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By Jerry Richmond, Sports Staff Writer

Trousdale County had two nights of district basketball action last week as both Yellow Jacket teams looked to improve their seedings for next week’s district tournament.

On Friday night at home against Watertown, the Lady Jackets came in needing a win to secure a spot in the district semifinals, and a win was exactly what they got. The Lady Jackets (8-14, 4-3 8-A) downed the Lady Purple Tigers (10-13, 2-5) 51-41 to guarantee themselves no worse than a third-place finish in the district and an automatic trip to the region tournament.

The victory also broke an eight-game losing streak to the Lady Purple Tigers.

“It feels good to finally beat them in awhile,” Coach Jeremy Wilhelm said. “The ladies are playing hard now before we head into the district tournament. Our goal all year is to win the district tournament.”

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette Trousdale County's Jamey McKoin (3) tries to block a shot during the Lady Jackets' 51-41 win over Watertown.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County’s Jamey McKoin (3) tries to block a shot during the Lady Jackets’ 51-41 win over Watertown.

Senior Makenzee Dixon poured in a game-high 19 points to lead the Lady Jackets. Freshman Chloe Donoho followed with 14 points and senior Jamey McKoin added eight before fouling out with 1:04 to play. Junior Katelyn Fergusson scored five points, junior Kaylynn Dalton three and freshman Josie Garrett two.

In the boys’ game, the Jackets (10-14, 6-3) fell 89-62 to the Purple Tigers (21-4, 7-2). It was the Jackets 15th consecutive loss to the boys from Watertown.

“Watertown is a tough matchup for us, and not having rest really hurt us,” Coach Chip Sparkman said. “We were not able to score the way we are used to and it cost us. We will see them again and know we will do a better job scoring. Our guys fought but just ran out of gas.”

Junior Trace McGuire led all scorers with his 23 points and classmate Braison Raney had seven. Senior Trysten McGuire and sophomore Keyvont Baines each had six points, freshman Kobe Ford had five off the bench and senior Austin Ford, freshman Tarvarius Claiborne and sophomore Hayden Clark each had four. Sophomore Houston Stafford finished with two points and senior Colton Gammons had one.

At Red Boiling Springs on Jan. 31, the Lady Jackets had their lowest offensive output of the season to date as they lost 30-24 to the Lady Bulldogs (14-10, 7-0). The Lady Jackets have now lost in their last four trips to RBS.

“Just got to put some more points on the board,” Wilhelm said.

Dixon and Donoho each scored eight points, while Fergusson had six and Dalton two.

Meanwhile, the Jackets quickly took the lead over the Bulldogs (6-20, 1-8) and pushed their advantage to over 20 in the third quarter before holding on for a 72-66 victory. The win completed a season sweep of the Bulldogs.

“W came out fast and were able to hang on,” Sparkman said. “We did not sub like we should have and gave up some points due to being tired. I am proud of our guys for finishing the game.”

Baines poured in a game-high 24 points, while Austin Ford and Raney each had 13. Trysten McGuire followed with eight points and Trace McGuire had seven. Gammons added three points while senior Jacob Woodard and Claiborne each had two.

On Feb. 2, Trousdale County played host to Westmoreland but came up short in both games.

The Lady Eagles (21-2) had three starters out because of sickness, but still had enough to hand the Lady Jackets a 45-37 defeat. Westmoreland has won 30 straight games in the girls’ series.

“We got better in areas against a good team,” Wilhelm said.

“The Lady Jackets took a 13-5 lead after the first quarter, but went into a double-digit hole after getting outscored 16-5 in the third quarter.

Dixon paced the hosts with 17 points and Donoho had eight. Fergusson had five, Dalton three, and McKoin and Garrett each had two.

In the boys’ game, the Jackets led 25-22 at halftime but could not maintain momentum in the second half and lost 56-50. The Eagles (11-11) hit five more 3-pointers and nine more free throws than the Jackets to secure the win.

“Westmoreland is one of those games that is tough to play,” Sparkman said. “I believe if we play them any other night, we win. Our guys were tired and not being a district game, the urgency was just not there. We played okay, but just could not score like we can.”

The District 8-A Tournament will be held next week at Merrol Hyde Magnet School in Hendersonville.