Lionettes Lose Heartbreaker; Lions Roll To Win
TONY STINNETT, Courier Co-Editor
It had more of a championship game atmosphere.
The two highly-respected girls basketball programs battled to the end before Oakland (10-1) escaped with a 54-53 win against the Lionettes (11-3). Cannon County will face Warren County in the third-place consolation game at Warren County High School Friday at 11:30 a.m.
Cannon County's boys were victorious in the Sun Drop Romp, blasting Monterey, 77-41, Thursday afternoon. The Lions (5-9) will face Jackson County in the fifth-place consolation game at Warren County High School Friday at 10 a.m.
Abbey Sissom showed up for the big game, scoring a game-high 27 points on the strength of a season-high six 3-pointers and also dished out three assists. Joanna Young also came up big with 11 points, five steals and six rebounds. Lindsey Reed added nine points, six steals and six rebounds.
The Lionettes connected for 10 3-pointers as a team and had one of their better shooting nights. They were outscored by 14 at the free-throw line; however, as Oakland was 17-of-23 and Cannon County was just 3-of-4.
The game was nip-and-tuck throughout. Cannon County's biggest lead was seven. Oakland's was five. The second half featured eight lead changes and two ties.
Sissom's long 3-pointer tied the game, 43-43, with 4:05 remaining, but Oakland answered with a 5-0 run on the strength of three free throws to take a 48-43 advantage with 1:39 remaining.
Cannon County had closed to within 52-50 on Sissom's fifth 3-pointer with 22 seconds remaining. The Lady Patriots got the ball inbounds to Emily Eubank who was forced to pass it ahead to Kaitlin Oliver. The Lionettes attempted to foul Oliver, who appeared to stop her dribble during the collision near midcourt. No whistle blew and Oliver emerged from the pack and raced to the basket for a layup that put the Lady Pats on top 54-50 with six seconds remaining.
Sissom's sixth 3-pointer with one second remaining accounted for the final score.
The Lions enjoyed a solid performance at Monterey's expense and will play for fifth place, trying to go 3-1 in the tournament.
Jarrett Melton led a balanced Cannon County attack with 15 points, seven assists and four steals. Cory Henley added 11 points, four steals, three assists and four rebounds and Matthew Turney fnished with 10 points. Tommy Mitchell had nine points, three assists and drew three charges, and Cody Young finished with eight points.
The Lions jumped out to a 46-29 lead and never looked back. They were 16-of-24 from the field in the opening half. Cannon County held Monterey to just five second-half field goals.