Christian

NASHVILLE — Mt. Juliet Christian dropped a 48-32 decision at Nashville Christian on Thursday night.

The Lady Eagles led 10-8 following the first quarter, 29-15 at halftime and 39-25 through three periods.

Marcella Gallione threw in three 3-pointers as she led the Lady Saints with 11 points. Amelia Lyons notched nine points, Caitlyn Smith and Abigail Easton four each and Sam Stilts and Caroline Hibbett two apiece.

Staff Reports

Mens basketball scores

George Page • Mt. Juliet News
With interim coach Michael Berardi watching, Mt. Juliet sophomore guard Will Pruitt dribbles. Pruitt has been a major threat with his shooting, penetration and key assists for the 14-5 Golden Bears.

Golden Bears post road win

GALLATIN — Mt. Juliet took a 59-52 District 9-AAA win on the road at Station Camp last Thursday night.

The Golden Bears led 16-11 following the first quarter, 22-21 at halftime and 38-28 through three periods.

Isaac Stephens scored 16 points from the post for Mt. Juliet while Jordan Lockridge added 11, Will Pruitt nine in the fourth quarter, Gavin Wilson eight, Ryan McIntosh five, J.C. Crawford and Bryan Aiken four each and Riggs Abner two.

Jonathan Gillard’s 16 points, which included a pair of fourth-quarter three-pointers, led Station Camp. Kavon Blankenship added 10.

Mt. Juliet’s game at Wilson Central was snowed out Tuesday night. No makeup date had been announced. The Golden Bears will play host to Lebanon on Friday night.

Wildcats hold off Portland 43-41

GLADEVILLE — Wilson Central survived a halfcourt heave at the buzzer by Portland to escape with a 43-41 win Thursday night.

The Wildcats missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with three seconds left. After a timeout, Portland tried the long-distance shot.

Central won a first-quarter three-point shooting contest 3-2 as the Wildcats, with Gavin Johnson hitting two of them, took a 9-6 lead. The teams were tied 18-18 at halftime before the home team took a 33-23 advantage going into the fourth period.

Johnson hit three triples to lead Central with 18 points while Kito Aruh added eight. Kyzick Schweppe sank a pair of threes as he and Kene Aruh each scored six while Naz Czeskleba threw in three and Daniel Jackson two free throws.

Bryce Keith connected on three triples to pace Portland with 18 points.

Strong fourth quarter lifts short-handed Saints to road victory

NASHVILLE — Mt. Juliet Christian broke a tie in the fourth quarter and took a big Middle Region District 2-A win at Nashville Christian 44-39 Thursday night.

The teams were tied 30-30 before the Saints outscored the Eagles 14-9 over the final eight minutes to improve to 9-7 for the season.

Nashville Christian led 13-4 following the first quarter and 21-16 at halftime before a 14-9 third brought the Saints into the tie.

Despite Gavin Forsha missing the game due to illness, three Saints scored in double figures, led by Caylor Bates with 15, followed by Trent Graves with 12 and Jacob Hall 10, with the latter hitting a pair of three-pointers. Logan Collier, Cole Alsup and David Hylick each had two points as five MJCA players missed the game, four due to illness and one to injury.

Miles Smith sank a pair of threes to lead Nashville Christian with 11 points.

Friday’s home game with Clarksville Academy has been postponed until Jan. 22.

Staff Reports

Joint meeting to address school construction

The Wilson County Commission will meet with the Wilson County Board of Education next week to discuss Wilson County Schools building construction.

The meeting will take place Jan. 17 at 5 p.m. in commission chambers at the Wilson County Courthouse.
The commission approved $1.55 million last year for Wilson County Schools to conduct design services for a potential new high school in Mt. Juliet.

The group also amended the resolution to require the district to put the project out for bid before it approves funds for construction. The design authorization does not signify the groups’ commitment to spend $110 million for a new high school, which is the estimated cost. 

The Budget Committee took no action last year on the district’s needs assessment list, which included a proposed $110 million new high school in Mt. Juliet on property adjacent to W.A. Wright Elementary School.

Wilson County finance director Aaron Maynard said it would cost an additional 12-18 cents on the property tax rate to fund a new high school in Mt. Juliet, unless a new funding source is found, dependent upon how the debt payment is structured.

Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto said the county was on schedule with the district’s building plan, introduced two years ago, and the $1.5 million commitment would keep the county on par with the plans if the commission agrees to fund the Mt. Juliet high school in the first half of this year.

Hutto said he would bring information with details about the estimated $110 million price tag to commissioners this month, followed by presentations in February and March on possible funding mechanisms through potential tax increases from various sources.

“In May, you would know everything and can sit down and talk about them and make a decision. At that time, they would be done with the design phase, and it would be able to go out to bid,” Hutto said last year.

The timeline would leave about 26 months for construction before the targeted opening in 2020.

The district will hold a work session Feb. 1 to create a new capital outlay plan. Wilson County Schools spokesperson Jennifer Johnson said the plan would be designed to accommodate the projected rapid growth in Wilson County.

Johnson said the district’s current capital outlay plan would be finished with the completion of a future Mt. Juliet high school on North Green Hill Road.

Wilson County Planning Office director Tom Brashear said last year projections show the county’s population would increase from the 2015 estimated population of 131,060 to at or near 222,490 people by 2040.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Snow blankets Wilson County

Winter weather continues its grip on schools, residents

Photo courtesy of Twitter
The Mt. Juliet streets are covered with a blanket of snow, which made travel difficult throughout the day Tuesday across Wilson County. Snow accumulation was between 1-3 inches in areas of Wilson County.

Round two of January’s winter weather storm began Monday night, and brought as much as 2 inches of snow accumulation to areas of Wilson County.

As predicted, Wilson County received up to 2 inches of snow, and travel was greatly affected. Schools in Wilson County announced as early as Monday afternoon they would be closed Tuesday.

National Weather Service forecasters issued a winter weather advisory Monday afternoon that lasted from 6 p.m. until Tuesday at 3 p.m. Between 1-3 inches of snow were predicted across Middle Tennessee.

Several businesses and organizations also closed early Tuesday, including Mt. Juliet, Watertown and Lebanon city governments and Wilson County government. The Lebanon City Council, Watertown City Council and Watertown Beer Board meetings were also cancelled.

Wilson County Schools and Lebanon Special School District, as well as Friendship Christian School, Mt. Juliet Christian Academy and McClain Christian Academy, announced Tuesday their closures would last through Wednesday as some roads were still icy and dangerous.

According to Wilson County Emergency Management Agency director Joey Cooper, a wind chill advisory was issued for Tuesday from 6 p.m. until Wednesday at 9 a.m. as wind chills were expected to hit minus-10 degrees Tuesday night.

By Jacob Smith

jsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Belmont’s McCabe garners TSWA weekly honor

Joshua R.Gateley
Former Mt. Juliet star Sally McCabe in action for Belmont.

Belmont’s Sally McCabe earned Tennessee Sports Writer’s Association Women’s Basketball Player of the Week accolades last week, averaging 20 points and nine rebounds with one double-double in a pair of victories for the Bruins.

The Mt. Juliet High graduate scored a season-best 22 points, connecting on 10 of 16 shots with six rebounds and three blocks at Southeast Missouri. She tied her career-high with the 10 field goals made in the contest.

The senior netted 18 points with 12 boards at UT-Martin, hitting a pair of 3-pointers and making 7 of 14 shots overall. It marked her second double-double of the season and 20th of her career.

McCabe is averaging 15.7 points and 7.9 rebounds per game this season for the Bruins.

Staff Reports

Girls’ Basketball scores

George Page • Mt. Juliet News
Sophomore center Sally McCabe scores two of her 25 points in Mt. Juliet’s two-point loss to Beech.

Beech rallies past Lady Bears 50-48

MT. JULIET — Beech rallied from an eight-point deficit in the fourth quarter and hit a couple of late free throws to stun Mt. Juliet 50-48 Friday night.

The Lady Buccaneers outscored Mt. Juliet 19-9 in the fourth to turn a 39-31 deficit into a 13-5 season record and 4-0 in District 9-AAA.

Mia Dean dropped in five three-pointers and Deshyia Hoosier three as each scored 17 for Beech.

Center Emma Palmer posted 25 points for Mt. Juliet while Shelby Petty and Nevaeh Majors each scored six, Aaliyah Frazier five and Kiki Jervis and Tondrianna Davis a three-pointer apiece as the Lady Bears fell to 10-5, 2-2.

The Lady Bucs led 14-13 following the first quarter before a 15-8 second put Mt. Juliet in front 28-22 going into halftime.

Richetto’s 17 leads Lady ‘Cats to 9-AAA road win

GALLATIN — Wilson Central returned to the District 9-AAA grind Friday night with a 44-30 road win over Gallatin.

The Lady Wildcats led 13-6 following the first quarter, 24-16 at halftime and 33-22 through three periods as they climbed to 11-6 for the season and 2-2 in District 9-AAA.

Freshman Sydnee Richetto racked up three 3-pointers in leading the Lady Wildcats with 17 points. Kenadhi Killebrew and Nicole Brill each added eight while Taylor Tucker scored six in the second half, Bailey Kaposy a three during the third period and Julia Maki a first-quarter field goal.

LaMonica Mintlow led the Lady Wave with 12.

Lady Saints crush Lady Crusaders

HENDERSONVILLE — Mt. Juliet Christian rolled to a 31-15 matinee win at Hendersonville Christian on Saturday afternoon.

The Lady Saints led 9-0 following the first quarter and 19-5 at halftime.

Amelia Lyons led the Lady Saints with 17 points while Caitlyn Smith scored six, Marcella Gallione four and Sam Stilts and Caroline Hibbett two each.

Staff Reports

Boys’ Basketball scores

George Page • Mt. Juliet News
Mt. Juliet freshman Riggs Abner is gaining a bigger foothold in the Golden Bears’ rotation, scoring 13 points against Beech.

Bears finish off Bucs in fourth

MT. JULIET — Freshman Riggs Abner and veteran Isaac Stephens enjoyed big fourth quarters Friday night to help Mt. Juliet stave off Beech 54-49 in District 9-AAA action.

Following an 8-8 first quarter, the Golden Bears led 23-18 at halftime and 36-30 through three periods. Stephens scored 10 fourth-quarter points, sinking all six of his free throws and finished with 13 points, including 7-of-8 from the line. Abner also finished with 13, including six in the fourth as Mt. Juliet improved to 13-4 for the season and 3-1 in the district.

Jordan Lockridge sank three 3-pointers on his way to 11 while Will Pruitt’s eight included a pair of second-quarter triples. J.C. Crawford and Bailey Bryant each bucked two.

No one scored in double figures for the Buccaneers, who fell to 10-10, 0-4.

Allen undergoes surgery: Bears coach Troy Allen underwent successful surgery on a herniated disc Dec. 27 and is recuperating at home, according to the team’s Twitter page. Allen, in his 13th season at Mt. Juliet, took a leave of absence last month to deal with the medical issue. Assistant coach Michael Berardi has been coaching the team during the interim.

Wildcats climb past Gallatin in fourth

GALLATIN — Wilson Central overcame a deficit in the fourth quarter to knock off Gallatin 38-35 Friday night.

The Green Wave led 31-28 before Wilson Central outscored them 10-4 in the fourth.

Gavin Johnson led the Wildcats with 18 points while Naz Czeskleba scored nine, Kito Aruh six and twin Kene Aruh five as Central moved to 2-2 in District 9-AAA and 8-9 for the season.

Gallatin fell to 15-3 for the season and 3-1 in the district.

The teams were tied 5-5 following the first quarter before Central snuck in front 16-15 by halftime.

MJCA boys handle Hendersonville Christian

HENDERSONVILLE — Mt. Juliet Christian collected a 57-45 win over Hendersonville Christian in a Middle Division District 2-A matinee Saturday.

The Saints led 11-9 following the first quarter, 26-17 at halftime and 47-28 through three periods as they improved to 8-6.

Gavin Forsha fired in 20 points to pace the Saints while Caylor Bates added 11 and Logan Collier 10. Jacob Hall hit a pair of three-pointers on his way to eight while Trent Graves scored seven and Dwayne Ewers a free throw.

Peyton Shoulders sank three triples as he and Jalen Cole each collected 12 points for Hendersonville Christian.

Staff Reports

Joint meeting set on school construction

The Wilson County Commission will meet with the Wilson County Board of Education next week to discuss Wilson County Schools building construction.

The meeting will take place Jan. 17 at 5 p.m. in commission chambers at the Wilson County Courthouse.
The commission approved $1.55 million last year for Wilson County Schools to conduct design services for a potential new high school in Mt. Juliet.

The group also amended the resolution to require the district to put the project out for bid before it approves funds for construction. The design authorization does not signify the groups’ commitment to spend $110 million for a new high school, which is the estimated cost. 

The Budget Committee took no action last year on the district’s needs assessment list, which included a proposed $110 million new high school in Mt. Juliet on property adjacent to W.A. Wright Elementary School.

Wilson County finance director Aaron Maynard said it would cost an additional 12-18 cents on the property tax rate to fund a new high school in Mt. Juliet, unless a new funding source is found, dependent upon how the debt payment is structured.

Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto said the county was on schedule with the district’s building plan, introduced two years ago, and the $1.5 million commitment would keep the county on par with the plans if the commission agrees to fund the Mt. Juliet high school in the first half of this year.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

City planners talk school impact

Lebanon and Mt. Juliet planning directors discussed their respective cities approach to managing growth as it relates to overcrowding in county schools.

Lebanon planning director Paul Corder and Mt. Juliet planning director Larry Mizzel said they have varying interaction with the school system, but believe growth is inevitable for the area.

Wilson County Schools leaders announced a work session planned for Feb. 1 that would focus on the creation of a capital outlay plan to accommodate the projected rapid growth in Wilson County.

Wilson County Schools spokesperson Jennifer Johnson said the district’s current capital outlay plan would be finished with the completion of a future Mt. Juliet high school on North Green Hill Road.

Wilson County planning director Tom Brashear said last year projections show the county’s population would increase from the 2015-estimated population of 131,060 to at or near 222,490 people by 2040.

“In relation to the school system, our interaction has been limited to offering data or graphics so they can plan for a capital improvement project,” said Brashear, who said the department could do more if it’s asked.

Brashear said the department provides information to school consultants about developments under construction and planned population areas and more.

Wilson County Director of Schools Donna Wright said more than 10,000 units are planned throughout Wilson County in the next two to five years. Brashear said the county planning department handles development in the Wilson County jurisdiction, while each city planning department handles development in its respective city.

Johnson said the district typically plans for student population to grow 500-600 students annually, while Wright said if the district used an accepted formula and calculate 1.3 children per unit and apply to units approved throughout Wilson County, the district would face a critical shortage of classrooms in about two years.

“We communicate with each other. We’ve sat down a couple of times lately,” said Corder, who said conversation takes place with county and city school leaders.

Mizzel, who joined Mt. Juliet’s planning department four months ago, said he hasn’t been a part of any conversations with school leaders about growth. Both directors said halting the issuance of building permits would not be an easy task nor necessarily solve the district’s overcrowding issues.

“If a developer comes in and meets all qualifications, we have to honor their request,” said Mizzel, who said the department and leaders would consider changing procedures if it received a formal request from school district leaders.

Mt. Juliet issued about 500 single-family building permits last year, according to Mizzel, who added the city has received 15 applications this month.

“The new comprehensive plan could be helpful because we can really start to think about schools and where we should focus some growth to help them out,” Corder said.

The Lebanon Comprehensive Task Force will create a comprehensive plan for the city, with a focus on a future land-use plan, major thoroughfare plan, downtown aspects, parks and recreation and more.

Corder said the group could consider housing impact on schools and focus development in areas that benefit the districts and help with different aspects, such as bus routes.

Corder said the city does consider potential impact on school districts, as well as infrastructure and emergency services, when analyzing developments.

Mizzel, who worked in development in Franklin before joining Mt. Juliet’s planning department, said Mt. Juliet and Wilson County follow a similar growth pattern to the Williamson County area.

“It’s a booming area,” Mizzel said.

“As long as Nashville is booming, we’re going to have some growth pressure,” Corder said.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Girls’ basketball scores

Lady Bears defeat Maplewood in Overton finale

NASHVILLE — Mt. Juliet wrapped up the Overton Christmas Tournament with a 57-35 triumph over Maplewood on Saturday night.

The Lady Bears led 16-11 following the first quarter, 29-19 at halftime and 44-29 through three periods as they improved to 10-4.

Emma Palmer powered in 22 points for Mt. Juliet while Tondrianna Davis dropped in three 3-pointers on her way to 17 and Shelby Jane Petty 12, including two triples. Nevaeh Majors flipped in four free throws. Aaliyah Frazier had just two points but pulled down 15 rebounds.

Mt. Juliet will return to the District 9-AAA grind next Friday when the Lady Bears play host to Beech at 6:30 p.m.

Lady Bears fall into Overton third-place game

NASHVILLE — Rossview used a big second quarter to propel into the lead and, eventually, the Overton Christmas Tournament title game with a 49-41 win over Mt. Juliet in Friday night’s late game.

The Lady Bears led 11-9 following the first quarter before Rossview used a 14-7 second to go in front 23-18 by halftime. The Lady Hawks were ahead 39-27 going into the fourth.

Emma Palmer led the Lady Bears with 13 points from the post while Shelby Petty put in 10 from outside. Aaliyah Frazier finished with eight, Ryleigh Osborne and Tondrianna Davis five apiece and Nevaeh Majors a free throw.

Palmer, Davis combine for 60 in late-night Lady Bear win

NASHVILLE — Mt. Juliet rolled past Antioch 75-53 late Thursday night in the Overton Christmas Tournament.

Emma Palmer posted 37 points and Tondrianna Davis dropped in 23 as the Lady Bears improved to 9-3.

Lady Wildcats pull away from Hillsboro in fourth

NASHVILLE — Overton Christmas Tournament officials reworked the consolation bracket, preventing District 9-AAA rivals Wilson Central and Mt. Juliet from playing for third place in the tournament.

Instead, the Lady Wildcats drew Hillsboro and pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 53-44 win Saturday.

Central led 9-8 following the first quarter, trailed 28-23 at halftime and inched back in front 41-40 going into the fourth as the Lady Wildcats climbed to 10-6.

Freshman Sydnee Richetto totaled 23 points, hitting four three-pointers along the way. Julia Maki scored seven as she and Richetto each racked up four assists. Nicole Brill bagged eight rebounds as she, Jasmin Angel and Taylor Tucker each tossed in six points while Sydney Dalton finished with five.

Central offense dries up in semifinal loss

NASHVILLE — After scoring 10 first-period points, Wilson Central could muster only 12 the rest of the way in a 37-22 setback to Stewarts Creek in the Overton Christmas Tournament semifinals Friday night.

It was the third loss of the season to Stewarts Creek for the Lady Wildcats, who fell to 9-6.

Sydnee Richeto racked up two three-pointers in leading the Lady Wildcats with 10 points while Julia Maki finished with five, Nicole Brill four, Taylor Tucker two and Jasmin Angel a free throw.

Lady Wildcats win Overton opener

NASHVILLE — Wilson Central opened the Overton Christmas Tournament with a 61-40 pummeling of Pearl-Cohn on Thursday afternoon.

Four Lady Wildcats scored in double figures as they climbed to 9-5 for the season going into Friday’s 6 p.m. semifinal against the Stewarts Creek-Maplewood winner.

Central led 13-9 following the first quarter and 26-19 at halftime before using a 22-7 third to blow it open to 48-26.

Nicole Brill led the Lady Wildcats with 15 points and five rebounds while Julia Maki tossed in two three-pointers for half of her 12. Taylor Tucker took down five rebounds and threw in two triples as she and Sydnee Richetto each racked up 10 points. Bailey Kaposy connected on a pair of threes for her six while Jasmin Angel finished with four. Kenadhi Killebrew collected eight assists and three rebounds as she and Jaycie Cowan each collected two points.

Frigid Friendship falls in final

Friendship Christian’s shooting was as cold as the outdoor temperature Saturday night and Page blew the game open in the second half as the Lady Patriots captured the FCS Christmas Tournament 56-28 at the Bay Family Sportsplex.

The Lady Patriots led 10-3 following the first quarter. A three-pointer from the corner in the closing seconds of the first half by Hailey Pittman pulled Friendship within 24-16. But the momentum didn’t hold as Page dominated the third period 18-2 to open a 42-18 margin as the Lady Commanders fell to 12-3.

Faith Wilkin fired in two three-pointers to lead the Lady Patriots with 19 points while Olivia Wilson added 11 and Delaney Noe 10.

Autumn Groves led the Lady Commanders with nine points while Ashlyn Pittman scored seven, Hailey Pittman five, Rachel Pippin four and Anna Taylor three. The Pittman sisters were named to the all-tournament team.

Friendship reaches FCS tourney final

Three Lady Commanders scored in double figures Friday night to lift host Friendship Christian past Middle Tennessee Christian 58-52 in the semifinals of the FCS Christmas Tournament at the Bay Family Sportsplex.

Ashlyn Pittman penetrated to the rim for 19 points while twin sister Hailey had 12 as both sank 5 of 7 free throws. Rachel Pippin pitched in with 10, including six in the fourth quarter, as the Lady Commanders climbed to 12-2 for the season and reached Saturday’s 6 p.m. final against Page. MTCS will take on Cannon County for third place at 3.

The Lady Commanders led 13-10 following the first quarter, 26-22 at halftime and 42-37 through three periods.

Anna Taylor sank all six of her free throws as she added eight for Friendship while Autumn Groves scored six, Savannah Craighead two and Hannah Alexander a free throw.

Mary Mackie led the Lady Cougars with 22 points while Kayla Taylor added 11.

Friendship knocks off old rival 62-46

The Pittman twins combined for 31 points Thursday night as Friendship Christian opened its Christmas tournament with a 62-46 win over former district rival Gordonsville at the Bay Family Sportsplex.

Ashlyn Pittman poured in 10 of her 18 points during the second quarter. Autumn Groves dropped in all eight of her free throws on her way to 16 while Hailey Pittman sank 5 of 6 free throws to go with a pair of three-pointers en route to 13. Savannah Craighead connected on 5 of 7 from the line as she scored six of her seven during the fourth quarter. Brooke Jones finished with four and Matalyn Espenshade and Rachel Pippin two apiece as the Lady Commanders climbed to 11-2 for the season.

The Lady Commanders widened a 10-9 first-quarter edge to 31-14 by halftime and 43-30 through three periods.

Lara Britt poured in 16 of her 21 points in the second half for Gordonsville while Mya Harrelson hit a pair of threes on her way to 10.

Staff Reports

Boy’s basketball scores

NASHVILLE — Naz Czeskleba sank seven three-pointers and Kyzick Schweppe five as Wilson Central wrapped up the Overton Christmas Tournament with an 81-64 win over the host Bobcats on Saturday.

The Wildcats led 23-12 following the first quarter, 44-29 at halftime and 63-41 through three periods as they improved to 7-9.

Czeskleba’s triples enabled him to lead Central with 21 points while Kito Aruh added 20 from closer in and twin Kene Aruh 19. Schweppe’s five treys accounted for his 15 while Gavin Johnson finished with five and Kobe Tibbs a free throw.

Davione Moses’ 13 points led Overton. Daniel Belser bagged a pair of threes as he and Brendon Palmer-Rhodes each added 11 and Larvite Barnes 10.

Central will resume the District 9-AAA grind Friday night at Gallatin.

Wilson Central slips into Overton third-place game

NASHVILLE — Wilson Central fell into the Overton Christmas Tournament third-place game following a 52-44 semifinal loss to Rossview on Friday.

The Hawks led 11-7 following the first quarter, 23-21 at halftime and 37-36 through three periods as Central slipped to 6-9 going into Saturday’s 4:30 p.m. third-place game.

Austin Jackson sank five three-pointers to lead Rossview with 23 points.

Gavin Johnson, practically a year to the day after he injured his ankle in the same gym, continued to round into form from a preseason ankle injury with 20 points for Central, including five triples. He hit three treys and 12 points in the third quarter alone. Kyzick Schweppe sank three triples for his nine while Kene Aruh scored six, Daniel Jackson four, Tyler Hayes and Kito Aruh two apiece and Dalton King a free throw.

Wildcats win Overton first-rounder

NASHVILLE — Wilson Central opened the Overton Christmas Tournament with a 71-53 win over Lewis County on Thursday afternoon.

The Wildcats led 20-15 following the first quarter, 32-27 at halftime and 49-37 through three as they climbed to 6-8 for the season.

Kito Aruh’s 24 points paced Central while Gavin Johnson fired in 15 and Naz Czeskleba 14. Johnson and Czeskleba each canned four three-pointers. Kene Aruh notched nine points while Kobe Tibbs tossed in a three and Tyler Hayes, Caleb Lawrence and Dalton King two each.

Friendship falls in Sgt. York final

JAMESTOWN — Friendship Christian and Clay County took their dormant Region 4-A rivalry to the Sgt. York Southeastern Christmas Invitational championship game Saturday night where the Bulldogs beat the Commanders 63-51.

Clay County led 25-13 following the first quarter, 38-30 at halftime and 53-39 through three periods as Friendship fell to 10-5 for the season.

Tournament most valuable player Landon Woodcock led Clay County with 17 points while Heath Kimes finished with 15.

Jake Blair buried 22 points for Friendship while Joe Greenwood scored six as both earned all-tournament honors. Ashton Young also supplied six points while Dorian Champion finished with five, Malachi Frewin four, Bryce Miller three, Hanley Sobieszczyk two and Coulson Porter a free throw.

Greenwood’s 29 sends Friendship to York final

JAMESTOWN — Friendship Christian emerged from Sgt. York’s Southeastern Christmas Invitational semifinals with a 58-55 win over Red Boiling Springs on Friday night at York Institute.

The Commanders led 16-14 following the first quarter, 25-23 at halftime and 38-34 through three periods even though Red Boiling Springs held slight leads throughout the game.

Friendship advanced to Saturday’s 6:30 p.m. championship game against the winner of Clay County and host York Institute.

Joe Greenwood fired in 15 of his game-high 29 points in the fourth quarter, hitting a pair of three-pointers, for Friendship. Fellow guard Jake Blair finished with 14 while Hanley Sobieszczyk scored nine and Ashton Young, Malachi Frewin and Dorian Champion two each as the Commanders climbed to 10-4.

Mason Hix hit three triples in leading Red Boiling Springs with 16 points while center Dalton Marsh, averaging over 30 points per game, was held to 13. Mathew Murphy’s 12 included a pair of threes.

Young’s layup lifts Friendship to York semifinals

JAMESTOWN — Ashton Young’s layup with seven seconds to play lifted Friendship Christian to a 54-53 win over Cherokee County (Ala.) in the Sgt. York’s Southeastern Christmas Invitational at York Institute on Thursday afternoon.

Cherokee County led most of the day. But Friendship was up by five deep into the fourth quarter before the Warriors hit back-to-back three-pointers, sandwiched around a Commander turnover. The teams swapped leads down the stretch before FCS emerged to improve to 9-4 for the season.

Friendship will face Red Boiling Springs, a 61-33 winner over Owsley County (Ky.) to improve to 12-4) in the semifinals at 5 p.m. Friday .

Hanley Sobieszczyk threw in 13 points from the post to lead Friendship while Jake Blair tossed in 12 and Joe Greenwood 10. Young notched nine points while Bryce Miller and Dorian Champion each threw in three and Malachi Frewin two.

Kyle Burgess’ 13 points paced Cherokee County.

Staff Reports

Tech teen hopes to work for Apple

Mt. Juliet native discovers iPhone issues, post goes viral

Photo courtesy of Laura Blevins
Mt. Juliet teen Tyler Barney’s Reddit post on how to speed up older iPhones led to national attention that he hopes could land him a job in the tech field.

Several people have filed class-action lawsuits against Apple after the company admitted to limiting performance on older iPhones.

Perhaps a smart course of action could be hiring the person who discovered the limited performance in the first place, none other than 17 year-old Mt. Juliet native Tyler Barney.

Barney discovered the issue when he realized his phone, and iPhone 6s, had slowed down after updating it to the newest operating system.

“It became buggy. That’s the best way to put it,” said Barney. “It was a big mess all the time. Even typing was painful. Seconds passed between keystrokes.”

Barney knew something was up when he used his brother’s iPhone 6, an older model but a newer phone, and noticed it wasn’t having the same issues.

“That’s when I realized it was a problem with the hardware, not the software,” said Barney.

Barney found the possible solution online, upgrading the phone’s battery to a newer one. He did this and said the new battery was twice as fast as the old one, which led him to believe the poor performance was due to the phone’s lithium-ion batteries.

Barney posted his findings on Reddit, where it went viral, prompting Apple to release a statement last Wednesday that explained the issue.

“Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as the age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components,” Apple said in a statement. “Last year, we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions.”

While Apple told consumers about the release of the update, they neglected to mention it would slow the phone down, which led to the class-action lawsuits.

Barney himself said he understands the solution, but thinks Apple could have handled it better.

“I think the way they fixed the problem was the best way they could have done it,” said Barney. “They could have told their fan base more, though. I think they didn’t want people to freak out, but the lack of communication hurt them.”

Barney hasn’t lost loyalty to the company. In fact, he said his dream job would be developing software for the company. His mom, Laura Blevins, started the hashtag #hirethekid, hoping to get Apple’s attention.

“He’s been working on developing apps and tech for about five years,” said Blevins. “He started working when he was 15 as an IT guy for a law firm, so he knows the technology.”

For now, Barney’s just amazed at the attention a simple Reddit post got him.

“I’ve had so many people come up and talk to me, and say, ‘hey, I saw you in the news. That’s so cool,’” said Barney. “I made the post to try to help as many people as I could, and now so many people have seen it.”

By Jacob Smith

jsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Mt. Juliet’s Jalan Sowell named Music City Bowl honorary captain

File Photo
Wish Kid Jalan Sowell, from Mt. Juliet, will be recognized as honorary captain of the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl.

BRENTWOOD – At the Franklin American Mortgage Company Coaches Luncheon presented by WKRN News 2, FAMC will recognize Wish Kid Jalan Sowell, from Mt. Juliet, as honorary captain of the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl.

In this role, the Mt. Juliet High senior will participate in all of the events surrounding the bowl – including accompanying FAMC president and CEO Dan Crockett for the pre-game coin toss.

 As a Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee supporter, FAMC has given more than $130,000 to help grant life-changing wishes in Middle Tennessee over the past six years and routinely names a Make-A-Wish ambassador as the honorary captain for the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl.

 Sowell was a star football player for Mt. Juliet High School before being diagnosed with chronic pulmonary embolism, a respiratory condition that ended his promising football career. Sowell’s coaches knew he had too much talent to quit the sport completely, so they offered him a position as a student coach. Through his new position, Sowell shares his strength and passion for football with his teammates.

 Sowell was one of the wish kids featured on ESPN in July as part of the “My Wish” series on SportsCenter, where he wished to produce and be the subject of an inspirational ESPN feature.

 “Some of my most memorable moments from the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl have been getting to know extraordinary kids through Make-A-Wish,” said Crockett. “Jalan’s positive attitude in spite of his setback is an inspiration, and the fact that he used his wish to spread awareness about his condition shows just how great of a person he is.”

 “Research shows wishes can give children the renewed physical and emotional strength they need to fight a critical illness,” said Beth Torres, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish of Middle Tennessee. “Jalan used his wish to share hope and strength with other children and his teammates. By including Jalan in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, FAMC is giving him another platform to share his inspirational message with others. We are grateful for their generosity and commitment to helping grant life-changing wishes for our wish kids.”

Staff Reports

Mt. Juliet Christian gets past Providence

Photo courtesy of Twitter
Mt. Juliet Christian’s Paul Christensen, with son Luca, picked up his 300th career victory in the Saints’ 73-49 rout of visiting Riverside Christian in the MJCA Christmas Classic last Thursday night. Christensen is in his 20th season at MJCA as boys’ basketball coach and athletic director. He and Mt. Juliet High girls’ coach Chris Fryer are the current deans of Wilson County high school hoops coaches.

MT. JULIET – Mt. Juliet Christian’s boys emerged with a 32-27 triumph over Providence Christian in the MJCA Christmas Classic last Tuesday night.

The Saints led 8-7 following the first quarter, 15-12 at halftime and 25-20 through three periods as they improved to 5-6.

Caylor Bates bucketed 11 points for Mt. Juliet Christian while Jacob Hall threw in three 3-pointers for his nine. Gavin Forsha scored six, Trent Graves and Dwayne Ewers two each and Logan Collier and David Hylick a free throw apiece.

Fred Cosby tossed in two triples in leading the Lions with 11.

Both teams returned to MJCA on Thursday to wrap up the Classic. Providence faced Donelson Christian while Mt. Juliet Christian took on Riverside Christian.

Staff Reports

Commission hands out several honors

Xavier Smith • Mt. Juliet News
Wilson County Commissioner Kenny Reich reads a resolution honoring Wilson County sheriff’s Deputy Edward W. Anderson, Cpl. Christopher D. Bradenburg and Lt. Eric T. Rollins. The trio assisted in the pursuit and capture of a dangerous suspect earlier this year.

The Wilson County Commission honored longtime employees, athletes and emergency responders Monday during its monthly meeting.

The group honored outgoing James E. Ward Ag Center director Larry Tomlinson, Wilson County Building Inspector director Bobby Sloan, the Friendship Christian School Commanders state champion football team and Wilson County Sheriff Dep. Edward W. Anderson, Cpl. Christopher D. Bradenburg and Lt. Eric T. Rollins.

Tomlinson announced his intentions to retire in January earlier this year after 17 years as the center’s director.

“He is just so knowledgeable and so kind to everybody. I have called Larry all times of day and night, and he has never not spoke to me and answered every question I’ve ever asked,” Commissioner Sonja Robinson said.

“Anything that we accomplished at the Ward Ag Center over the last 17, 18 years is not because of Larry Tomlinson. It’s because of the good help I’ve had working for me and the people that were dedicated and believed in me and what we tried to do,” Tomlinson said.

Sloan spent 22 years at the Wilson County Building Inspector’s office, serving as director since 2009.

Sloan also served as Wilson County Commissioners from 1986-2002, and was chairman of the education and public works committees, as well as a member of the road, rules, urban type facilities and Ag management committees.

Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto wished both men good luck with their retirements, adding their cast knowledge in their respective positions would be missed.

Anderson, Bradenburg and Rollins assisted in the pursuit of an armed individual who made death threats.

The trio provided assistance with lifesaving techniques on the individual, stabilizing his condition for LifeFlight transportation while assisting in preserving a complex crime scene.

The group’s response was critical in protecting the lives of citizens and fellow officers in Wilson, Trousdale and Sumner counties.

“They risked their lives to save lives and that’s what its all about,” Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan said.

The Commanders capped off a perfect season earlier this month with a 34-10 win against Donelson Christian in the BlueCross Bowl at Tennessee Tech’s Tucker Field.

Friendship’s third state championship since 2011 marked the first perfect season by a Wilson County team during the playoff era, which kicked off in 1969.

“I don’t care how good you are, it’s just tough to do,” said Commander coach John McNeal, whose previous closest brush to going wire to wire came in 2006 when 14-0 FCS lost to Jackson Christian in the BlueCross Bowl then held in Murfreesboro.

Director elaborates on schools’ growth

Planning to take place at Feb. 1 meeting

Wilson County Director of Schools Donna Wright provided additional input about the growth dilemma facing the district and its potential growth plan to address the growth.

District leaders announced a work session planned for Feb. 1 would focus on the creation of a capital outlay plan to accommodate the projected rapid growth in Wilson County.

Wilson County Schools spokesperson Jennifer Johnson said the district’s current capital outlay plan would be finished with the completion of a future Mt. Juliet high school on North Green Hill Road.

Wilson County Planning Office director Tom Brashear said last year projects show the county’s population would increase from the 2015 estimated population of 131,060 to at or near 222,490 people by 2040.

Wright discussed future housing developments in Wilson County during Monday’s Wilson County Commission meeting.

“That is something we have to keep on our radar, because with those approvals, we are talking about boys and girls that will be coming with that,” Wright said during the meeting, noting more than 10,000 units are planned throughout Wilson County within the next two to five years.

She elaborated her thoughts Wednesday and said the task the district currently faces is not an easy one, especially since some zoning allows for housing developments in areas previously planned for commercial projects.

“For example, what had been presented as a medical complex development across from Five Oaks is now a new development advertising homes ‘starting at $300,000,’” Wright said.

Johnson said the district typically plans for student population to grow 500-600 students annually, while Wright said if the district used an accepted formula and calculate 1.3 children per unit and apply to units approved throughout Wilson County, the district would face a critical shortage of classrooms in about two years.

“What we know is that we are going to need additional elementary schools and an additional high school, potentially in the northeast quadrant of the county based on what is already being developed on [Highway] 231 North,” Wright said.

Wright said the dilemma comes with presenting what district leaders know to the Wilson County Commission – the district’s funding body – and the potential deliberation on the actual need of additional buildings, cost and how to fund the projects.

She said there could also be debate on how the district defines growth and student density. She noted the district has produced heat maps to create a visualization of where students currently live and how density projects in the future.

“It is imperative that we get ahead of [growth], because it will be far more costly if we wait, and our classrooms are out of ratio with state requirements, and we cannot find teachers willing to take on large classrooms,” Wright said.

Johnson said it would make sense for the district to buy land for future growth now, but there are some obstacles and challenges to overcome with that process.

“I’m not sure how successful we would be at trying to get approval for projects that are two decades down the road. It’s also worth noting that there are inherent risks associated long-range planning,” she said. “If recent history has taught us anything, it’s how quickly growth patterns can change.”

Wildcat wrestlers win Beech tourney

HENDERSONVILLE — Wilson Central won the Beech Tournament last Saturday with Michael Kramer and Sinjin Noga picking up first-place hardware for the Wildcats.

Cullen Belcher was a runner-up while Grant Fetters, Hunter Borders, Levi Stone and Parker Bennet each finished third and Ross Keith fourth.

Despite the championship, Central slipped a spot in Jeff Price’s state poll Monday, swapping sixth and seventh places with Bradley Central by three points.

Meanwhile, back at Wilson Central, nine Wildcats won their classes in a junior-varsity tournament, including Dominic Hofmann, Michael Mercante, Caleb Blake, William Toy, Luke Pishotta, Chris Payne, Geraldo Valasquez, Jesse Richardson and Chance Carson.

Elliot Ash, Avery Warnock, Tyler Jones and Usvauldo Jaime each finished second while Anthony Dake, Colton Colyer, Trey Scoby and Reece Orsbon each took third.

Not related to the high school program, the Wildcat Wrestling Club won the middle school division of the Tennessee Top 100 Challenge in Pigeon Forge last Saturday.

Staff Reports

Mt. Juliet Ice Bears outscore Ravenwood 7-5

Gretchen Smith • Submitted to Mt. Juliet News
Mt. Juliet’s Drew Ordway (19), goalie Sebastian Gibsonand Patrick Guay try to keep Ravenwood out of the net.

Mt. Juliet skated to a 7-5 win over Ravenwood on Nov. 27.

Corey Settle, Michael Settle and Dylan Kraay each scored twice and Drew Ordway once for Mt. Juliet. Lawson Smith supplied three assists, Cameron Barnes two and Nick Roman and Molly Piper one each.

The Golden Bears will wrap up their pre-holiday schedule at 6:15 p.m. Dec. 18 at Ford Ice Center against the Outlaws.

Staff Reports

MJ’s Sanders earns collegiate honor

J.R. Sanders

MARYVILLE — It didn’t take long for J.R. Sanders to take his long-range marksmanship to the collegiate level as the former Mt. Juliet Golden Bear was named USA South Rookie of the Week on Monday.

The freshman guard from Mt. Juliet scored nine points, grabbed three rebounds and dished out three assists in a 90-77 victory over USA South rival Piedmont in the Scots’ only contest last week.

 “I was extremely happy to see that J.R. earned the freshman of the week award,” Maryville coach Randy Lambert said. “He has exceeded our expectations. It is not very often that you get a freshman to come in and shoot so well from the field. I love his energy and he has definitely worked his way into our playing rotation.”

 In only four career games played, Sanders is averaging six points per game shooting 72 percent from the floor including an amazing 8-for-10 (80 percent) effort from beyond the arc.

Staff Reports

Lebanon’s boys use balance to beat Wildcats

George Page • Mt. Juliet News
Mt. Juliet guard Gunner Wilkerson (left) takes aim at the basket during the first half of last Friday’s game against Portland.

GLADEVILLE — Visiting Lebanon pulled away in the third quarter Friday night as the Blue Devils defeated Wilson Central 61-53.

The Wildcats led during the opening minutes until Blue Devil big man Zion Logue sank a long baseline jumper to put Lebanon in front 7-5.

After a three-pointer by Naz Czeskleba from in front of the LHS student section put Central back in front, a Wildcat tipped a rebound into the Blue Devil basket, a field goal credited to point guard Jeremiah Hastings for a 9-8 LHS lead.

Lebanon led 12-10 following the first quarter, 28-21 at halftime and 46-31 through three periods as the Blue Devils improved to 7-1 for the season and 2-1 in District 9-AAA, a league mark which will hold through the holidays while the league’s teams play outside competition.

Noah Mulaski sank two three-pointers in each of the first two periods and led Lebanon with 14 points while Logue went even further out to hit two second-quarter threes on his way to 12. Hastings and his backup Malcolm Logue each added 11 and center Eddie Jackson 10 while Ethan Njezic tossed in two and Polo Phillips a free throw.

Czeskleba sank three first-half triples as he and Kene Aruh scored 11 points apiece for the Wildcats while Daniel Jackson knocked down nine in the fourth quarter, Kyzick Schweppe eight (including a pair of triples), Dalton King six in the first half, Kobe Tibbs five in the fourth and Kito Aruh a first-quarter trey as Central slipped to 4-5, 1-2.

Stephens powers Mt. Juliet to 10-point win

MT. JULIET — Big man Isaac Stephens tossed in 22 points Friday night to power Mt. Juliet past Portland 55-45.

The Golden Bears led 16-11 following the first quarter and 34-24 at halftime before the teams played even-steven in the second half.

Will Pruitt popped in a pair of three-pointers on his way to 13 points for Mt. Juliet while Gavin Wilson finished with five, Ryan McIntosh, J.C. Crawford and Gunner Wilkerson a three apiece and Jordan Lockridge, Bailey Bryant and Riggs Abner two each as the Golden Bears, coming off a 58-54 loss at Gallatin on Tuesday, improved to 2-1 in District 9-AAA and 7-1 overall..

Mitchell Eagle paced Portland with 18 points.

Mt. Juliet, which finished its district pre-holiday schedule, will travel to Murfreesboro on Tuesday night to take on Siegel.

MJCA’s boys eded 46-44 at Merrol Hyde

HENDERSONVILLE — Mt. Juliet Christian made a valiant fourth-quarter comeback, but host Merrol Hyde took a 46-44 win Monday night.

Merrol Hyde led 39-33 going into the fourth before Mt. Juliet Christian outscored the Hawks 11-7 over the final eight minutes. But the Saints slipped to 4-4 going into Friday’s home Middle Region District 2A game against University School of Nashville.

Mt. Juliet Christian led 9-8 following the first quarter before Merrol Hyde edged in front 24-22 going into halftime.

Ollie Talmadge tossed in 10 points for Merrol Hyde.

Caylor Bates poured in 24 points for Mt. Juliet Christian while Trent Graves scored seven, Gavin Forsha five, Dwayne Ewers four and Jacob Hall and David Hylick two each.