The Macon County Tigerettes season came to an end in the TSSAA Girls AA State Tournament this past week.
They finish the season with a record of 31 wins and 6 losses.
In the quarter-finals Macon met the Covington Lady Chargers, who won District 15 and Region 8 in West Tennessee. Tigerette Keeley Carter scored the first bucket of the game and 12 of Macon’s first 17 points. The Tigerette press was more than Covington could stomach as the Tigerettes turned them over in three straight possessions enroute to a 10-2 lead that Macon never looked back from.
Leading 17-8 at the end of the opening quarter, Covington scored five quick points and the Tigerette 8AA and Region 4AA MVP, Carter, picked up her second foul with just less than seven minutes left in the first half. Coach Larry White put her on the bench but the team managed to take a 24-16 lead at the break.
“McKaylee Mix played big for us tonight,” said Coach White. “She played some great defense on their big girl.”
In the third quarter the Tigerettes changed their defense a bit. They started doubling-down with a guard on a pass into their post players. However, Carter picked up her third foul with 7:05 left in the quarter. She managed to make lemonade out of lemons by going to the free throw line, making 6 of 6 in the quarter. Macon took a 41-31 lead to the final period.
Tigerette Abby Shoulders had continued her relenting defense on the Lady Charger point guard for three periods. Then came Jalynn Gregory. The District 8AA Defensive Player-of-the-year effectively switched defenders with Shoulders and shut her down. The Lady Chargers tried to pressure the Tigerettes but Macon managed to stretch the lead by effectively breaking the press. Final score Macon 56 Covington 38.
Lady Charger Head Coach Katricia Glass said in her post-game, “We knew we had a size advantage in the first half but in the second half they were doubling-down and we weren’t very effective with that.”
Scoring was: Jalynn Gregory 8 points, Jamie Ashburn 6, Abby Shoulders 7, Keeley Carter 28, McKaylee Mix 3, and Marah King 4. Taylor Ward, Emily Ashburn, Myle Crowder, Graci Scott, Kinsley Arnett, and Briea Crouch all saw action. Macon shot 58% from the field and 30% behind the arc compared to Covington’s 31% and 36% respectively.
With the win Macon would face the District 9 and Region 5 Champions, the Cheatham County Lady Cubs. Carter once again scored the first basket of the game and Macon forced two turnovers from Cheatham’s first four possessions. Once again many Blue faithful thought Macon was rolling with a 10-2 lead midway thru the first period.
Then the bottom fell out.
Cheatham County switched to a 3-2 zone defense all at once. The Tigerettes proceeded to go on a seven minute fifty second scoreless drought, thru the end of the 1st quarter and four minutes into the 2nd quarter. In that time the Tigerettes committed 12 turnovers and missed 2 shots in 14 consecutive possessions. In this time Cheatham went on a 17-0 run. At the half Macon trailed 24-33.
The Tigerettes picked a bad time to run cold. Usually a great 3rd quarter team they only made 6 of 17 (18%) shots from the field and 1 of 6 (16%) behind the arc, while the Lady Cubs shot 9 of 15 (60%). Cheatham stretched the lead to 19 at the end of the 3rd 52-33.
With the game pretty much decided, Cheatham County spread the floor and managed to get some easy baskets. The Lady Bucs only made 3 shots in the final quarter but managed to go 17 of 29 from the free throw line to seal the deal. Final score was Cheatham County 75 Macon County 51.
“Their length really bothered us today,” White added. “We’ve done many good things this year and we have done everything we could to prepare us for this point. I’m really proud of this team.”
Lady Cub Coach Jim Gibbs indicated in his press conference that it was the first time this year his team had played a zone defense. Coach Gibbs told his girls the morning of the game of his intention of the change.
Scoring in the game for Macon was: Gregory 23, Carter 16, Mix 3, and Shoulders 9. Jamie Ashburn, King, Ward, Emily Ashburn, Crowder, Scott, Arnett, and Crouch all played but did not score.
Cheatham County went on to defeat Westview 43-40 in the 2A Championship Game for their first ever team state title on Saturday.
(Photos by Julie Collins)