White County Girls Secure 7-3A #1 Seed Via 35-30 Victory At Upperman; Ty Cobb’s 17 Points Lead Bees To 47-35 Win

By Michael Lindsay


Sparta Girls Win Defensive Battle At Upperman To Secure District 7-3A #1 Seed, 35-30

The District 7-3A tournament #1 seed belongs to the White County Warriorettes following their 35-30 victory at Upperman Monday night.

“This was a great high school basketball environment, especially for a girls game,” said White County head coach Michael Dodgen. “They got their money’s worth; it was a good basketball game and I’m proud of our kids. There’s a lot of colleges that would die to have a crowd like this tonight.”

Senior forward Celeste Reed led the Warriorettes with 11 points and 6 rebounds while junior forward Ava Jones tacked on 4 points, 5 rebounds and 5 blocks.

“When you have that duo inside that has so much size, it’s a blessing to have,” said Dodgen. “The other kids feed off them.”

Gracie Butler led Upperman with 15 points along with 7 points and 4 rebounds by senior guard Bella Mullins.

“We played well defensively well in spurts and rebounded the ball,” said Dodgen. “We limited their second shots in the second half. For our team to come on the road in this tough environment is big.”

White County took a 7-3 lead early in the first quarter before the Lady Bees stormed back to cut their deficit to one point by the end of the period at 12-11.

Upperman broke through to take a 16-15 lead via a Taylor Dolente three-pointer with 2:58 remaining until halftime. White County tacked on a free throw before the break to tie the game at 16 at halftime.

“We knew it would be a grind. You don’t win 700 game and 3 state titles if you don’t know what you’re doing,” Dodgen said of Upperman head coach Dana McWilliams. “Kudos to Upperman for their defensive effort.”

The teams traded leads throughout the third quarter as a Butler basket with 1:01 remaining in the third quarter gave Upperman a 22-21 advantage entering the fourth.

A Lakelyn Grasty basket with 5:07 remaining gave White County a 26-25 lead. Following a pair of Reed free throws, another Grasty basket extended the Warriorettes’ advantage to 30-25 with 2:16 left.

A Mullins steal and layup brought Upperman within one possession at 30-27 with 1:33 remaining, but White County put the game away at the free-throw line as a make from Grasty and two by Jones gave the Warriorettes a 33-27 lead with 20.7 seconds left. White County held off Upperman to win by a 35-30 final score.

White County improves to 25-2 overall and 8-1 in District 7-3A play. The Warriorettes secured the postseason #1 seed with Monday’s win while Upperman falls to 22-4 overall and 6-2 in league play. Upperman currently sits in second overall ahead of Cumberland County in third, who the Bees play on Thursday and Saturday.

White County hosts Livingston Academy on Thursday while Upperman hosts Cumberland County.

“You still have to be ready to go,” said Dodgen. “Livingston is going to come in ready to go, so we have to be focused. We’re excited about locking up the one seed, but once the tournament starts everybody is 0-0. In this league, anybody can beat anybody on any given night. It’s a testament to the coaches and players for working and putting in time.”


White County (35): Celeste Reed 11, Gracie Clark 8, Lakelyn Grasty 6, Ava Jones 4, Bella Winningham 3, Ashlyn Selby 3


Upperman (30): Gracie Butler 15, Bella Mullins 7, Aly Jones 3, Taylor Dolente 3, Bella Stiles 2


Ty Cobb’s 17 Points Lead Upperman To 47-35 Victory Over White County

The Upperman Bees are one step closer to securing the District 7-3A #1 seed following a league win over White County on Monday, 47-35.

“We finally got our offense moving a little better (in the second half),” said Upperman head coach Bobby McWilliams. “We were able to get the ball where we were needed to and were able to make a shot or two. Rebounding was huge late, and it was a grind. It was a hard game to win.”

Upperman freshman point guard Ty Cobb led the Bees with 17 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds along with 12 points and 3 boards from senior Brayden Roberts.

Junior guard Tripp Pinion led White County with 12 points.

“The first thing you worry about is Pinion off the dribble,” said McWilliams. “He’s really good at it and getting into the heart of the defense. We finally were able to control the dribbling for three possessions there and it allowed us to separate. I thought we were locked in defensively.”

White County took an early lead at Upperman as a Lucas Dickerson three-pointer at the first-quarter buzzer gave the Warriors a 12-8 advantage.

The Bees battled back as a Clayton Harris putback tied the game at 12-12 with 6:47 left in the second period.

A Gage Stephenson putback with 3:21 remaining until halftime gave White County a 17-15 before Upperman took control of the final 3 minutes as a Cobb buzzer-beating three-pointer gave the Bees a 23-19 halftime advantage.

Upperman opened the second half with a free throw and Roberts three-pointer to take a 27-19 lead over White County with 6:17 left in the third quarter. Upperman held their advantage throughout the third quarter as they took a 33-26 lead into the fourth.

The Bees held off White County in the fourth quarter as they outscored the Warriors 14-9 in the period to win by a 47-35 final score.

Upperman improves to 21-4 overall and 7-1 in District 7-3A play while White County drops to 10-11 and 5-4.

Monday’s victory secured the Bees a top-2 seed in the district tournament and an automatic berth in the Region 4-3A tournament. The Bees have two games remaining against Cumberland County (5-19, 1-7), and a win in either will secure the overall #1 seed for Upperman.

“Wins in this district are hard,” said McWilliams. “Even more important than that is getting the one or two-seed with the double-bye. We’re going to keep doing what we do. It won’t be easy; being able to get ourselves in a position where we know we’re going to the region, that takes a lot of pressure off.”

Upperman hosts Cumberland County on Thursday while White County hosts Livingston Academy.


Upperman (47): Ty Cobb 17, Brayden Roberts 12, Kam Bush 9, Evan Huddleston 4, Clayton Harris 4, Bronzden Chaffin 1


White County (35): Tripp Pinion 12, Gage Stephenson 8, Cole Sims 7, Nate Griffin 3, Lucas Dickerson 3, Jackson Young 2