Wilson Central’s Jordan Beard (3) and Connor Miller jump for joy in celebration of the Wildcats’ come-from-behind overtime win over Station Camp.
GLADEVILLE — Zach Markus-Kellerman hit a tie-breaking free throw with 31.9 seconds left in overtime before snatching the game-ending rebound on the other end to finish Wilson Central’s 68-67 victory over Station Camp in a game the Wildcats probably had no business winning.
After a 10-2 run gave Central a 27-18 lead in the second quarter, Station Camp coach Seth Massey called timeout. After the break, the Bison went on an extended run which seemingly would never end, scoring 15 straight to go up 33-27 late in the first half.
After Daniel Beard’s 3-pointer pulled Central even at 33-33 early in the second half, Station Camp went on another run, scoring the next 11 points for a 44-33 lead. It was part of an 18-4 spurt which put the Bison ahead 51-37 early in the fourth quarter on a driving layup by Alex Vaughn.
But suddenly, the ‘Cats caught fire from outside, sinking six of their 15 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. A 24-11 Central spurt caught the Camp 61-61 on two Caleb Lawrence free throws with 14.4 seconds left in regulation. The Bison missed a winning 3-pointer and the game went to four minutes of free basketball.
Central had to make another rally after Station Camp scored the first four points of the OT. But Connor Miller got a favorable high bounce on a 3-pointer to pull the Wildcats into a 67-67 tie with 1:10 left.
Adler Kerr got a steal and Markus-Kellerman was fouled. He hit the first of two free throws for the lead. Following a Station Camp timeout with 7.3 ticks left, Kevon Blankenship missed a runner and Markus-Kellerman grabbed the rebound from Miller to seal Central’s first District 9-AAA win of the season in five tries as the ‘Cats climbed to 9-8 for the season.
“Connor was kind of locking (Blankenship) up on the side, kind of forcing him to (take) a difficult shot,” Markus-Kellerman said. “He came up short and I just got in there and grabbed the rebound.”
So is this a signature win in Wildcat coach Michael Teeter’s first season?
“Anytime you can go out and get a win in this district, you can consider it a signature win,” Teeter said. “It’s tough every night. For the guys to play like they did tonight, they just wanted it. They were hungry.
“We preach everyday basketball is a game of runs. We’ve got to be able to expect theirs. We just got to mitigate it with what we’re trying to do. For us, it’s about putting the ball in the hole so we can get into some of our pressure. When we go through droughts where we’re not scoring very well and we can’t press, sometimes people eat us up in the halfcourt right now. We’re just trying some different looks, trying to find what works.”
What has to work for Central is winning the 50-50 balls more than 50% of the time.
“We’ve preached there are no 50-50 balls here,” Teeter said. “It’s all 70-30 our way. It’s how we have to look at it. If we come up with less than the 50-50, then we’re not doing our job. We’re here to outwork somebody.”
Another thing which has to work is balanced scoring. Four Wildcats reached double figures in this one, led by Beard with 18, including three of his four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. Miller fired in five triples for his 15 while Kerr added 11, nine of which came in the first quarter and all before halftime, and Lawrence 10 in the second half, including a pair of threes in the fourth. Markus-Kellerman added eight while Daniel Beard bagged a couple of threes for his six.
Eli Thurston scored 18 points for Station Camp while Cam Gerlach collected 16 and Blankenship 15 as the Bison slipped to 12-7, 2-3 going into Friday night’s home game against Mt. Juliet, which will be televised live on MyTV30.
Wilson Central will play the second of a four-game homestand Friday night when Portland comes in.
Blue Devils rally to complete Gallatin swing
GALLATIN — Lebanon’s boys completed a three-game swing through Gallatin on Tuesday night, following last Friday’s win at Station Camp with a come-from-behind 54-49 win at Gallatin’s Jerry Vradenburg Gym.
The Green Wave led 12-11 following the first quarter and opened the margin to 25-15 by halftime and 34-19 during the third. But Lebanon closed the period with a 15-2 run to get to within 36-34.
Unlike last Friday when the Blue Devils didn’t take a free throw until the fourth quarter and could only drop in 6 of 16 when they did, they were much more efficient this time with 11-of-13 for the game, 7-of-8 of which came in the fourth as Lebanon improved to 15-3 for the season and 4-1 in District 9-AAA.
“I’m proud of the way our kids continued to battle and fight hard,” Lebanon coach Jim McDowell said. “I was proud of the way we were able to bounce back in the fourth quarter from the free-throw line.”
Center David Greene continued his consistent senior season with 24 points, including 15 in the second half, for Lebanon. Gaven Reasonover tossed in 10 of his 12 in the second half. Jamar Kynard scored seven and Polo Phillips six.
Alex Fite came off the bench to hit a big 3-pointer in the third quarter while Kobe Tibbs tossed in two.
Noah Ring led Gallatin with 17 points while Cade Martin tossed in 12 as the Green Wave fell to 13-5, 3-2.
The Blue Devils, after 10 straight games away from Campbell Brandon Gym/Hester Gibbs Court, will have their own homecoming even as the school celebrates homecoming Friday night when the play host to Beech.
CA size too tall an order for Friendship
Clarksville Academy’s size proved to be too much for Friendship Christian to overcome Tuesday night as the visiting Cougars collected a 50-39 win at the Bay Family Sportsplex.
The Cougars led 9-8 following the first quarter, 19-17 at halftime and 35-29 going into the fourth as the Commanders stayed on their heels all night long before falling to 8-13 for the season and 1-7 in Division II District 4-A.
Harrison Lackey led Clarksville Academy with 16 points while Christian Brothers-commit Daniel Loos (whose grandfather Dave coached at the school in the 1980s before a legendary run at Austin Peay) battled three first-half fouls to finish with 12 as the Cougars climbed to 10-7, 3-5.
“Felt like we played a solid game defensively, especially in the first half,” Commander coach Ben Johnson said. “Loos is a great player … and we had him frustrated.
“In the end, their size just became too much for us. Their post-to-post feeds in the second half killed up. We never give up, never quit fighting. We just need to come back Friday and beat Ezell.”
Andrew Mathis led all scorers with 18 points for Friendship, including four 3-pointers. Bryce Miller added eight while Mitch Pelham and Max Duckwiler each finished with four, Dillon Turner three and Casey Jones two.
Friendship will celebrate homecoming Friday night against Ezell-Harding. Festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by the girls’ game at 6.
Pruitt’s 23 lead Bears to easy road win
HENDERSONVILLE — Mt. Juliet’s boys breezed to their 14th win of the season Tuesday night with an 81-39 thumping of Hendersonville.
Will Pruitt’s 23 points led the Golden Bears, who improved to 5-0 in District 9-AAA. Charles Clark collected 13 points and Riggs Abner 12.
Mt. Juliet will return to Sumner County with a 14-2 record Friday night when the Golden Bears visit Station Camp for a MyTV30-televised game.
Second-quarter drought costly to Saints
MT. JULIET — Mt. Juliet Christian couldn’t overcome a second-quarter dry spell Tuesday night in a 65-55 loss to visiting Ezell-Harding.
The Eagles led 15-14 eight minutes in before dominating the second quarter 13-3 to take a 28-17 lead into halftime. Ezell-Harding widened the margin to 48-31 going into the fourth.
Cameron Hunt had 18 points and Kadarius Price 17 for the Eagles, who will visit Friendship Christian on Friday night.
Jordan Willis sank a pair of 3-pointers to lead the Saints with 17 points while Shawn Link and Justin Matthews each added 11. Carter Branim scored six points, Luke Nave five, Dylan Harman two and Brittain Gore a free throw as MJCA fell to 5-10.
Mt. Juliet Christian will bus to Nashville Christian tonight.