After a disappointing 4th place in the District 8AA tournament, the MCHS Tigerettes bounced back to advance to the Sub-State tournament. They played Smith County and once again took on Upperman.
The MCHS Tigerettes opened quarterfinal play with a return match against Smith County at Tennessee Tech on Monday Feb 27th. In an effort to avenge an opening district loss to the Lady Owls, the Tigerettes came ready to play. Macon quickly jumped out to a 13-9 lead at the end of the first period. In a bizarre turn of events at the end of the half, Keeley Carter was fouled with .8 seconds left to play in the half. After sinking the first two free throws, the officials made a bizarre lane violation call and the half ended with the Tigerettes leading 27-17.
The Lady Owls would not go quietly into the night. They came out in the 3rd period and forced turnovers and managed to capitalize on them. They forced the tempo and cut into the Macon lead. Heading into the money quarter Macon led 39-33. Forcing the tempo even more Smith cut the lead to one point with 4:20 left in the game. The Tigerettes get three consecutive defensive stops down the stretch and make six consecutive free throws to ice the game. Final score Macon Co 52 Smith Co 45 in a statement game the Tigerettes led from tip-off to buzzer.
Scoring was: Keeley Carter 17, Kyndal Bullington 11, Jamie Ashburn 5, Mattie Goolsby 6, Jenna Russell 5, Luci Allen 4, and Morgan Carter 2. McKaylee Mix played but did not score. With the win the Tigerettes will return to the sub-state and the sweet sixteen for the first time since 2013.
The finals of Region 4AA came down to another David versus Goliath as Macon was to face the Lady Bees of Upperman. Besides being ranked one of the top teams in AA, the Bees have won all three meetings with the Tigerettes this year. This time not only did the giant not get slain, she just played with her food. The Tigerettes hung tough for the first quarter, trailing 6-8, but then the ship started sinking. Forced and unforced turnovers and an inability to score allowed the Lady Bees to do simply whatever they wanted for the next three quarters. Upperman played an uncharacteristic slow tempo game and did just what they needed to win. In an ugly contest for the Tigerettes, they finish as the Region 4AA Runner-Up losing 26-43 to Upperman.
Scoring was: K. Carter 8, Bullington 7, Russell 6, and Mix 5. Goolsby, M. Carter, Allen, and Ashburn played but did not score. Keeley Carter, Kyndal Bullington, and Jenna Russell were named to the Region All-Tournament team.
Now the hill gets steeper. Waiting in the sub-state is powerhouse McMinn Central, winner of Region 3 AA and the team the Tigerettes lost to in the state championship in 2011. Macon traveled to Athens on Saturday Mar 4th for the game.