By TONY STINNETT Courier Sports Editor
Cannon County girls and boys basketball teams opened the season with two convincing wins each to get fans excited about the prospects of the 2013-14 season.
The Lionettes disposed of a talented Class AAA Rhea County team, 52-38, in front of the student body at Robert A. Harris Gymnasium Tuesday (Nov. 12). They followed the impressive win with a 90-33 dismantling of Grundy County.
“To be honest it is a different kind of environment with all the students in the gym,” Lionettes Head Coach Michael Dodgen said. “I appreciate how the students acted and how they supported our team. I appreciate the opportunity for our girls to play in front of the student body, and I know they did too.”
MTSU signee Abbey Sissom led the Lionettes with 19 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals against Rhea County. Rebekah Faulkner also had a solid start with 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting. She also pulled a game-high eight rebounds and had one blocked shot.
Macy Clements also was solid with seven rebounds and five steals against Rhea County.
The Grundy County game was never in question. The Lionettes led 15-11 after the first quarter then put a 23-5 blitz on the visitors in the second frame to claim a 38-16 halftime lead. Sissom led the Lionettes with 20, followed by 18 points on the strength of five 3-pointers from Madison Walkup. Autumn King also totaled double figures with 10 and she added five rebounds.
Kellie Davis finished with eight points and four assists. Taylor Warren, Kendra Maynard and Emily Sissom each added six.
The Lions scored a 66-19 win against Grundy County. Cory Henley led a balanced attack with 12 points. Tommy Mitchell added 10, followed by Briar Jakes with nine, Jacob Nave with eight and five Lions had four points each. Twelve of the 15 players that dressed scored in the easy win.
Cannon County (4-0) didn’t let up against Boyd Christian. The Lions scored a 69-33 win as Henley poured in 15 points to lead the way. Tanner Larson added 10 points.
“The summer was most beneficial to us,” Lions Head Coach Matt Rigsby said. “We had some really big wins and some competitive losses against some Class AAA schools. We were not always the most gifted team but we just battled and it gave us confidence as a group. I see some of that carry-over in how we started the season in these first games. We have a lot to improve upon but it’s a good way to start. I’m proud of all the players.”
Cannon County jumped out to a 16-8 first-quarter lead and stretched it to 37-17 by halftime.