By DAVID HUNTER
The Lions and Lionettes brought out the red carpet for several teams around the southeast for the 9th annual Mitch Wilson Classic at Robert A. Harris Gymnastics and Woodbury Grammar. As the host, Cannon County faced Grundy County last Friday night and Cookeville the following night.
In the opener for the Lionettes, they led for most of the game until the final quarter when GCHS became red hot from long distance and came from behind for the 64-59 win. Sophomore Maleah Scott led the way with 18 points, while senior Kelli Davis added 16 and Haylee Mooneyham had 11 in a losing effort.
The following night, CCHS went up a division against Class AAA member, Cookeville. It was a homecoming for former CCHS head coach Mindy Odom, who is now the Lady Cavaliers head coach. She led the Lionettes to the 1992 state tournament before taking the Cookeville job, where she has spent the last 23 seasons.
CCHS fought hard and cut the lead to six on several occasions in the second half, but they could not get any closer falling short 47-37 to drop to 1-5 on the season. Davis had 12 points and freshman Tori Knox and sophomore Maleah Scott each added 10 in a losing effort.
"I was very displeased with our second half effort against Grundy County," CCHS current head coach Jonathan Odom (no relation) said. "Cookeville in my book is the best team we have played all season. Our effort was very consistent for four quarters versus Cookeville. If we play with that kind of consistent effort our record looks different, and it will look different during the rest of the season."
As for the Lions, they dominated GCHS from the beginning and never looked back for a 70-40 win. The team got balanced scoring led by senior Briar Jakes with 14 and fellow senior Austin Martin adding 11 for the victors.
In the second game of the weekend, the Lions fell behind early after the first half, 34-21. They were able to cut it down to 11, 36-25 early in the third after a basket by Martin. However, Cookeville took control and pulled away for the 77-40 victory, which dropped them to 3-3 on the season. Martin finished with 15 points in a losing effort.
CCHS opens up District 8AA play on December 4 at home against Murfreesboro Central Magnet with the Lionettes game tipping off at 6 p.m. and the boys' game following afterwards.