Warriorettes Take Down Lady Bees, 58-32; Upperman Boys Pick Up Win at White County

By Michael Lindsay

 

White County and Upperman met on the hardwood in Sparta Wednesday evening for a pair of District 7-3A matchups as the Warriorettes and Bees picked up double-digit league wins. White County’s girls opened the evening with a 58-32 victory over Upperman followed by Upperman’s boys taking down White County, 52-42.

 

Girls

The White County Warriorettes earned a key District 7-3A victory Wednesday evening as they defeated top-ranked Upperman, 58-32.

“Defensively, we played really well,” said White County head coach Michael Dodgen. “One of the things Upperman does so well is offensive rebounding and we did a really good job on the boards tonight. We have the utmost respect for their program because of what they’ve done.”

The Warriorettes (21-2, 4-1) never trailed against Upperman (19-3, 3-1) as junior forward Ava Jones led White County with 17 points, 7 rebounds and 7 blocks along with 14 points and 4 steals by Gracie Clark.

White County controlled the game from the opening tip as they raced out to a 14-0 lead on back-t0-back Clark transition layups with 4:03 remaining in the first quarter. The Warriorettes held an 18-3 advantage late in the first before a Clark buzzer-beater put Sparta ahead 23-7 after the opening frame.

The Warriorettes extended their lead to 20 points (29-9) via a Jones offensive rebound and putback with 2:59 remaining in the second period. White County held a 32-14 advantage at halftime.

“We were able to get to some angles,” said Dodgen on his team’s defense. “Gracie, Bella Winningham and Lakelyn Grasty do a really good job up top of reading and rotating. With Celeste and Ava in the back line, they can control the rim and that’s a good luxury to have.”

Upperman cut White County’s lead to 14 points (34-20) midway through the third quarter before a Clark corner three-pointer pushed the Warriorette lead back to 19 points at 41-22. White County led 44-24 at the end of the third period before closing out to win by a 58-32 final score.

The Warriorettes improve 21-2 overall and 4-1 in District 7-3A play while Upperman falls to 19-3 and 3-1. White County sits alone atop the district standings while Upperman is alone in second, followed by Cumberland County and Livingston Academy tied in third at 2-2 overall.

Up next for White County is a home game Friday against DeKalb County while Upperman hosts Stone Memorial.

 

White County (58): Ava Jones 17, Gracie Clark 14, Celeste Reed 11, Bella Winningham 8, Lakelyn Grasty 8

Upperman (32): Bella Mullins 8, Gracie Butler 4, Gracie Hamilton 4, Auburn Johnson 4, Kora Bass 3, Sadie South 3, Bella Stiles 2, Taylor Dolente 2, Ava Allen 2

 

Boys

The Upperman Bees improved to 17-4 overall Wednesday evening as they used a strong second half to take down District 7-3A foe White County, 52-42.

“It was a good game,” said Upperman head coach Bobby McWilliams. “We were able to finally make a few buckets there late and rebounded the ball better in the second half.”

Freshman point guard Ty Cobb led the Bees with 18 points, 3 steals and 3 assists while Brayden Roberts tacked on 13 points and 4 rebounds. Sophomore forward Bonzden Chaffin recorded 8 points and 8 rebounds in the victory.

Tripp Pinion led White County with 14 points along with 12 by Lucas Dickerson.

“Traditionally, they (White County)┬áhave some of the best athletes in the area,” said McWilliams. “These kids they have now are really athletic, but they’ve been playing behind some really good kids in front of them. They’ve got good shooters and a great point guard.”

Upperman jumped out to a 10-1 lead early in the first quarter before White County answered with a 10-2 run to trail by one at 12-11 with 1:24 remaining in the opening frame. The Bees responded late in the period and pushed their advantage back out to 5 points (18-13) via a Roberts buzzer-beating three-pointer at the end of the opening frame.

White County stayed within two possessions through the duration of the second quarter as Upperman took a 24-20 lead into halftime.

The Warriors cut Upperman’s lead to two points (24-22) early in the third quarter before the Bees went on a 13-5 run over the next 5 minutes to take a 37-29 lead via an Evan Huddleston putback with 2:17 left in the frame.

Following a Pinion buzzer-beater to end the third period, Upperman entered the fourth quarter with a 39-34 advantage. The Bees extended their lead to double digits (46-36) with 4:54 remaining via a Kam Bush three-pointer. Upperman led by as many as 15 points (51-36) in the fourth quarter before winning by a 52-42 final score.

“We settled a little bit and started finishing plays we normally finish,” said McWilliams. “We got the ball in the areas we needed to, and that was a big difference for us. Kam hit a few threes to put it away, and that’s what you do when you’re a senior. He’s been working hard.”

The win improves Upperman to 17-4 overall and 3-1 in District 7-3A while White County falls to 8-9 and 3-2. The Warriors are currently third in district play while the Bees are currently tied in first with Stone Memorial, who they host on Friday. The Panthers defeated Upperman 68-49 on Jan. 5.

“It gives us a chance,” McWilliams said. “When you win one on the road, it’s like winning two. You have to win your home games, and this one is a big one for us. Any time you win on the road in this league, you’ve played pretty well.”

 

Upperman (52): Ty Cobb 18, Brayden Roberts 13, Kam Bush 8, Bronzden Chaffin 8, Evan Huddleston 3, Branson Turnbow 2

White County (42): Tripp Pinion 14, Lucas Dickerson 12, Nathan Griffin 5, Keon Lewis 4, Lucas Smith 4, Cole Sims 2, Gage Stephenson 1

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