White County, Upperman Girls To Face Off In Wednesday’s Region 4-3A Championship

By Michael Lindsay


The Region 4-3A championship trophy will stay in District 7-3A another season as White County and Upperman won their respective semifinal matchups Monday evening in Tullahoma to advance to Wednesday’s title game.

White County overcame a 9-point second-half deficit to defeat Stone Memorial 56-48 followed by Upperman holding Lawrence County scoreless the entire second quarter en route to an 53-26 victory. Both teams will also play in Saturday’s Class 3A sectional round against either Heritage or Signal Mountain.

White County/Stone Memorial

The White County Warriorettes overcame a 9-point second-half deficit Monday evening as they defeated district foe Stone Memorial, 56-48.

“We relaxed and played and did the little things we needed to do,” said White County head coach Michael Dodgen. “We got stops defensively. This game is the hardest game of your season. Both teams know what’s on the line. You have to survive and advance, whether you win by one or 21.”

White County (31-2) was led by 21 points and 9 rebounds from Celeste Reed along with 18 points by Lakelyn Grasty.

“Celeste kept us in it early on with the way she played in the first half,” said Dodgen. “Lakelyn settled in and made some tough shots.”

Stone Memorial was led by 18 points each from senior Rachel Houston and junior Kortney Headrick.

A pair of Headrick free throws at the first-quarter buzzer gave the Lady Panthers a 15-13 lead entering the second period. After trading leads midway through the second quarter, Stone Memorial took a 25-22 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The Lady Panthers extended their lead to nine points (34-25) via a Houston three-pointer with 4:17 left in the third period. After trading baskets, Stone Memorial led 36-27 with 2:45 left in the third quarter before White County ended the frame on an 8-0 run to pull within one point (36-35) entering the fourth quarter.

A pair of Ava Jones free throws early in the fourth gave White County a 37-36 lead. The Warriorettes used a Reed three-pointer and Gracie Clark and-one to go up 43-37 with 6:39 remaining.

Stone Memorial pulled within one possession (49-46) via a pair of Headrick free throws with 3:28 remaining, but got no closer as White County held off the Lady Panthers over the final 3 minutes to win by a 56-48 final score.

The victory clinches White County’s first region championship and substate appearance since 2015. The Warriorettes will face Upperman on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Tullahoma in the Region 4-3A championship.


Upperman/Lawrence County

Upperman’s signature defense was on full display Monday as they defeated Lawrence County, 53-26.

“I told the kids I couldn’t be more proud of how they were on both ends,” said Upperman head coach Dana McWilliams. “We were in the right spots making them take tough shots. It was the most complete game everybody’s had.”

The Lady Bees held Lawrence County scoreless in the second quarter as they finished the first half with five total points.

“On the defensive end, when you think about who made the plays, it was somebody different every time,” said McWilliams. “They have five guards out there all the time, so they’re pretty quick and athletic.”

Three Lady Bees scored in double figures including Taylor Dolente with 14 points and 7 rebounds, Gracie Butler with 13 points and Bella Stiles with 12 points. Gracie Hamilton also recorded 9 points for Upperman.

An early three-pointer gave Lawrence County a 3-0 lead before the Lady Bees outscored them 12-2 over the final 6:31 of the first quarter to take a 12-5 lead into the second period. Nine of Butler’s 12 points came in the first quarter.

Upperman locked in defensively during the second quarter as they held Lawrence County scoreless while pouring in 16 points of their own to take a 28-5 lead into halftime.

The Lady Bees extended their lead to 45-9 via a Dolente three-pointer late in the third quarter as they led 48-14 entering the fourth, where they closed out to win by a 53-26 final score.

Upperman’s win clinches their fifth appearance in the region championship and substate in the last 9 seasons. The Lady Bees will face White County on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Tullahoma in the Region 4-3A championship.