SPARTA - Cannon County's basketball teams are on a historical run.The Lionettes and Lions are in the Sweet 16 at the same time for the first time in school history.
One night after the Lionettes punched their ticket into the Region 4-AA Championship game and earned the subsequent TSSAA Class AA State Sectional berth, the Lions followed suit with an 82-67 thumping of rival DeKalb County in the Region 4-AA semifinals at White County High School Tuesday.
The Lions (22-12) will face Livingston Academy (21-11) for the Region 4-AA Championship at White County High School Thursday at 7 p.m., seeking their first regional championship since 1985 - which also happens to be the only other time Cannon County's boys have reached the TSSAA Class AA State Tournament. The Lions are assured a berth in Monday's Sectional against either Howard or Tyner.
The No. 8-ranked Lionettes (27-7) will face Livingston Academy (29-4) for the Region 4-AA Championship at White County Wednesday at 7 p.m., seeking to defend their 2010 title and earn a Sectional game at home Saturday. A loss would send the Lionettes on the road for the Sectional.
"These are great times and it is great for our fans," Lions Head Coach Matt Rigsby said. "They are such supportive and loyal fans and it is great that both of our teams have put together this type of season. Our fans, our students, they have been great, and it would be something if we could give them two more home games."
That possibility exists for the boys because they were able to take out their rival for the third time this season. Cannon County bolted to a 38-22 lead and never lost it on the way to the 82-67 win.
District 8-AA Player of the Year Justin Davenport led four Lions in double figures with 28. Cody Ruehlen continued his outstanding region tournament with 18 points, Brian Cripps added 13 and Jared Nave finished with 11. Colin Jones' back-to-back 3-pointers in the third quarter were a dagger and his defense on DeKalb's Dylan Roller was key in victory.