Junior Jarrett Melton drives the baseline during Cannon County's opening game against Middle Tennessee Heat in the Sun Drop Romp Holiday Tournament in McMinnville Monday. Melton's 17 points led the way for the winning Lions.
McMINNVILLE - Cannon County basketball teams picked up three wins and went undefeated on the first day of the Sun Drop Romp Holiday Tournament in McMinnville Monday.
The Lionettes (11-2) picked up two victories and will face Class AAA power Oakland (9-1) in one semifinal Thursday at 5:30 p.m., at Boyd Christian School. The other semifinal pits Warren County and Stone Memorial.
"Oakland is a traditional state power and (Lady Patriot Head Coach) Jennifer Grandstaff is one of the top 10 coaches in the state," Lionettes Head Coach Michael Dodgen said. "Oakland is big, strong and athletic. We will have to come ready to play, but we are excited to be in the semifinals and get through the first day with two wins."
Cannon County's boys won their only game in the same tournament by turning back Middle Tennessee Heat, 74-52. The Lions will face Cumberland County tonight at 7 p.m., looking to go undefeated in pool play. The bracket portion of the boys tournament begins Thursday.
The Lionettes had to come from behind to earn their semifinal date against Oakland, which turned back Moore County in its quarterfinal game.
After easily disposing of Monterey, 48-8, earlier in the day, Cannon County appeared poised for another rout when it jumped in front of Cumberland County 18-6 in the first quarter of its quarterfinal contest.
The game turned in the middle quarter and the Lady Jets rallied. They pulled ahead 47-44 after three quarters and led by as many as five in the second half. Cumberland County led 50-46 with 1:40 remaining, but Jordan Hollis hit one of two free throws to cut the deficit to 50-47 at the 1:35 mark.
Abbey Sissom scored six of her team-high 21 points in the final 1:21, including a driving layup with 38 seconds remaining to give Cannon County a 51-50 lead, and she added two clutch free throws with 21 seconds remaining to stretch the lead to 53-50.
Jaclyn Reagan's halfcourt heave at the buzzer was off the mark.
Sissom scored 18 of her 21 in the second half and also dished out three assists but her clutch play under pressure helped key the win. Ashley Basham had an outstanding game with 10 points and five rebounds. Her defensive effort and clutch rebounding in the fourth quarter proved critical in Cannon County's comeback. Hollis also reached double figures with 10 and provided three steals, including a critical one in the final minute that set up Sissom's go-ahead jumper.
Joanna Young had six points, four rebounds and five steals. Lindsey Reed was saddled with foul trouble and eventually fouled out but her presence was felt when she was on the court. Reed scored four points, had six assists, six rebounds and two steals in limited action.
Early in the day Cannon County made easy work of Monterey, 48-8. The Lionettes allowed just one field goal. Monterey misfired on its last 19 field goal attempts. Cannon County led 40-4 after three quarters.
Reed led the Lionettes with 12 points, six rebounds and seven steals. Sissom finished with 10 points and three assists and Madison Walkup tallied eight points, three rebounds and three steals.
Cannon County's boys ended a three-game losing streak with a strong offensive showing against Middle Tennessee on the way to a 74-52 win. The 74 points are the second most of the season for the Lions (4-8).
Jarrett Melton had his best all-around game of the season. The junior guard scored a game-high 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field, including 3-of-3 from beyond the 3-point line. The first quarter ended with Melton making a highlight-reel play that seemed to give Cannon County momentum for good.
Leading 15-9 with less than six seconds remaining in the quarter, Melton hustled after a loose ball, dove out of bounds, retrieved the ball, turned and shot off balance in one motion to beat the buzzer from 25 feet away.
Melton made the shot and every other one he shot the remainder of the game.
Cory Henley added 10 points. Dalton Ryan finished with seven, and Zach Higgins, Tanner Larson and Brad Hutchins each scored six. Twelve different Lions scored. They were 12-of-16 from the field in the second quarter on the way to opening up a 47-24 lead.
The Lions will look to win their pool in the Sun Drop Romp when they face Cumberland County tonight at 7 p.m.