By DAVID HUNTER
District 8AA play tipped for real with the Lions and Lionettes hosting neighbor rival Murfreesboro Central Magnet on Friday, December 4. Both are looking for improved play after enjoying mixed success during the Mitch Wilson Classic. Unfortunately, both teams came up short with a 58-45 loss by the Lionettes and the Lions Falling in overtime 61-55.
"You cannot make or break a season with one game," Lionettes head Coach Jonathan Odom noted after the loss. "Our message is we got to stop our self-inflected wounds. We never expect perfection, but that has been our Achilles Heel making the same mistakes game after game."
The Lionettes opened the game falling behind 12-3 early in the first quarter. Following a much better effort and a chance to go into the second period trailing only 12-10 a missed layup at the buzzer left the score 12-8 .
CCHS was able to cut the margin to two, 12-10, after two made free throws by sophomore Maleah Scott. However, the Lady Tigers went on another run to take a 21-15 advantage at the half.
Returning from injury, senior Autumn King made a pretty pass to fellow senior Haylee Mooneyham to make it 27-25 with 3:17 left in the third. Mooneyham had a chance to convert the three-point play, but missed the free throw. The Lionettes got the ball back, but King's shot was blocked. She was then charged with a technical after the play, and MCMS made the foul shots to extend the lead 40-31 after three quarters.
"King gave us a huge emotional lift, and she said her emotions got in the way," Odom said. "We cannot have that from anyone, especially a senior, but having her on the floor was a huge lift. Hopefully, getting her back in the flow will help us as the season progresses."
In the final quarter, freshman Tori Knox converted a three-point play with 6:21 left to cut the Lady Tigers advantage to 42-38. However, she later left the game with an injury and did not return.
The Lionettes got no closer and fell 58-45 to drop to (1-6, 0-1) on the season. Davis led the way with 13 points, and King finished with six in her first game of the season.
In the boys contest, things looked good as the Lions surged to a 27-20 halftime advantage. However with a never say die effort, DeKalb fought back during the last half to send the game into overtime.
The fourth quarter proved to back and forth affair, including a five-point comeback by the Lions during the final two minutes of the game. Down 51-46 with 1:36, senior Briar Jakes hit a layup, and in a matter of seconds freshman Charlie Parrish nailed a long distance bomb to tie the score at 51. Missed free throws with 26.5 left kept the Lions from gaining more momentum.
The Tigers retook the lead, 53-51 with a couple of free throws with 22.7 seconds left, but senior Lion Austin Martin sent the game into overtime on a 2 point jumper with 6.6 second left.
In overtime, Martin converted a two free throws to give CCHS a 55-53 lead with 3:21 remaining, but it was the only Lion points during the extra sessions. The Tigers took advantage of the Lions' mistakes and went on a 8-0 run to pull out the win. The Lions drop to (3-3, 0-1) on the season. Jakes and Martin each had 15, while Austin Duggin added 10 in a losing effort.
The season continues for CCHS with a home game vs Macon County on Tuesday, December 8 and at Smith County on Friday December 11.