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Bulldogs battle back to win opener

NASHVILLE — Cumberland’s men came from behind in the second half to hand Taylor its first loss of the season 68-62 in the Trevecca Classic.
The Bulldogs trailed 34-30 at halftme as Taylor shot .565 from the floor to Cumberland’s .387 in the opening 20 minutes.
The roles almost reversed in the second half as Taylor cooled off to .381 and Cumberland warmed up to .481.
Thomas Douglas threw in three 3-pointers on his way to 25 points in his Bulldog debut. Joseph Northington came off the bench to knock in 12 while Jason Langelier tossed in 10. DeCorey Young scored seven, Chase Burnett six, Kevin Bufford four and Ponce Palmer and Maurice Johnson two each.
Daniel Cox fired in four triples on his way to a game-high 26 points while Jeff Bonhoff tossed in 10 for Taylor, which fell to 3-1.
Cumberland controlled the boards 38-25 with Bufford securing seven caroms for the Bulldogs, who r

Mitchell Mr. Football finalist

The centerpiece of Friendship Christian’s rock-solid defense has been recognized as one of the top Class 1A linemen in the state.
Senior Wade Mitchell is one of three finalists for the 1A Mr. Football Lineman award, the TSSAA has announced.
Mitchell follows in the footsteps of his predecessor at middle linebacker, Michael Wheeler, who was a finalist in 2004, the same year quarterback Lee Sweeney, now a redshirt freshman at Tennessee Tech, was a finalist for Mr. Football Back.
The 5-10, 205-pounder is among the Midstate leaders in tackles with 124 and has a pair of sacks for the 11-0 Commanders, who host Gordonsville at 7 p.m. tonight in the second round of the playoffs at Pirtle Field.
“He is the heart and soul of our defense,” Friendship defensive coordinator Duane Lowe said of Mitchell, who is averaging around 38 yards per punt. “He would be the first to tell you his accomplishments wouldn’t be possible without the defensive linemen who keep the blockers off of him and allow him to get to the football.”
Mitchell, Coalfield’s Brandon Davis and Fayette Academy’s Cole Trim will be listening for their name to be announced for the coveted award Nov. 27 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center.
Lowe said Mitchell doesn’t fare well against a stopwatch, but has plenty of what coaches like to call “football speed”.
“If you line him up on the 40-yard dash, he wouldn’t blow anyone away,” Lowe said. “But turn the lights on, sideline to sideline, he’s as quick as anyone.”
Lowe referred to a play from Davidson Academy’s first play in their Week 1 game involving Bears’ running back Josh Williams, who runs the 40 in 4.7 seconds and is a Division II A/AA Mr. Football Back finalist, as an example.
“He gets it to the outside and gets 40 yards downfield and Wade catches him,” Lowe said. “If you get the two on the 40-yard times, Williams is going to blow him away.
“He’s a gamer is what he is.”
Sports Editor Andy Reed can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 17 or by e-mail at andy.reed@lebanondemocrat.com.

Thompson, Bulldogs start over

Lonnie Thompson realized during Cumberland’s 5-26 season last winter what the Bulldogs were doing wasn’t working.
To change things, the Bulldogs’ coach changed most of the roster. Only four of the 17 players on the team were on Cumberland Square last winter.
“Last year, we had some unfortunate things happen in terms of my two best players became academically ineligible,” Thompson said. “I planned to bring kids in at the break, but that didn’t work out. So I just said, ‘Hey, I’ll just take it for what it’s worth and complete the season’. We knew we had to go out and bring in a lot of new kids this year.”
Scanning the Cumberland roster reveals a 6-8 player, two 6-7s, three 6-6s and four 6-4s, sizes which lend themselves to being very versatile on the NAIA level.
“One thing we identified last year…you got to bring in a lot of guys in the neighborhood of 6-4, 6-5, 6-6 who can play a combination of two, maybe three positions on the floor,” Thompson said, referring to former CU stars Hollis Hampton and Leroy Hickerson who could play any one of three positions. “In the NAIA, you are going to see a lot more guys 6-4 to 6-6 than you are guys 6-8 to 6-10. Last year, it hurt me. I had small guards and they could double team the guards and we couldn’t post up our guards.
“The three guys that we lost last year were guys 6-5. Had those guys been on the team, we could have had 15-16 wins.”
Rodney James, a 6-6 junior from Jamaica, and Clinton Tucker, a 6-4 junior from Cleveland, Ohio; are ineligible this semester due to not having enough hours. Pancho Jara, a 6-4 freshman from Chile, is being redshirted.
It still leaves as many as 14 players available as Thompson opens his fifth season at 6 p.m. tonight against Taylor in the Trevecca Classic in Nashville.
Thompson said he plans to start 6-0 sophomore point guard Thomas Douglas (Rock Hill, S.C.), 6-4 junior two-guard Jason Langelier (Virgin Islands), 6-7 junior wing DeCorey Young (Antioch), 6-7 senior power forward Aurimas Silys (Lithuania) and 6-7 senior post Torrez Hampton (Birmingham, Ala.; no relation to Hollis).
Off the bench will be names more familiar to Bulldog fans, including senior guard Chase Burnett (the only player remaining who made the trip to the 2004 National Championships in Kansas City), senior forward Joseph Northington and sophomore guard Ponce Palmer. Senior point guard Desmond Rhodes and junior inside player Kevin Bufford will also be with the second unit.
“It’s going to be a lot like the team in 2004,” Thompson said. “Very athletic team. Long, wiry-type kids.
“I don’t know if any of them can match some of the dunks Leroy, Hollis and Alonzo (Evans) used to do. But we have that type of athlete again… We have a combination of everything this year. We can go inside, we can shoot the ball and we got quickness at the top.”
Playing fullcourt defense will be a must to utilize the full roster, Thompson said.
“That’s the thing we’re going to be doing a lot of,” Thompson said. “I can play 10-12 guys a night. The only way I can play 10-12 guys a night, I got to play fullcourt defense, play three or four hard minutes, put the next group in.
“I have the luxury this year, on paper right now, hopefully in a game we can, I can play 12 guys a night.”
With so many new players thrown into the mix, it brings up the issue of team chemistry.
“That’s the key about bringing in that many new guys, I hope we jell,” Thompson said. “I backed off on my schedule in terms of playing these top-20 teams at the beginning of the season. Hopefully we can jell as a team and give us a chance to get some wins before we start playing these top-notch teams.”
As for the top-notch teams, which await when TranSouth Conference play begins in January, three current TSC members – Union, Trevecca and Lambuth – reached the National Tournament last year while Crichton, Lyon and Martin Methodist fell just a win or two short. Lambuth, which is returning four starters, is joining the TSC (the Eagles were a member of the old Tennessee Collegiate Athletic Conference, the forerunner to the TranSouth) after a decade in the Mid-South Conference.
“(It’s) the best it’s been since I’ve been here,” Thompson said of the TSC. “You have seven to eight teams who can go to the National Tournament this year. Up top it’s going to be Union and Crichton…not to mention Lambuth.
“Then you got five or six of us who are right there together… You better take care of your home games.”
Thompson includes his Bulldogs in that second tier of teams and hints they could even move up into the top echelon.
“We have the talent this year,” Thompson said. “The team’s got to come together and jell.”
Sports Editor Andy Reed can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 17 or by e-mail at andy.reed@lebanondemocrat.com.

Alabama fits Jenkins to a T

A sign in the hallway of Wilson Central High School says go with the SEC.
The hand-written sign was a promotion for S.T.A.R.S. and has nothing to do with the Southeastern Conference, or even sports. But senior Tierney (T) Jenkins took it to heart Wednesday when she signed to play basketball for the University of Alabama.
“It’s a big deal for me and for our program,” the 6-foot-2 Jenkins said during a celebration in the WCHS cafeteria following practice Wednesday night. “Going to the SEC is a big deal.”
Also being celebrated was teammate Sara Williams signing a softball scholarship with Western Kentucky.
Earlier in the day, Mt. Juliet High saw five of its seniors sign college scholarships – baseball players Taylor Hill and Caleb Hill (no relation) with Vanderbilt and Cumberland, respectively; softball players Karli Rush and Kenzie Roark with Trevecca and Virginia Tech, respectively; and golfer Parker Dane with Lee University – on the first day of the NCAA fall signing period.
Georgia, Vanderbilt and Middle Tennessee State were also interested in Jenkins, named the Most Valuable Player of last year’s Girls State Tournament when Wilson Central won the school’s first state championship in any sport.
“It was between Georgia and Alabama and MTSU,” said Jenkins, who averaged 16.6 points and 10.1 rebounds on Central’s 32-7 team last year. “I didn’t get an offer from Georgia. They were waiting too long. After that, I just picked Alabama because I knew I wanted to play in the SEC.”
Her coach with the Crimson Tide will be former MTSU coach Stephany Smith, who she compared with Lady Wildcat coach Bud Brandon and his staff.
“She’s a really nice lady,” Jenkins said of Smith. “She made me feel right at home.
“She reminded me of my coaches, even though she’s a woman.”
Jenkins started her Central career as a low-post performer. But when freshman sensation Jasmine Hassell came in last season to give the Lady Wildcats three six-footers (Williams is also 6-0), Brandon asked her to move to a wing and handle the ball more. Developing an outside shot is next on her to-do list.
“This season, Coach told me that I need to learn how to shoot outside to help our program to win, hopefully another state championship,” said Jenkins, one of three starters returning to a team favored by many to repeat. “There’s a little pressure. But we go to God for everything. And I have confidence in my team.
“I know the bullseye is going to be on our back at all times, but we’re not worried.”
The three big girls will be joined by Mt. Juliet-transfers Chelsea Burroughs and Jessy Christopher in the backcourt this winter. Out of last year’s starting backcourt, Jenny Hall and Breonna Brown (who shared most of the starting duties at the two-gaurd) graduated and point guard Cameryn Calhoun moved to Oregon.
Brandon quipped Jenkins may be guarding Tennessee superstar Candace Parker next season.
“It’s going to be a challenge for Tierney, and Tierney’s always up for challenges,” Brandon said. “Tierney’s gotten better as a player every month that she’s been here.
“She’s a great competitor. She loves to compete. Losing basketball games is not in her vocabulary.”
Williams averaged 9.6 points and 6.9 rebounds last winter. But she didn’t pursue basketball in college, instead going with softball, a sport in which she batted .402 with 23 runs batted in last spring. Behind the plate, she allowed only 2 of 13 stolen bases by opponents. The 6-foot Williams will join former Central teammate Lindsay Antone with the Hilltoppers next year, which factored in her decision.
“I really didn’t want to go that far away from home and it’s only 45 minutes down the road,” said Williams, who picked Western over UT-Martin. “I played travel ball in Kentucky and Bowling Green is a nice area.”
Brandon was asked what Jenkins and Williams have meant to the program, which has gone to the State Tournament all three years of their careers.
“Last year’s season speaks for itself,” Brandon said. “You could coach two or three lifetimes and not ever coach two post players like that, and we can throw in Jasmine too and have those three. I’m awful blessed to have three post players like that.
“But those two have been the foundation of what we’ve done here for several years. They both are great leaders. They’re great people on the floor and off the floor.”
At Mt. Juliet, Taylor Hill will join former Golden Bear teammates Caleb Cotham and Ryan Hill with the Commodores. The All-State right-hander went 11-2 with a 1.37 earned-run average last spring, including five shutouts. He struck out 121 and walked 24 in 82 innings.
His softball counterpart, Roark, went 16-2 with both losses coming in the state finals against Soddy-Daisy. She struck out 99, including 15 in one of the games against S-D, and walked just 10, posting an ERA of 0.59.
Sports Editor Andy Reed can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 17 or by e-mail at andy.reed@lebanondemocrat.com.

FCS faces round-two rematch with G’ville

The high school football playoffs used to be about teams facing unfamiliar opponents from far-flung locales.
But in the interest of cutting down travel costs and increasing gate receipts, the TSSAA changed the bracket nearly a decade ago to one in which adjoining regions face off for the first three rounds, similar to the basketball regional tournament.
This has created numerous second- and third-round rematches between region rivals. Four weeks after fighting off Gordonsville 21-12 on the way to winning the 4-1A championship, undefeated Friendship Christian faces the prospect of having to do so again, this time to advance to the state quarterfinals.
“I’m not a big fan of that,” Commander coach John McNeal said of the rematches. “I don’t know what you can do. It’s not for me to decide.”
One advantage to the rematches is teams don’t have to spend time studying a team cold.
“Both of us are very familiar with each other,” said McNeal, whose 11-0 Commanders host 8-3 Gordonsville at 7 p.m. Friday at Pirtle Field. “When you’re familiar with each other, you’re getting more work in.
“When you’re facing a new opponent, you’re having to break down a bunch of new film.”
Since falling behind 21-0 to Friendship in the first quarter at Gordonsville on Oct. 14, the Tigers have been on a roll. They outscored the Commanders 12-0 the final three periods and have since dominated Watertown, Clay County and, in last week’s first round, a top-10 South Pittsburg team on the road. But McNeal reminds everyone FCS has been on a roll since August.
“They’re on a roll,” McNeal said of the Tigers. “We played well too. We had to face a tough Trousdale team (the next week). We won Week 10 (over Mt. Juliet Christian).
“For them, I’m sure they feel good about what they’ve done. But we’ve won, too. That game, we did what we had to do.”
It’s not secret to Gordonsville coach Bob Dillard the Commanders will run behind Jeremy Rickaway and John Markham, pass behind Jon Miller and play defense with middle linebacker Wade Mitchell and cornerback John Doak leading the way.
McNeal and defensive coordinator Duane Lowe are just as familiar with Gordonsville’s two-way threat at quarterback, Justin Smith, running backs Travis Alexander and Jordan Davis, receiver Bryce Randolph and a hard-hitting defense.
“We’ll do what we do,” McNeal said. “They know, and we know, there will be a few new things.
“At this point, we’ve done a lot through the whole 11 weeks. We’ve run some sets, the next week we didn’t run again. What we’ll do, you’ll have to be there Friday night and see.”
The Commanders have struggled with the sniffles this week. It was bad enough McNeal took the team to Gallatin’s indoor practice facility Tuesday to get them out of the rain. Injury-wise, only lineman Aaron Nations, lost for the season in the earlier meeting with Gordonsville, has been ruled out. Running back/defensive back Bryant Alsup, who missed last week’s 56-14 first-round win over Grace Baptist with a leg injury, was expected to play, McNeal said.

Mt. Juliet at Hillsboro

Mt. Juliet will also make a short bus ride. But the Golden Bears won’t see a familiar opponent, but rather 11-0 Hillsboro, at 7 p.m. Friday in Nashville.
“They’re very athletic,” Mt. Juliet coach Roger Perry said of the Burros. “Just an outstanding group of talent. A lot of experience returning.”
Hillsboro lost to Melrose in the state semifinals last year. Coach Ron Aydelott left and took the wing-T offense to Riverdale. New coach Scott Blade has brought in the one-back spread formation to the Music City from California.
Running back Jaques Seward rushed for nearly 1,300 yards during the regular season while quarterback Matt Arent passed for over 1,500.
“They got the big strong physical linemen,” Perry said of the Burros. “They got tremendous speed in the backfield at the skill positions.
“They’re very capable of throwing the ball. But their strong suit is the short passing game, the screen pass. They throw a lot of screen passes.”
The screen pass could be effective against an aggressive defense the Golden Bears have used to help build a 7-4 record to date.
“I’m sure after evaluating us on film, they’re excited about their offense against us,” Perry said. “We’ve gotten after folks the last few weeks.
“We’ll try to do something to offset that.”
Mt. Juliet quarterback Taylor Cisneros and a plethora of running backs led by Michael Nwokoji and Tyler Carr will face Hillsboro’s multiple defense, which shifts from an even- to an odd-man front.
“They will mix it up,” Perry said. “Their defense is very good. They run to the football well. They play good team defense. Our offense needs to have one of its best nights.
“The key’s going to be our offensive line coming off the ball and maintaining their blocks.”
While Hillsboro is a regular in the late rounds of the Class 4A playoffs, this is Mt. Juliet’s first trip past the first round since the 1997 Bears reached the 5A semifinals. That makes this a classic David vs. Goliath saga.
“We feel like that’s what we’ve been all year,” Perry said of the Bears’ underdog role. “That’s no big deal for us. We were a big-time underdog last week (in a 28-20 win over Tullahoma).
“If anything, it’s more motivation to our guys.”
Perry said the Bears’ first playoff berth since 2000 has energized the school and community.
“It is exciting,” said Perry, a veteran of many playoff runs at Westmoreland and Portland. “Got an outstanding group of seniors who’ve led us to ths position. They’ve done everything we’ve asked. There’s a lot of excitement in our school, our community and our football team.
“Our goals don’t change. We’re striving to get back to the practice field next Monday.”
Sports Editor Andy Reed can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 17 or by e-mail at andy.reed@lebanondemocrat.com.

Bobby Jr., Miller head for Phoenix

Coming off a 12th-place finish at Atlanta, Bobby Hamilton Jr. heads to Phoenix this week, a track where he won a NASCAR Busch Series race in 2003.
Hamilton Jr., driving the No. 08 Fastenal Dodge for his father’s Mt. Juliet-based Craftsman Truck Series team, started the Atlanta race 23rd before the strong finish. He and teammate Chase Miller will attempt to qualify at 12:15 p.m. Friday. The Casino Arizona 150 goes green on the one-mile oval at 7:15 p.m. It will be televised live on Speed.
Hamilton Jr. beat out Kevin Harvick, Brian Vickers, Joe Nemechek and Ron Hornaday Jr. to win the Nov. 1, 2003 Busch race. He led 120 of 181 laps.
“I remember that we were really good that day,” Hamilton Jr. recalled. “The car was awesome to drive. It turned in the middle really good, we had good forward bite, which always plays a big role there. I was able to set cars up in Turns 3 and 4. I could get the car to the bottom, get back on the gas and work by someone. I tend to like that end of the racetrack better for passing.”
Working the corners is key to success the Valley of the Sun, Hamilton Jr. said.
“You have to get your truck to turn well in the middle of the corner at Phoenix,” said Hamilton Jr., who will make his first truck start on the one-mile oval. “It is no big track. It is not brain surgery. The guy that gets his truck to rotate in the center so he can get back on the gas quicker is going to be the truck to beat there. Hopefully we can get our Fastenal Dodge handling well, get it to rotate and get on the throttle when we need to.
“When you have a really good handling vehicle at Phoenix it is a really fun place to race. I am looking forward to this weekend.”
Miller will also be making his first start at Phoenix International Raceway. He qualified 20th and finished 30th at Atlanta.
“I have experience on similar tracks,” Miller said. “I have heard it is a really fun track to race on, but it is unique. It can be trick and I was told some drivers have a hard time figuring the place out. I sure hope that’s not my case.
“I was reading the other day it has two very distinct different corners and a dogleg on the back straightaway that is almost a corner in itself. I think it will be necessary to have strong horsepower to run well.”

Jr. Tigerettes beat MJCA for first win

MT. JULIET — Watertown’s girls picked up their first win of the season Tuesday night with a 30-17 win over Mt. Juliet Christian.
The Tigerettes led 3-1 following the first quarter, 12-5 at halftime and 19-10 through three periods as Watertown improved to 1-4.
Heather Sells scored seven points for Watertown while Jo Beth Davenport finished with five, Hayley Clark four, Megan Bryan three; Kea Thompson, Megan Bain, Brianna Mayle, Kelsey Bayse and Morgan Gartner two each and Samantha Wright a free throw.
Emily Threadgill led all scorers with eight points for Mt. Juliet Christian while Rachel Bean finished with four, Sarah Inman three and Terra McQueen two.
Watertown will host Gordonsville at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

Central, MJ athletes to sign during early period

Election Day was Tuesday. Early signing day is today, at least for several area high school athletes who plan to sign with NCAA schools during the early period which will run for the next week.
Five Mt. Juliet High athletes and two from Wilson Central will sign college athletic letters of intent during ceremonies at their schools today.
The big hour at Mt. Juliet will be 11 a.m. when Golden Bear pitcher Taylor Hill signs with Vanderbilt baseball and Caleb Hill (no relation) signs with NAIA-power Cumberland.
Two members of the Lady Bears’ state runner-up softball team will also sign today. Pitcher Kenzie Roark will cast her lot with NCAA Virginia Tech while catcher Karli Rush will go with NAIA Trevecca.
Golfer Parker Dane will sign with Lee University of the NAIA.
At Wilson Central, basketball teammates Tierney Jenkins and Sara Williams will secure their futures beyond high school at 6 p.m. tonight following practice. Jenkins, named State Tournament Most Valuable Player as the Lady Wildcats won the TSSAA championship last spring, will sign with Alabama.
Williams, a fellow post in basketball and a softball catcher, will sign a softball scholarship with Western Kentucky.
Former Friendship Christian catcher Michael Wheeler, now a sophomore at Walters State Community College, has committed to play baseball for Kentucky and is expected to sign during this period.
Sports Editor Andy Reed can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 17 or by e-mail at andy.reed@lebanondemocrat.com.

Pro Bowl West results

Two teams bowled over 2000 in the Monday Invitational on Oct. 30 and they just so happen to have bowled against one another.
Just 4 Fun had the lead series with a 2085 while The Voodoos finished with a 2048. The Voodoos, however, claimed the high team game with a 727 when Just 4 Fun had a top game of 708.
One bowler was absent for The Voodoos but the other three all chalked up some high individual scores. Starting with Wesley Brown, he began with a top game of 210 and completed a 573 series. David Estes Jr. had a 211 top game ending with a 549 series. Daniel Hollis’ high game was a 195 with a 512 series.
Just 4 Fun lead bowler Lisa Green not only helped the team but also claimed the women’s top scores with a 202 game and 534 series. Jimbo Howard was also instrumental for the team with big scores such as 210 and 235 games and a 621 series.
The men’s high scores came from the team Reset Puddin’. Eric Sarro bowled games of 179, 242, the men’s high game of the night, and a 203 for the men’s high series of 624.
Bowling for Split Ends, Beverly Hurley had a 505 series, Hugh Hurley had a 510 series and William Booth rolled a 211 game and a 539 series.
Jay Stetzel bowls with This Is For You and gave the team a 224 game and a 538 series.
Four Aces were at the forefront again for the Wednesday Mixed League. With a 719 high team game, they went on to score the high team series with a 2075.
Janie Ellenburg was the top woman bowler when she rolled a 217 game and finished with a 522 series.
A single bowler also claimed the men’s high scores and that was Dick Oliver when he had games of 199, 216 and 205 for a 620 series. J.J. Tomlinson added a 553 series to the evening’s top scores. Mike Chandler was next in line with a 520 series. Tom Smithey marked with both game and series when he bowled a 204 and a 513. The final high score of the night was a 510 series for Fred Gilliam.
Two teams again broke the 2000 mark in the Thursday Invitational. Jack Rabbits had the high series of 2073 and Four Deuces was the other team with a 2008. Jack Rabbits had the high game of 763 while Four Deuces’ high game was a 736.
A Jack Rabbits member bowled one of the men’s high individual honors. Brandon Weitzel claimed the high game with a 224 and finished with a 508 series. Other high scores for the team were added by Stan Pack with a 219 game and 559 series and by Kevin Stearman with a 537 series.
While the Four Deuces did not claim any high individual honors, they still had several top scores. Tom Russell had a 512 series, William Eddings had games of 213 and 217 on the way to a 566 series, and Eric Sarro had a 515 series.
Opposing the Four Deuces was Lucky Strikes where the men’s high series was scored. Bill Weitzel had games of 192, 222 and 202 for the high series of 616.
Vern Hatfield had the women’s high scores with her team Funny Farm. She bowled a 187 game and a 530 series. On this same team, Duck Hatfield added top scores with a 212 game and 559 series.
Jeff Hodge was the bowler with 4 Havn Fun that had a high score when he completed a 500 series
Rabbit Hunters chased down a few high scores beginning with Kerby Daniels who had a 544 series. Corey Daniels rolled a 202 game and 561 series. Rickey Norvil had a 536 series for his team and that concludes the high scores for the week of Oct. 30.
Until next time, good luck and good bowling.

Wilson dozen Excel in swim meet

BRENTWOOD — Twelve Wilson Countians represented Excel Aquatics in its Thoroughbred Invitational last weekend.
Placing in the top eight were Lebanon’s Luke Blackwell, Madison Blackwell, Samuel Blackwell and Bradley Gillilan and Mt. Juliet’s Taylor Wallace and Kelsey Copeland. Also competing were Chelsie Barlettano, Dallas Barlettano, Josh Deardorff, Makensie Moses, Taylor Moses and Alek Nochowicz.
Winners were Taylor Wallace (13-14 boys 400-yard individual medley) and Bradley Gillilan (13-14 boys 500 freestyle). Wallace finished the 400 IM in 4:33.34, a drop of over 10 seconds, and finished in the top five in six other events. The Mt. Juliet High freshman will swim for Coach Kathy McCabe this season.
Copeland, a Mt. Juliet sophomore, finished in the top eight in the 13-14 girls 200 freestyle, 100 backstroke and 200 backstroke.
Gillilan won the 500 free in 5:20.21, an 8.79-second drop. He followed that performance with a second-place finish in the 1,000-yard free in 11:05.92, missing first place by .83 seconds. The Lebanon High freshman, who will swim for Coach Jaymie Reynolds this season, placed in the top eight in all but one of his nine events, improving his times in all nine.
“This was a great meet for our kids,” Excel assistant coach John Barnes said. “Of 74 events competed in by these 12 swimmers, there were 61 best times.
“Chelsie Barlettano of Lebanon competed in her first meet and did very well. Her brother, Dallas, had a very nice time drop in the 10-and-under boys 50-yard free.
“Our two 7-year-old swimmers, Makensie Moses of Mt. Juliet and Samuel Blackwell of Lebanon, made their mark as future forces to be reckoned with. Makensie continued improving her times in all of her events, and Samuel placed sixth in the 25-yard breaststroke in the first time he has competed in a meet.”
Moses’ older brother, Taylor, competed in the 11-12 boys events. Despite battling an injury, he dropped over 18 seconds in the 500-yard freestyle.
“Taylor is a tough kid, I was glad that he gutted it out and swam his events,” Barnes said.
Luke Blackwell was 10 for 10 in improving his times with notable drops in the 13-14 boys 400 IM (seventh place and over a 22-second drop) and the 1,000 free (third place and over a 15-second drop). Younger sister Madison Blackwell placed eighth in the 11-12 girls 50 backstroke and eighth in the 200 IM.
“I was really pleased with Madison in her butterfly events,” Barnes said. “Her technique continues to improve, and as she gets stronger, I’m confident that Fly will be one of her better events.”
Mt. Juliet’s Nochowicz, a freshman at Pope John Paul II High School in Hendersonville, went 6 for 6 in improving his times with a notable drop of over six seconds in the senior boys 100 breaststroke and placing ninth in the 500 free.
Josh Deardorff of Lebanon, an 11th-grade home-school student, dropped time in the senior boys 50 freestyle as a good measurement of where he is in his preparation for the High School State Championship Meet.
On the Web: www.SwimWilsonCounty.com

CU defense wears down in second half

In retrospect, Bethel’s 14-play, 95-yard third-quarter drive did more than just break a tie during Saturday’s game at Lindsey Donnell Stadium.
It also wore down the Cumberland defense while the Bulldog offense bogged down in the second half of Bethel’s 28-7 Mid-South Conference conquest.
Adrain Smith finished the drive with a 10-yard touchdown run to break a 7-7 tie midway through the third quarter He later had a 4-yard score midway through the fourth to finish the game and ended the sunny afternoon with 123 yards on 18 carries.
Terrance Bell led No. 10 Bethel with 143 yards and a touchdown on nine carries. He scored on a 4-yard run in the second quarter and an 8-yard shovel pass from Ronnie Janovich in the fourth as the Wildcats returned to McKenzie 8-2 for the season and 4-0 in the MSC.
“Their long drive they had in the third quarter… it was a bunch of plays and it took just about the whole third quarter,” Cumberland coach Dewayne Alexander said after his Bulldogs dropped to 3-6, 1-3 with a road trip to Belhaven left in his initial season on CU Square. “That drive took a lot out of our defense. But our defense at least – one thing we asked them this week was no big plays, make them bleed slow – in that drive we did that. It’s still a one-score game. Third quarter’s over, we just need to drive offensively. We moved the ball well in the first half.
“Our first two possessions of the second half were three and outs. That put our defense back out on the field. We needed at least a drive after that long drive they had to keep our defense off the field and we weren’t able to put one of those together to where we could get our defense rested.”
That situation was aggravated by injuries to linebackers Aaron Cothran, one of a handful of CU seniors honored before their final home game, and Lebanon’s Matt Boles.
The first half was evenly matched as Bethel had just eight more yards (169-161) of total offense. But the final 446-216 margin showed just how lopsided the game became in the second half.
“If you had asked me a formula for the game, it was just the way we wanted it in the first half,” Alexander said. “We were keeping their offense off the field. We were getting first downs. We changed field position several times.
“I’m still disappointed in some of the penalties we’re having – snap infractions and offsides, things like that – that are really frustrating on third and 1… And a fumbled snap too, little miscues like that are hard to overcome against a good football team.
“But I thought our guys played hard in the ballgame.”
After Bethel broke a scoreless ties on the third play of the second quarter, Cumberland came back with an 11-play, 66-yard march, finishing it off with a 14-yard reverse around the left side by Travis Carter, the speedy freshman who led the Bulldogs with 86 yards on 14 carries.
Carter, from Nashville’s McGavock High, lost a 64-yard touchdown sweep in the fourth quarter to a penalty.
Moments earlier, Cumberland freshman quarterback Matt Eads threw a deep fade pattern which was intercepted by Donald Lightfoot. After a long return, Lightfoot fumbled and Carter recovered at the Bulldog 36-yard line, 1 yard from the original line of scrimmage.
That turnover was Bethel’s only giveaway of the day. Alexander was counting on some Wildcat coughups which never materialized.
“They played a sound game,” Alexander said of the Wildcats. “And they had some penalties that hurt them a drive or two and they were able to overcome those. But they did not turn the football over.
“We felt like going into the game, we would have to play a turnover-free game and they would need to have two or three. And if that would have occured, the score could have been different.
“But they have a fine team. There’s a reason they’re one of the top-10 teams in the country. They’ll represent our conference well in the playoffs, I’m sure.”
Sports Editor Andy Reed can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 17 or by e-mail at andy.reed@lebanondemocrat.com.

Lady Dawgs defeat Reinhardt 90-50

HENDERSON — Cumberland’s women raced to a big first-half lead Saturday to rout Reinhardt 90-50 as the Lionbackers Classic wrapped up at Freed-Hardeman.
The Lady Bulldogs led 45-15 at halftime. They shot .655 from the floor in the second half to finish at .515 for the afternoon to improve to 2-0 for the season.
Ewa Bukowska and Lebanon’s Kristin Kirkland came off the Lady Bulldog bench to lead Cumberland with 13 points apiece while Kari Maddox tossed in 12. Renae Williams notched nine points, Tomika Hall eight; C’Kala Humes, Juliana Fernandes and Mariel Ruis six each; Isabelli Cunico five, Keisha Forrest and Lauren Digger four apiece and Ashley Cross and Hilary Bauer two each.
Kristina Spivey tossed in 12 points for Reinhardt, which shot just over 25 percent from the floor in dropping to 0-2.
Cumberland controlled the glass 52-35 with Fernandes securing seven rebounds for the Lady Bulldogs. Cross passed for five assists.
The Lady Bulldogs are off until Nov. 17 when they take on Xavier (New Orleans) at Trevecca in Nashville. Tipoff is at 5 p.m.

Golden Bears win Cornerstone tourney

Mt. Juliet Middle School’s Golden Bears won the Cornerstone Tournament this weekend with a victory over the host team 63-57.
The Bears held a six point lead at the half with a score of 40-34 and would hold onto the lead to seal the victory and the championship.
Corderius Burns led the way way 27 points for Mt. Juliet. Aaron Simms netted 21 points, Vaughn Cornelia added six, Matt Hayes four, Brandon Shepard three and Dylan Hopper and Austin Odom one each in the victory.

Southside came out on top of Gordonsville 49-30 to win the Best of the West Championship at DeKalb West school and move to 3-0.
The Saints held a slim two-point lead at the end of the first quarter before widening the gap to 25-19 at the half. Gordonsville was held to three points in the third quarter.
For the Saints, Nathan Corn had 13 points, followed by Aaron Simonis and Devin Fish with 12 apiece, Clint Martin with four, Case Sloan and Dylan Snodgrass with three each and Nate Gilley and Zach Hill each added one.
Gordonsville was led by Cody Woodmore with 10 points.
Corn, Simonis, Fish, Martin and Sloan were selected to the All-Tournament team.

Kitchen new MJCA girls hoops coach

MT. JULIET — Mt. Juliet Christian’s all-time leading scorer will take over the girls basketball program on an interim basis this season.
David Kitchen, who became the Saints’ scoring king during his playing career, will take over the Lady Saints this winter after Jon Palmer had to step down due to a job conflict.
Palmer, who coached Mt. Juliet Christian to an 8-21 record in his only season last year, resigned his teaching position at MJCA earlier this fall for a position at Siegel High because his three young daughters attend different schools in Murfreesboro.
He planned to continue coaching the Lady Saints this winter. But Siegel principal Ken Nolan told Palmer he would be required to coach as an assistant for the Lady Stars basketball team this winter. Palmer, the son of longtime MTSU radio play-by-play announcer Dick Palmer, formerly assisted at Oakland High.
Kitchen, 22, scored 1,890 points in an MJCA uniform before graduating in 2002. The son of Mt. Juliet Christian principal Kathy Kitchen is entering his fourth year as a basketball assistant at his alma mater and is finishing his final year as an undergrad at Middle Tennessee State.
Because he is not on the MJCA staff and has less than five years coaching experience, the school requested and received permission from the TSSAA to hire Kitchen as the girls interim coach. He will be assisted by MJCA bible teacher Glenn Dishman. Kitchen will continue to assist Paul Christensen with the boys team this year.
“I’m very excited,” Kitchen said. “We have a good group of girls to work with. I’m excited to be working with these girls. We’re pretty athletic.”
Mt. Juliet Christian will open the season at 6 p.m. Nov. 14 in Unionville against Community in a TSSAA Hall of Champions game.
Sports Editor Andy Reed can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 17 or by e-mail at andy.reed@lebanondemocrat.com.

C-O sweeps Watertown

WATERTOWN — Carroll-Oakland swept a double header from Watertown 38-23 (boys) and 28-19 (girls) Monday night.
The Eagles soared to a 10-3 first-quarter lead and carried a 17-7 margin into halftime. It was 30-12 through three periods as Watertown fell to 1-3.
Dakota Reeves fired in 14 points from the backcourt for Carroll-Oakland while Marty Bottoms scored six, Cody Yarbrough five, Patrick Dedman four, Dylan Dickens three, Zach Hicks and Jordan Flatt two each and Justin Tomlinson and Eli White a free throw apiece.
William Fennell scored six points for the Purple Tigers while Andrew Jennings and Ethan Holden each finished with five, KeAnDre Bates three, Elijah Smith two and Dustin Murphy and Cody Hamlet a free throw apiece.
In the girls game, Carroll-Oakland led 10-4 following the first quarter and 18-6 at halftime as the Lady Eagles climbed to 4-1 and Watertown fell to 0-4.
K.D. Williams fired in 14 points from the post for Carroll-Oakland while Kayla Crowder scored six, Paige Porter four and Tori Brewington and Lacey Heller two each.
Sabrina Fava finished with five points for Watertown while Amber Dunkin threw in three and Kea Thompson, Heather Sells, Hayley Clark, Jo Beth Davenport and Brianna Mayle two each.
Carroll-Oakland was coming off a Best of the (DeKalb) West 28-18 championship victory over Smith County on Saturday night.
The Lady Eagles led 6-5 following the first quarter, 13-8 at halftime and 17-14 through three periods.
Williams tossed in 12 points, Crowderr 11 from inside and Porter five.
Watertown will travel to Mt. Juliet Christian tonight for a 6:30 p.m. double header. Carroll-Oakland will head to Tuckers Crossroads on Thursday for a 6:30 p.m. twin bill.

Tuckers Crossroads’ boys collect first win
TUCKERS CROSSROADS — Tuckers Crossroads’ boys cruised past Heavenly Host 35-12 Monday night for their first win of the season.
The Hornets led 13-0 following the first quarter and 25-4 at halftime as they improved to 1-2.
Austin Wright tossed in 12 points from the post for Tuckers while guard Tyler Presley pumped in 10. Keith Hightower and Eli Enoch each finished with four, Mark Sandoval three and Casey Smith two.
Tuckers Crossroads’ girls won 12-10.
TXR will host Carroll-Oakland at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

Lady Bears win Cornerstone Classic
BAXTER — Facing a team which had beaten them four times in the past two seasons, Mt. Juliet’s girls won the Cornerstone Classic on Saturday night with a 65-39 victory over the hosts.
The Lady Bears led 12-10 following the first quarter and 27-21 at halftime before opening a 46-29 margin through three periods. Coach Rick Johnson said he is not counting this preseason tournament, in which Mt. Juliet went 3-0, against his team’s record.
Cornerstone went 46-0 the previous two seasons, including the four wins over the Lady Bears.
Sarah Roberts totaled 28 points from the post for Mt. Juliet while Caya Williams tossed in 12, Helen Mitchner six; Katie Scott, Megan Kay and Gabbi Choate four each; Allison Hayes three and Alex Gray, Amanda Pennycuff and Kennadria Lloyd two apiece.
The Lady Bears, who won their season opener over Sycamore last week, will travel down the road to West Wilson on Thursday for a 6 p.m. tipoff.

MJ freshmen win bowl, go 7-2

Mt. Juliet’s freshmen beat Franklin County 40-6 in a bowl game at Columbia’s Lindsey Nelson Stadium on Oct. 28 to finish a 7-2 season.
“At the start of the year this team needed a lot of learning of (varsity) Coach (Roger) Perry’s system,” Mt. Juliet coach Jay Earnhardt said. “We started with 40 kids at the beginning of the season and finished with 27.
“That shows you the hard work and dedication these boys have had. We were undersized all year on the line, but they kept getting better and better as the year wore on. This is a great bunch of freshmen.”

Mt.Juliet posts up Sycamore for sweep

MT. JULIET — Mt. Juliet’s girls overcame foul trouble to their posts Thursday night to overtake TMSAA Midstate champion Sycamore 56-43 in the Lady Bears’ season opener.
Afterward, Mt. Juliet’s boys also used a strong post presence to knock off the Knights 64-57.
Centers Caya Williams and Sarah Beth Roberts each racked up three first-half fouls as the Lady Bears fell behind 30-25 by halftime to the team which beat them in the area finals last year.
Coach Rick Johnson used a 2-3 zone in the third quarter as Mt. Juliet pulled into a tie with his big girls still on the bench. The Lady Bears went on to lead 38-33 going into the fourth quarter.
Williams, a seventh-grader, totaled 21 points despite the fouls while classmate Helen Mitchner threw in three 3-pointers on her way to 17. Roberts added 11 while Megan Kay finished with four and Katie Scott three.
Katie Bliss drove to the hoop for 16 points, sinking 6 of 8 free throws, for Sycamore while sister Sara added 11.
Mt. Juliet’s boys led 30-28 at halftime before opening it up down the stretch.
Cordius Burns totaled 26 points and seven rebounds for the Bears while fellow post Vaughn Cornelia supplied 17 points and nine caroms.
Mt. Juliet’s girls also won the junior-varsity game 33-24 as seventh-grade center Alexus Wade tossed in 21 points.
The Lady Bears led 11-4 following the first quarter, 20-14 at halftime and 25-18 through three periods.
Gabbi Choate and Autumn Hopkins finished with four points apiece for Mt. Juliet while Kennadria Lloyd and Robin Hardison tossed in two each.
Mt. Juliet will travel down the road to take on West Wilson at 6:30 p.m. next Thursday.

Buzzer-beating three sinks Carroll-Oakland
HARTSVILLE — Satterfield Middle’s girls scored a three-pointer at the final buzzer to knock off visiting Carroll-Oakland 22-21 Thursday night.
The visiting Lady Eagles led 2-0 following the first quarter and 6-4 at halftime before Satterfield slid in front 12-11 going into the fourth.
Paige Porter finished with four points for Carroll-Oakland while Kayla Crowder threw in three and Kayla Williams, Nikki Hudson and Tori Brewington two each as the Lady Eagles slipped to 2-1.
Carroll-Oakland will take on Smith County at 6 p.m. Saturday for the Best of the (DeKalb) West championship.

Trousdale, Smith Co., Gordonsville advance

HARTSVILLE — Trousdale County’s defense clamped down on Lookout Valley’s strong ground attack while a plethora of players scored as the defending state champions won the first-round battle of Yellow Jackets 38-6 Friday at the Creekbank.
Lookout’s Chas Scruggs led the Chattanooga area with 2,023 rushing yards this season. He was held to 88 yards on 22 carries as Trousdale linebacker Michael Ring led the defense with eight tackles.
Trousdale will travel to Chattanooga next week with a 7-4 record to take on 11-0 Temple, which eliminated Monterey 51-14. Lookout Valley’s season is over at 8-3.
Senior receiver Blake Satterfield got the scoring started with a 77-yard touchdown catch from John Scruggs midway through the first quarter. Wingback Creigh Hall doubled the lead with a 3-yard scoring run late in the period.
Freshman tailback Tacola Seay scored on a 3-yard run midway through the second quarter. Jared White, who hit all five of his extra points, booted a 33-yard field goal with just over three minutes left in the half.
Fullback Josh Henderson scored for Lookout Valley on a 3-yard run in the final minute of the first half to bring the visitors within 24-6 by the break.
Satterfield scored on a 5-yard run and Ring on a 14-yarder in the third quarter.

Owls find way to second round behind Sanders
CARTHAGE — Whether by land or by air, Patrick Sanders found the end zone often – five times to be exact – Friday night to lead Smith County to a 49-7 bludgeoning of Bledsoe County in the TSSAA Class 2A playoffs Friday.
Sanders scored on option keepers of 4, 14 and 46 yards as he finished with a net total of 36 yards on nine carries. He completed 10 of 17 passes for 189 yards with scores of 32 yards to Tez Hembree and 20 to Jacob Bass in the second quarter as the Owls moved into the second round with a 9-2 record.
Smith County will travel to Chattanooga next week to take on Boyd-Buchanan, a 57-27 winner over Upperman.
Tailback Jonathan Evans rushed for 110 yards on 13 carries, including a 43-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter. Cody Rich racked up a 30-yard scoring run late in the third period.
Fullback Sam Davis erased the shutout with a 1-yard run for Bledsoe County late as the Warriors ended a 5-6 season.

Gordonsville rumbles past South Pitt
SOUTH PITTSBURG — Facing a South Pittsburg team which was undefeated until late in the season and thought by at least a few to be the top team in Class 1A, Gordonsville ran the ball at will and stuffed the Pirates’ offense in a 41-14 first-round knockout Friday night.
The Tigers accumulated 301 of their 380 yards on the ground as Travis Alexander rushed for 136 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries and quarterback Justin Smith 100 and a score on 13 totes. Smith also passed for another TD.
Gordonsville’s defense held South Pittsburg to 140 yards total offense.
The Tigers will bring an 8-3 record to undefeated Friendship Christian next Friday for a 7 p.m. kickoff. South Pittsburg, which drew a few first-place votes in challenging FCS for No. 1 in the Associated Press Class A poll until a late-season loss to Temple, is finished for the year at 9-2.
Smith scored on a 9-yard run and Alexander on a 20-yard scamper for a 13-0 first-quarter lead.
Robert Robinson brought South Pittsburg within 13-7 on a 1-yard run just over three minutes into the second quarter.
But Smith snatched momentum away less than a minute-and-a-half later with a 41-yard scoring strike to David Scudder. Alexander’s two-point run opened a 21-7 halftime lead.
Alexander’s 40-yard run and Jordan Davis’ 9-yard scamper made it 34-7 going into the fourth quarter. Alexander capped Gordonsville’s scoring with a 3-yard run early in the fourth.
David Jones got a late South Pitt touchdown on a 6-yard run in the closing minutes.

CHUE girls overtake West Wilson

MT. JULIET — Castle Heights Upper Elementary’s girls came from 12 points behind to overtake host West Wilson 40-32 Thursday night.
West Wilson led 23-11 at halftime before Castle Heights climbed within 27-26 going into the fourth quarter as the Lady Knights evened their record at 1-1 for the season.
Point guard Julia Fox fired in 15 points for Castle Heights while Jackie Thomas knocked down nine, Alicia Jennings seven, Latasha Baker five and Mary Caroline Ferguson four.
The Lady Knights opened their season at home Monday with a 27-19 loss to Mt. Juliet.
The Lady Bears led 6-4 following the first quarter, 18-8 at halftime and 25-12 through three periods.
Fox tossed in 10 points for Castle Heights while Baker scored seven and Ferguson and Jennings a free throw each.
Castle Heights will host Union Heights at 6 p.m. Monday.

Lebanon cowboy qualifies for Nat’l Longhorn Rodeo

Lebanon-resident Troy Orr is one of five Tennesseans who have qualified for next weekend’s National Longhorn Championship Rodeo in Murfreesboro.
Orr, whose wife, Misty, is a professional cowgirl barrel racer, was crowned the IPRA world champion steer wrestler in 2003 and is currently ranked No. 2 for the world title.
He is one of 60 of North America’s best cowboys and cowgirls who will be vying for a 2006 national title next Saturday and Sunday in the Tennessee Miller Coliseum in Murfreesboro. Each of the entrants is one of more than 1,200 contestants who tried to qualify for this rodeo at all 2006 Longhorn rodeos ranging from Tulsa to Detroit.
The titles with diamond inlaid trophy buckles will be awarded in six separate contests: bareback bronc riding, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, cowgirls barrel racing, tiedown roping and the U.S. Army bonus bull riding. The most coveted title will be the all-around champion cowboy who wins the most in two or more contests at this rodeo.
Advance tickets are available at 615-876-1016. They are also available at Ticketmaster outlets.