Trousdale County played two nights of basketball last week, but the one win was the most thrilling of the season as the Lady Jackets downed Red Boiling Springs 67-66 in overtime before a packed homecoming crowd.
The victory also gave the Lady Jackets a season sweep of the Lady Bulldogs for the first time since the 2001-02 season.
“What a game!” said coach Jeremy Wilhelm. “The team stuck to our plan and it paid off in the end. The girls stepped up and hit big-time shots when we needed them.
“Even though we struggled at the foul line, we never stopped trying to get there. I’m proud of these girl and what they have done.”
Down by three with time running out in regulation, freshman Claire Belcher banked in a 3-pointer from the right wing in the closing seconds to tie the game at 58 and force overtime.
In the extra period, the Lady Jackets fell behind by six but had cut the deficit to one when sophomore Chloe Donoho was fouled with three seconds to play. Donoho drained both free throws to give Trousdale County its eighth win of the season.
Belcher finished with a career-best 18 points, all of which came after halftime. Donoho added 16 points, 10 of which came at the free-throw line. Despite being constantly double teamed, sophomore Tori Simmons scored 13 points. Seniors Kaylynn Dalton and Katelyn Fergusson had eight and six points respectively, sophomore Josie Garrett scored three, freshman Kinley Brown two and sophomore Emily Booth one.
In the boys’ game, the Jackets ran into a hungry bunch of Bulldogs and were outscored 17-6 in the third quarter of a 54-43 loss. It was the first loss in the last five games for Trousdale in the series.
“We have been in a bad slump offensively,” said coach Ryan Sleeper. “Our defense isn’t really a problem right now; we’re holding team around 50. But scoring in the 40s will get you bets nearly every time.
“I don’t believe in excuses. We have to come in and work even harder. This is a very important week to fine-tune us for the tournament. We’ve got to get the ball rolling.”
Senior Braison Raney was the only Jacket player in double figures with 18 points. Senior Trace McGuire added eight and junior Keyvont Baines seven, sophomore Kobe Ford had six, freshman Alex Ford had three and junior Will Belcher had one.
Red Boiling Springs got 24 points from sophomore center Dalton Marsh.
On Jan. 30, Trousdale County hosted Jackson County but came away with two losses.
The Jackets trailed 44-35 after three quarters and cut the deficit to two before falling 52-46. It was Trousdale’s sixth straight loss to the guys from Gainesboro.
“They are just a solid team,” Sleeper said. “They do the little things that keep them in games. They counter our athleticism with fundamentals. It doesn’t matter how high you jump when you’re boxed out.
“When our boys finally realize to stop relying solely on our athleticism in games and focus on fundamentals, we will become a much more consistent ball club.”
Raney finished with 14 points and Baines had 13, 11 in the second half. Kobe Ford had eight points, senior Octavious Rickman had four and McGuire one.
The Lady Jackets, meanwhile, did not make a basket in the first quarter of a 51-21 defeat. It was the 13th straight loss in the series for Trousdale, with all those coming by double digits. The Lady Jackets’ last win over Jackson County came in 1992 in the Hartsville Christmas Tournament.
Dalton scored six points while Donoho and Simmons had five each. Fergusson had two points, freshman Kinley Brown two and sophomore Karissa Goss one.
Trousdale County was to host Pickett County on Tuesday for Senior Night, then will conclude the regular season Friday at East Robertson. The District 6-A Tournament will be played next week, with matchups to be determined. The semifinals and finals will be played at White County High School in Sparta.