By TONY STINNETT, Courier Sports Editor
Abbey Sissom started slow and finished strong in a District 8-AA showdown against Livingston Academy.
So did the No. 3 Lionettes.
Cannon County (21-2, 6-1) broke open a close game with an 8-0 run in the fourth quarter to secure a 61-52 win against the Lady Wildcats before a standing-room-only crowd at Robert A. Harris Gymnasium.
Sissom was scoreless in the first quarter but broke loose for 13 in the second quarter and led all scorers with a game-high 23.
Erin McReynolds continued her breakout season as a first-year starter. The junior point guard poured in 16 points and played with great poise.
The Lionettes controlled the boards with strong rebounding efforts from Rebekah Faulkner and Macy Clements. Faulkner finished with 14 rebounds and eight points. Clements totaled 10 rebounds and six points.
While Cannon County was taking care of business at home, Smith County was suffering a setback against Central Magnet, moving the Lionettes back atop the league standings.
“There is a lot of basketball to be played and the race is close,” Lionettes Head Coach Michael Dodgen said. “This was a big one. Livingston Academy is playing well. You have to win your home games if you are going to have a chance to win this district so this was a big one for our team.”
The Lionettes owned a slim 46-43 lead with 6:59 remaining, but Clements started an 8-0 run with a layup, that was followed by baskets by McReynolds, Madison Walkup and Sissom.
Before the dust had settled Cannon County took control of the game and the District 8-AA race.