CLEAN SWEEP: MCHS finishes season series with AHS 4-0
By Andrew Alexander
Last Saturday night was a night for basketball in McNairy County with two incredible basketball games played between two heated rivals, Adamsville High School and McNairy Central High School. MCHS came out on top in both contests with the girls winning 39-31 and the boys pulling out a thrilling 53-49 victory.
Lady Bobcats- 39
Lady Cardinals- 31
The Lady Bobcats trailed for the first three quarters against the Lady Cardinals, but exploded in the final quarter to secure a comeback victory in the rivalry game.
The win furthered McNairy Central’s dominance over the Lady Cardinals. The Lady Cats have beaten Adamsville 18 straight times. AHS’s last win against McNairy Central was a one-point victory on Jan. 22, 2002.
“We struggled on the offensive end until the fourth quarter,” said MCHS head coach Jerry Lott. “We had a good defensive effort holding them to 31.”
Despite the fact that the Lady Cardinals led for the majority of the game, the Lady Bobcats’ defense did not allow Adamsville to play very well offensively. McNairy Central forced AHS into 18 turnovers and held them to 12 percent shooting from behind the arc. Adamsville did not help their own cause, shooting 43 percent from the free-throw line.
“They guarded us pretty good, and when we got to the line we couldn’t get the shots to fall,” said AHS head coach Todd McGee. “Early on, we were able to get some baskets in transition, but in the fourth quarter our shooting was awful.”
AHS senior Macayla Kiddy was on fire in the first quarter, scoring six of Adamsville’s first eight points, and the Lady Cardinals held a slight 14-11 lead.
Both teams struggled in the second, missing shots from point-blank range. MCHS tied the game 17-17 with a little over a minute and a half left in the quarter, but AHS managed to get two more before the half ended and took a 19-17 lead into the locker room.
The Lady Cards opened the second half hot, but high-scoring Lady Bobcat senior Chelsea Bodiford answered their hot start by hitting her second 3-pointer of the contest. Adamsville’s defense clamped down for the remainder of the third and held a three-point, 27-24 lead over the Lady Cats.
McNairy Central’s junior guard Brianna Phelps ignited the fourth quarter comeback by drilling a 3-pointer right out of the gate. From that moment on, it was all MCHS, and the Lady Bobcats coasted to an eight-point victory.
The victory extended the Lady Cats’ winning streak to nine games and improved their overall record to 18-4 before they faced Fayette-Ware last Tuesday where they looked to move to 10-0 in the district.
The loss marked the Lady Cards’ second in a row and dropped their overall record to 12-5 before they took on the Class A fifth ranked Madison Academic Lady Mustangs last Tuesday night.
(MCHS) Brianna Phelps: 9 Pts, 2 Ast, 2 Stl; Chelsea Bodiford: 8 Pts, 6 Reb, 4 Stl; Kindra Brown: 7 Pts, 6 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl; Mallorie Sweat: 7 Pts, 3 Reb, 2 Ast; Zipporah Woods: 5 Pts, 4 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Blk; Tierra Lusk: 2 Pts, 2 Reb, 1 Ast; Porsha Chappell: 1 Pt, 1 Stl; Mikaela Rowland: 5 Reb, 2 Stl; Tiffany Winebrenner: 2 Reb
(AHS) Macayla Kiddy: 11 Pts, 11 Reb, 2 Ast, 4 Stl; Brianne Knight: 11 Pts, 8 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl; Ralanda Lloyd: 7 Pts, 1 Reb, 1 Stl; Keantinez Lloyd: 2 Pts, 3 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl; Nikki White: 5 Reb; Simone Wilson: 1 Reb, 1 Blk; Taylor Hutton: 1 Reb
It came down to the wire, but the McNairy Central Bobcats escaped Adamsville with a four-point rivalry victory and a sweep of their arch-nemesis last Saturday night.
A standing room only crowd filled Adamsville’s gym after an exciting girls’ game, ready and waiting to see the Bobcats and Cardinals collide for the second time this season, and the game did not disappoint.
“The guys played hard tonight but the energy wasn’t there,” said MCHS head coach Steve Forsythe. “I really believe it was our crowd which helped us fight through the fatigue and pull this game out.”
The Bobcats did not shoot particularly well against the Cardinals, but their advantage on the boards and in stands helped them get the win, according to Forsythe.
“The Spirit was willing but the body wouldn’t listen. After a tough district road game on Friday night, we didn’t have any legs for this game,” said Forsythe. “It really showed as we struggled to get the ball in the goal. We had one of our worst shooting nights (35 percent), but fortunately we were able to get a lot of offensive rebounds.”
Adamsville led for the majority of the first quarter, but McNairy Central snatched the lead away before it ended and led 8-7 after one.
The second quarter went back and forth with both teams holding a lead, but MCHS built a four-point advantage before the break and led 23-19 at halftime.
Cardinal Jalen Kendall put AHS up one with a 3-pointer toward the end of the third, but Bobcat CJ Barnes answered right back with a layup that gave MCHS a 37-35 lead going into a wild fourth quarter.
The crowd really picked up its intensity when the fourth quarter began as fans on both sides of the stands rose to their feet.
“We had a great crowd at this game,” said Forsythe. “The atmosphere was electric for a high school basketball game.”
With deafening noise echoing through the gym, Adamsville stole the lead away from Central after another Kendall 3-pointer, and the Cardinals led 46-42 with just over two minutes remaining, but the Bobcats were relentless.
“Justin (Sutton) hit a huge three in the fourth to tie it at 47, and then two free throws to give us the lead before CJ (Barnes) tipped in a miss to give us the lead for good,” said Forsythe summing up several key plays for the Bobcats down the stretch.
Despite big plays by Sutton and Barnes, Forsythe said the charge Cal Chappell took for the Bobcats late was the biggest play of the game.
With under a minute to go and down two points, the Cardinals drove the lane looking to even it up. Chappell stood tall in the paint and took a charge that returned possession to MCHS. The Bobcats widened the margin with another 2-pointer from Barnes, leaving only 10 seconds on the clock for an AHS comeback that they could not muster.
“We allowed them to get a couple offensive rebounds and they were able to convert them,” said Adamsville head coach Nathaniel Root, “and that hurt us down the stretch.”
The Cardinals fell to 2-15 after the loss with only seven games left to play. AHS hosted Madison Academic Tuesday night hoping to avenge a two-point loss to the Mustangs on Dec. 16.
“It was a great atmosphere for the guys to play in,” said Root. “I wish it was like that every game, but I know we have to get the win to start filling the gym.”
The win gave the Bobcats their first sweep over the Cardinals since the 2006-2007 season and improved their overall record to 13-9. Like AHS, MCHS was looking to avenge a two-point loss from earlier in the season when the Bobcats hosted Fayette-Ware last Tuesday night.
(MCHS) Rameil Pollard: 17 Pts, 9 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl; CJ Barnes: 14 Pts, 6 Reb, 2 Ast; Justin Sutton: 11 Pts, 5 Reb; Stuart Littlejohn: 4 Pts, 3 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl; Jordan Burton: 3 Pts, 5 Reb, 1 Stl; Cal Chappell: 2 Pts, 7 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk; Don Waller: 2 Pts, 1 Reb, 2 Ast
(AHS) Jalen Kendall: 13 Pts, 2 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk; Kasey Hurley: 9 Pts, 4 Ast; Tucker Campbell: 7 Pts, 7 Reb, 1 Stl; 3 Blk; Josh Shoate: 7 Pts, 3 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl; Lane Burcham: 5 Pts, 4 Reb; Jacob Wallis: 4 Pts, 1 Reb; Jack Majors: 3 Pts, 4 Reb