Mt. Juliet drew Houston for the final game of the Class AAA state quarterfinal round to be played at 2:45 p.m. Wednesday at Middle Tennessee State’s Murphy Center in Murfreesboro.
A blind draw was held Sunday afternoon to place the eight sectional winners from Saturday night.
Mt. Juliet, in the state for the 16th time since 1977 and ninth under 20-year coach Chris Fryer, will bring a 24-8 record to Murphy Center while Houston, from the Memphis suburb of Germantown, is 26-5.
The winner will face either Daniel Boone (30-4) or Bradley Central (32-0) at 11:30 a.m. Friday. The championship game is set for 1 p.m. Saturday with Riverdale (33-1), Ravenwood (21-11), Arlington (27-7) and Bearden (28-7) in the other bracket.
MJ’s young team uses old formula to return to state
MT. JULIET — With a young group of girls, Mt. Juliet used a tried-and-true formula to beat Brentwood 63-55 in Saturday night’s sectional to advance to the Lady Bears’ 16th state tournament.
Most of the Lady Bears’ state tournament teams, especially the eight previous trips under coach Chris Fryer, have revolved around dominant post players, and this was no exception as Emma Palmer poured in 34 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as Mt. Juliet punched its ticket to state with a 23-8 record.
“(Palmer) dominated tonight,” Fryer said. “One of her better outings. She cane to play. She finished around the basket and our kids did a good job getting her the ball.”
The Lady Bears led 14-10 following the first quarter, 30-20 at halftime and 64-33 through three periods. Brentwood outscored Mt. Juliet 22-17 in the fourth as the home team hit just half of its 32 free throws for the game. But it was enough to send the Lady Bruins home for the season at 23-10.
“In the first half, they played us man and we were able to get the ball to (Palmer),” Fryer said. “Then they went to a 2-3 zone and we hit a few threes…and they went back man.”
Shelby Petty popped in a pair of three-pointers on her way to 10 points while Ryleigh Osborne had the other en route to five. Nevaeh Majors supplied six points and seven assists while Tondrianna Davis and Aaliyah Frazier each finished with four.
A draw will be held Sunday afternoon to determine the pairings for the state, which will tip off Wednesday at Middle Tennessee State’s Murphy Center.
“We’re excited for the kids to get to experience it because they’re so young,” Fryer said.
Lady Bears take Region 5-AAA crown
MT. JULIET — With no seniors, Mt. Juliet claimed a trophy many of its predecessors also captured – the Region 5-AAA championship.
The Lady Bears kept Lebanon at bay 41-33 before a bi-partisan crowd Wednesday night.
“Region championships are awful hard to come by, so we’re real proud of this,” Mt. Juliet coach Chris Fryer said. “Our kids did a real good job. You got to tip your hat to Lebanon. They played really well. Both of know the most important game is going to be on Saturday.”
The first quarter was back-and-forth, though Lebanon’s only lead was 8-6 on an inside basket by Lindsey Freeman.
Point guard Nevaeh Majors, who rarely shoots three-pointers, drained a triple as the first quarter expired to lift the Lady Bears to an 11-8 lead. Her steal and layup gave Mt. Juliet a five-point lead early in the second period and Lebanon was in catch-up mode the rest of the night. Majors, who earned tournament most valuable player honors, knocked down another triple late in the half.
By Andy Reed